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October Newsletter: Sophomores

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Our goal this year is to get to know you better and to help ease you into the college process. We urge you to take it at your own pace. We will post newsletters a few times this year to keep you updated on the happenings in our office.  If you are curious, check out some college counseling information on Breck's website, You will find information about ACT/SAT testing, course planning, college visits, and more.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14 | PSAT administered at Breck: All sophomores and juniors have been registered to take the PSAT at Breck on Saturday, October 14. The test will begin promptly at 8:30 am; please arrive no later than 8:00 am.  A great source for preparation for this test is the website:

Words of advice: 

  • Eat breakfast and arrive early. 
  • Think about which email address to enter on the registration form. Students should expect to receive communication from colleges after taking the PSAT. Therefore, students should select an email address they plan to use throughout the college process. Many students use their Breck School email address, whereas others prefer a personal email account.
  • Bring sharpened #2 pencils and calculators. Remember, this is a College Board test and we need to follow their testing policies.
  • Treat it seriously. It’s more important than you may care for a test to be. These score results can be helpful as you progress through the standardized testing process.
  • But, it’s less important than you fear. Remember, it’s a practice test! This provides students with a standardized testing experience and feedback. 

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18 | Sophomores will take the Practice ACT during the school day.

  • What do PSATs and Practice ACT mean in the sophomore year?
    Breck gives the PSAT and a Practice ACT to sophomores to familiarize students with the test, its scoring system, and the testing conditions.  When you receive your scores next semester, you will also receive your testing booklet.  This book serves a purpose, don’t throw it away.  Take a look at your test sheet and see which answers were right and wrong. Then go to the test booklet and study the questions.  This analysis will help you prepare for future tests and will provide information in developing a standardized testing plan.
  • Should I take a prep class for the PSAT/Practice ACT?
    Although all test prep classes are a personal and family choice, sophomore year is early to prep for a practice ACT/PSAT.  Simply familiarize yourself with the test components so you can utilize the testing time effectively. We will have Ron Michalak visit during tutorial on October 10th to provide an introduction to the tests to sophomores. 

Remember, the best predictor of college GPA is high school GPA. Beyond earning the marks, now is the time to develop and hone your habits, further your analytical skills, and continue to know who you are. This takes place not only in the classroom but in your varied commitments beyond the class day. Find ways to get involved, to serve, and to challenge yourself. 

Information for All Parents

Breck Parents — Fall is certainly here! It is difficult to believe the start of school was the better part of a month ago and yet the energy and excitement reveal just how deep into the school year we now find ourselves. Parent-Teacher-Student conferences will soon take place as will the MISP Fair, MEA Weekend, the post-season for fall sports, and the list goes on.

This newsletter is full of information and details. Please feel free to read its entirety or delve into the area that pertains to your family. Please note that while we serve all students, we have set aside the last week of October for open office hours for seniors in the lead up to early November college application deadlines. If there is a need for a 9th, 10th or 11th grade student, please email your counselor or contact Carrie Papillon.

Breck's College Counseling Office

Jonathan Nicholson
Director of College Counseling

Susan Graham
Associate Director of College Counseling

Andrea O’Connell
Associate Director of College Counseling

Carrie Papillon
College Counseling Office Assistant