College Counseling


The College Counseling Office offers resources to assist students throughout the college process. In addition to those referenced below, students can receive additional resources through meetings and communications with their college advisor.

List of 5 items.

  • Standardized Testing Philosophy


    Sophomores and juniors will take the PSAT at EHS in October. They also have an opportunity to take a practice ACT in November. These practice tests do not require any formal preparation, but EHS offers a PSAT overview session the Sunday prior to the PSAT.

    We recommend juniors take the SAT or the ACT (some students opt to take both) in the spring (March, April, May, or June) of their junior year. Students or parents must register for these exams directly on the College Board and ACT websites. Some juniors will take SAT Subject Tests in May or June. This testing timeline is discussed in individual college counseling meetings. Every student is different and testing timelines and strategy will vary. College counselors will advise students and parents individually about the best approach.


    Not every student requires or benefits from formal test prep. Many students will be successful studying from an SAT book or using free online resources, including Method Test Prep. This comprehensive online course for both the ACT and SAT is located in your Naviance account.

    Some students feel more confident after taking a course or working with a tutor. While EHS does not recommend any one test prep service, Capital Educators will conduct a course on campus beginning in January. Course details and registration information will be sent out later this fall.

    We recommend that juniors review the results of the PSAT and practice ACT prior to beginning any kind of formal standardized testing preparation. Please contact the College Counseling office with any questions about standardized testing.
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  • Test Dates


    August 24, 2019July 26, 2019August 13, 2019
    October 5, 2019September 6, 2019September 24, 2019
    November 2, 2019October 3, 2019October 22, 2019
    December 7, 2019November 8, 2019November 26, 2019
    March 14, 2020February 14, 2020March 3, 2020
    May 2, 2020April 3, 2020April 21, 2020
    June 6, 2020May 8, 2020May 27, 2020

    Visit the College Board website for registration information:
    Foreign language subject tests with listening are only offered in November.


    September 14, 2019August 16, 2019August 30, 2019
    October 26, 2019September 20, 2019October 4, 2019
    December 14, 2019November 8, 2019November 22, 2019
    February 8, 2020January 10, 2020January 17, 2020
    April 4, 2020February 28, 2020March 13, 2020
    June 13, 2020May 8, 2020May 22, 2020
    July 18, 2020June 19, 2020June 26, 2020

    Please visit the ACT website

    Recommended Test Centers 
    T.C. Williams High School, Alexandria - First Choice
    Mount Vernon High School
    Wakefield High School
    West Potomac High School
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  • Test Prep


    Capital Educators will again be directing our optional winter SAT/ACT prep course for juniors.

    The EHS SAT/ACT prep course will be offered on campus to EHS juniors this winter prior to the March SAT and the April ACT test dates. The course will meet on Sunday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. with optional extra help sessions on weekday evenings. To form classes, CapEd will use 11th-grade PSAT scores and Practice ACT scores to subdivide students into small seminars according to their scores and strengths. Groups will have no more than 15 students. The course curriculum will provide a foundation for success on both the redesigned SAT and the ACT. Students will receive detailed score reports from the diagnostic SAT and ACT exams that pinpoint areas of relative strength and weakness. They will be asked to do no more than 1 hour of weekly homework, which primarily entails reviewing flashcards that cover foundational math, reading, and writing content.

    The full course schedule and registration information will be available later this fall.


    Students have access to Method Test Prep, an online test prep course found on the main page of Naviance/Family Connection. The program includes test skill-building resources, an online course for each test, and practice tests. It also provides students who complete the course with extensive analysis of strengths and weaknesses in each section of the tests.


    The College Counseling Office has a list of recommended list of ACT and SAT tutors and test prep companies.
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  • Parent Questionnaire


    As we work with your son or daughter in the college research and selection process, we would like to give you an opportunity to provide additional information that might be helpful in our work with him or her. Please help us by completing this questionnaire.
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  • For College Admissions Officers

    Sign up to participate in Episcopal's annual College Fair on Wednesday, October 16! Click here to register your institution and learn about details.

    If you are a college representative and would like to schedule a visit for the fall, please schedule your visit through Counselor Community.
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Additional Resources

List of 3 items.

  • Naviance

    Naviance is a comprehensive website for Episcopal students and their parents to use as a resource in the college planning, selection, and application process. Linked with Naviance, the college counselors use Naviance to track and analyze data about college and career plans, providing up-to-date information specific to Episcopal High School.

