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Colorado School Day SAT and PSAT
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Colorado has given a college entrance exam each spring to all 11th graders enrolled in public schools since 2001. In 2015 the Colorado legislature passed House Bill 15-1323, requiring the state to competitively bid for a new 10th grade exam that is aligned to both the Colorado Academic Standards and an 11th grade college entrance exam. The legislation also added the opportunity for students to take an additional, optional essay as part of their college entrance exam at no cost to the student. The selection committee chose the PSAT for 10th graders and the SAT for the 11th grade college entrance exam because of their alignment to the high school Colorado Academic Standards and because the College Board’s reports and free test preparation services could be used by all students. For 2018, the PSAT 8/9 was added for students in grade 9. Students who choose to participate in services offered by The College Board will be connected to resources and activities designed to help identify next steps for extra support or possible acceleration.
The SAT is closely aligned to challenging classroom work of Colorado schools and focuses on the key skills and concepts that evidence shows matter most for college and career readiness, including:
- Mathematical concepts, skills, and practices important for success in career training programs.
- Reading, comprehending, and writing high-quality essays supported by evidence.
The SAT also serves as an admission test and is accepted by every college in the United States. At the time of testing, students can send their scores to up to four colleges for free. The SAT essay can also be taken as part of the Colorado school day SAT administration. The SAT essay is optional and voluntary and can be added at no cost to students
All students who are enrolled in 11th grade at a Colorado public high school are eligible to take the SAT
The PSAT tests the same skills and knowledge as the SAT in a way that makes sense for 9th and 10th-graders. It builds on the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) tests in English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The PSAT also aligns with Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) and with the SAT that students will take in 11th grade.
The PSAT focuses on the knowledge, skills, and understandings that research has identified as most important for college and career readiness and success. In addition to helping students practice for the SAT, it can identify student’s potential for success in advanced course work. It provides more data than ever before about academic strengths and weaknesses as well as access to millions of dollars in potential scholarships.
Ninth graders attending public schools in Colorado began taking the PSAT 8/9 in the spring of 2018. Tenth graders began taking PSAT 10 in the spring 2016 and public school 11th graders began taking the SAT in spring, 2017.
The College Board has partnered with online education provider Khan Academy® to provide free online SAT practice to all students.
By creating a free Khan Academy student account, students are able to take eight official full-length SAT practice tests including two SAT with Essay practice tests, access thousands of practice questions, video lessons, and hints, and receive study and test-taking tips. In addition, students can personalize their SAT practice by taking eight diagnostic quizzes or seeing personalized practice recommendations based on the student’s PSAT results by linking their College Board and Khan Academy accounts.
Creating a College Board and/or Khan Academy account is optional and voluntary for students. The Colorado Department of Education strongly recommends that students and parents review and discuss the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policies of these organizations prior to creating an online account.
CO SAT for 11th Grade
CO PSAT for 9th and 10th Grade
April 13, 2021
April 13, 14, 15, or 16, 2021 (district choice)
April 27, 2021 and May 18, 2021 (additional make-up day)
April 27, 28, 29, or 30, 2021 (district choice)
SAT and PSAT Testing in Response to the Spring 2020 School Closures
The department will pay for and, in partnership with College Board, support an optional SAT administration for 12th grade students and PSAT/NMSQT administration for 11th grade students enrolled in Colorado public schools this fall. Due to the unique roles these two assessments may serve for students, the state-sponsored fall administrations are meant to provide interested eligible students with an opportunity to take, at no expense to them, the SAT or PSAT/NMSQT in place of the spring 2020 SAT and PSAT 10 school day exams that were not administered due to school closures that resulted from the COVID-19 public health crisis. Replacement administrations are not being offered for the canceled CMAS or PSAT9 exams.
The fall 2020 school day administration of the SAT and PSAT/NMSQT is not required by CDE. Colorado public districts and charter schools will have the option to administer these exams and students will have the opportunity to participate in the option that is chosen by the school. Results are intended for student and locally-determined uses only
Testing options for the fall SAT and PSAT Administrations
- School Day Primary Administration: Wednesday, September 23, 2020
- School Day Primary Administration on Wednesday, October 14, 2020
- School Day Make-up Administration: Tuesday, October 27, 2020
- Vouchers* available for national administrations:
- Saturday, August 29, 2020;
- Saturday, September 26, 2020;
- Saturday, October 3, 2020;
- Saturday, November 7, 2020; or
- Saturday, December 5, 2020.