    Naviance helps students and parents:
    • Research colleges by accessing quick links to college websites and up-to-date college profiles
    • Access quick links to The Common Application, The College Board, ACT, FAFSA and CSS Profile
    • Review scattergrams that present actual historical data of EHS students' acceptances, waitlists, and denials
    • Analyze acceptance history of EHS students during the last four years to help determine a student's likelihood of acceptance
    • Build a resume and manage timelines and deadlines for making decisions about colleges
    We have provided each student with a personal access code and instructions for accessing Naviance EHS parents may also access the Naviance site. Once you access the site, you will be prompted to enter your registration code. Next, the site will ask you to enter your email address and create your own password. Your email address will now be your login name.

    Please note that new information, such as SAT scores, are added to each student's profile in the summer following their junior year.

    If you have questions about Naviance, have trouble accessing the website, or have misplaced your registration code or password, please contact the College Counseling Office at 703-933-4037.
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  • Standardized Testing

    Testing requirements vary from college to college. All colleges accept test scores from either the SAT or ACT. A growing number of colleges have become "test optional," which means they do not require applicants to submit standardized test results. Other colleges now accept a variety of subject test scores, AP test scores, graded papers, etc. in lieu of SAT or ACT scores. It is important to be aware of the testing requirements of each college on your list.
    SAT Subject Test requirements vary considerably as well. Many institutions welcome SAT Subject Test results but do not require them. Since a number of colleges add or drop Subject Test requirements from year to year, it is important to research the requirements of each of the colleges to which you will apply. Not meeting testing requirements—especially when applying to highly selective colleges—may weaken your application in relation to other applicants or render it "incomplete."

    If applying Early Decision or Early Action, it is especially important to be aware of testing requirements, especially for Subject Tests. The October, and sometimes November SAT test dates, are early enough for scores to be considered in the early plans of some, but not all, colleges and universities.

    Students who qualify for and plan to take extended time tests must contact Episcopal's Academic Support Center to make arrangements. Both the SAT and ACT programs have very specific and somewhat rigid qualification standards for extended-time testing qualification.

    Registration deadlines are important! Students are required to register for all admission tests ahead of time, and the testing agencies are very strict about registration deadlines, which are well in advance of the testing dates. Testing centers—and especially the one located near EHS—fill up early, so register for the tests as early as possible. The T.C. Williams High School test center in Alexandria (test center #47115), is the closest site to register for standardized tests.

    Please note: Students must send their own scores directly from the test website to each college they apply to.

    Many colleges require students to have all scores sent directly from the SAT and/or ACT website.


    There are six types of tests commonly used by colleges and scholarship sponsors to evaluate a candidate’s ability and achievement.

    Taken in October of sophomore and junior years.
    The Preliminary SAT (PSAT) is used primarily as a practice test to prepare students to take the SAT in the junior and senior years.

    National Merit Scholarships and recognition are based on results of the PSAT given in the fall of the student’s junior year (also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test or NMSQT).

    You do not get two chances at posting a National Merit score. Students who repeat a year, for example, and take the test officially a second time, will find their scores flagged (with an asterisk) to indicate their ineligibility for National Merit recognition.

    At EHS, the PSAT is taken for practice by sophomores. 

    SAT Reasoning Test
    Taken in winter and/or spring of junior year and fall of senior year

      SAT Subject Tests
      Taken in junior spring and/or November or December of senior year

      These one-hour tests are designed to measure a student’s level of achievement in a particular subject, such as English, foreign language, history, mathematics, or science.

      Up to three Subject Tests can be taken on one test date. Certain Subject Tests are offered only on specific dates, and students need to carefully plan their test schedule.

      We recommend that students take the Subject Tests in May of junior year and/or in November or December of senior year. Students must closely check Subject Test requirements at each college. While many colleges do not require SAT Subject Tests, some require two or three of the tests for admission, and others use them for placement. Failure to meet these requirements can place a student at a minor or even significant disadvantage in the admission process.

      Most institutions do not specify which Subject Tests a student should take, but some do have very specifically defined requirements.

      American College Test (ACT)
      Taken in spring of junior year and/or fall of senior year

      The ACT consists of four sections covering English use, reading, mathematics, and natural sciences reasoning. Since most colleges also require the ACT’s optional writing section, EHS students should plan to take that portion of the test. 

      Most colleges throughout the country accept both the ACT and the SAT. Thus, it is sometimes an advantage to send colleges scores from both tests. Many institutions will base an admission decision on a higher ACT or SAT score when students submit both.

      Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
      Colleges usually require students whose native language is not English to take the TOEFL.

      Because the verbal portion of the SAT does not always provide an accurate measure of the non-native speaker’s fluency in English or verbal abilities, the TOEFL can provide colleges with a more accurate indication of a student’s command of English. Many colleges require international students to submit a TOEFL score, in addition to SAT scores.

      Register early for this test since test centers tend to fill up quickly.

      Most colleges publish the minimum TOEFL score required for admission.

      Advanced Placement (AP) Tests
      Some colleges accept AP exam scores in place of standardized test scores. Also, when colleges review high school transcripts, they note enrollment in Advanced classes. Higher scores on AP exams earned during junior year can enhance their admission profile.

      AP exams are given in May and cover the equivalent of college-level material in a specific Advanced course. The exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5. While placement and credit policies vary from college to college, scores of 4 and 5 – and sometimes 3 – can earn students advanced college credit and/or placement. 

      Advanced Placement scores are not on the EHS transcript. When requested, we will report AP scores to colleges on the transcript. Strong sophomore or junior AP scores may enhance your application.


      The SAT and ACT tests are offered in different forms to accommodate students with learning differences or disabilities. Students who qualify for these tests may take them with extended time and in other special needs formats. 

      At many institutions, there are no special tracks or special programs for students with learning disabilities. Other colleges can offer extensive programs and accommodations. Admission committees will consider a student’s academic record at Episcopal to be an important predictor of the student’s success in college.

      Taking Non-Standard Tests
      The Educational Testing Service of the College Board offers non-standard administration of the SAT Reasoning and Subject Tests and the Advanced Placement exams to qualified students. Please note the process for requesting extended time for the SAT (from College Board) is a separate process from requesting it for the ACT.

      Approval for accommodations is separate from, and not guaranteed by, approval for academic accommodations by Episcopal High School.

      For additional information, visit the College Board website.

      The ACT has established policies regarding documentation of an applicant's disability and the process for requesting accommodations. For details, visit

      No distinction is made on the score report for students who have taken the SAT or ACT exam with extended time. Scores appear exactly as scores from regular administrations.

      In order to qualify for accommodations on College Board and ACT tests, students must have a complete psycho-educational evaluation. Please contact Episcopal's Academic Support Center for more information on required documentation.

      Please note that the process for requesting extended time from the College Board is a separate process from requesting it for the ACT.
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    • Recommended Websites

      College Board
      Colleges That Change Lives 
      Site based on book by best-selling, highly regarded college advisor Loren Pope. Insights about some wonderful and sometimes overlooked places.
      Fiske Guide Books 
      From the author of the reliable and popular Fiske Guide to Colleges comes a full array of college admission-related resources.
      The National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC) 
      A good resource for an array of information and websites.
      Peterson's Guide
      Princeton Review 
      Test prep, college search and other college-related info.
      *Online applications are typically found on each college's own website.
      The Common Application 
      Many colleges and universities participate in the common application, which can streamline your college application process.
      The Coalition for College Access 
      College Board
      Financial aid and scholarship search engine. Updated daily.
      The most comprehensive financial aid site.
      The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
      Sallie Mae 
      Financial planning for college and loan information
      National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) 
      Includes a handbook with information about eligibility in college athletics for the student/athlete.
      National service program.
      City Year 
      National youth service organization.
      Internship Year program for students who want to learn differently. For an academic year or semester, students participate in an array of real-world activities that increase self-awareness and self-reliance, and lead to a confident transition to higher education.
      Earthwatch Institute 
      A research, conservation, and education organization.
      Eurolingua Institute 
      Language-immersion study abroad programs.
      Gap Year 
      A host of travel and work ideas for students prior to heading off to college.
      Global Routes 
      Cultural exchange and service trips.
      National Outdoor Leadership School 
      Semester-long outdoor courses in skills and leadership.
      Outward Bound 
      Adventure-based environmental program.
      Rustic Pathways 
      Year-round travel programs to Australia, New Zealand, The Fiji Islands, Tanzania, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Vietnam, China, India, Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Mongolia, Transylvania, and Mongolia.
      Study Abroad 
      Summer study abroad programs, internships, volunteer abroad programs, intensive language programs, and more.
      Taking Off 
      Resources for gap year programs all over world.
      Time Out 
      Information on options for time off before starting college.
      Where There Be Dragons 
      Learning adventures in the developing world.
      World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms 
      Information for those who would like to volunteer on organic farms internationally.
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