- For students who have registered for a weekend administration using a voucher, College Board have implemented additional safety protocols that include, requiring masks, students being seated six feet apart, and safety screening questions for students prior to entering the building.
*A student testing with a voucher will be able to choose the test date that best fits their schedule
- Primary School Day Administration: Wednesday, October 14, 2020
- Alternate School Day Administration: Thursday, October 29, 2020
Please note, due to ongoing uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, test dates may be canceled in the event of a local or regional closure. In the event of a closure, it is not expected that additional test dates or options will be available.
- For school day testing, schools are required to follow the same local public health guidelines that are in use during in-person instruction.
- For additional information about local guidelines, parents and students should contact their local school or district to learn more about their test day procedures.
- Guidance for Administering the Colorado School Day PSAT and SAT to First Year in the U.S. English Learners
- College Board-Approved Word-to-Word Glossaries for the SAT Suite of Assessments
- SAT Translated Test Directions (Select Resources in the Jump To menu and scroll down)
The College Board provides two types of accommodations for the SAT Suite of Assessments. College Board Approved Accommodations and State-allowed Accommodations or SAAAs.
College Board Approved Accommodations are designed for students with documented disabilities and must be approved in advance by College Board. Students who are approved for College Board accommodations will receive college reportable scores. Once approved for accommodations, with limited exceptions, a student remains approved for all College Board tests.
State-allowed Accommodations (SAAs) are state-specific accommodations defined by the state that require a request to be submitted and are automatically approved. Schools and students will receive scores for students testing with SAAs and those scores are used for accountability participation. However, the scores are not college or scholarship-reportable. These accommodations apply to state testing only and are requested for each state administration. Refer to information available through your state as to how these scores are used for accountability.
All requests for accommodations are submitted by the designated SSD coordinator in the College Board online system, called SSD Online. The below links provide additional information regarding the accommodations request process and SSD Online.
- Understanding the College Board Accommodations Process
- Colorado Consent Form for Accommodations Requests Submitted via SSD Online - PDF
- Colorado’s Accessibility and Accommodations Table
SAT & PSAT student score reports are typically available in early June by logging into the College Board’s student score reporting portal. To access the score reporting portal, create a College Board student account, or if you already have one, just sign in.
Online student score reports give students an understanding beyond the numbers and provide a detailed breakdown of their performance. Score reports provide:
- Performance summaries for each section of the test
- Insight into strengths and weaknesses with results grouped by content area, skillset, and level of difficulty
- Percentiles to see how student results compare with those of other students like them
- Colorado Student Access Scores for the SAT Suite of Assessments Flyer (PDF)
- Understanding Your Scores
- Understanding Your Scores (Spanish)
- Demo: Student Score Report
- FAQs- S.B. 20-175- Assessment Scores on a Student’s Final Transcript
- Understanding PSAT 9 Scores (PDF)
- Understanding PSAT 10 scores (PDF)
Threshold Descriptors (TLDs)
During the March 2020 State Board meeting, the State Board of Education approved the Cut-scores and Threshold descriptors (TDs) for the Colorado SAT. The TDs for Math and English Language Arts and Literacy represents a composite of student performance at one (or more) of several score bands on the 11th grade English and Math Tests. The framework is correlated with empirically derived test benchmarks for college and career readiness and success as well as Colorado’s academic standards.
Performance Level Cut Scores
Students taking SAT assessments receive an overall scale score. During the standard setting process, educators used scale scores to set cuts for each performance level based on the specific content that students should be able to engage with at each performance level.
Educators from around the state participated in the process to determine the cut-scores. The presentation that provides a more detailed explanation can be found here.
College Board’s Student Data Policy (2019-2020)
- 2021 Colorado SAT and PSAT 10 Key Dates
- Spring 2020 Colorado PSAT and SAT Overview
- Accessing SAT Assessment Results
- Professional Development Module: Using Scores and Reporting to Inform Instruction (PPT)
- Colorado PSAT-Related Assessments Benefits Flyer (PDF)
- SAT Suite of Assessments Technical Manual
Students and Parents
- Get to Know the SAT
- Colorado SAT with Essay
- Understanding PSAT 10 Results - Parent Tutorial (PDF)
- Understanding PSAT 10 Results - Parent Tutorial - Spanish (PDF)