Testing and College Preparedness FAQ

  • 1. How do I prepare for college?

    • Students should do their best ot prepare for college entrance by:
      • Taking rigorous high school courses
      • Taking the PSAT multiple times (once each in 9th - 11th grades)
      • Studying for the PSAT, SAT, and/or ACT
      • Researching and/or visiting prospective colleges
      • Attending College Fairs or Seminars
      • Researching scholarship opportunities
      • Obtaining work or internship experience in a posssible career field

    2. How do I take rigorous high school courses?

    • Pearland ISD has an open enrollment policy for all students in grades 5-12.  Any student in grades 5-12 may register for a PAP or AP class if he/she has met the course or grade-level prerequisites
    • Please consult your high school course selection handbook for detailed information or ask your school counselor
    • You may submit an AP Special Request (APSR) if
      • You do not meet the prerequisites based on your academic history but can demonstrate mastery of prerequisite information from an outside program or independent study
      • You wish to take more than one course in the same curricular area concurrently (Taking algebra 2 and geometry concurrently does not require an APSR)

    3. How do I register for the PSAT?

    • In Pearland ISD, all 9th-11th grade students take the PSAT at no personal cost
    • Students do not need to register for the PSAT as they will be registered automatically
    • Students who wish to have accommodations for the PSAT (or SAT) test administration should speak to their campus's SSD coordinator

    4. How do I prepare for college entrance tests?

    • Free study/preparation information about the SAT and PSAT can be found at the following:
    • Free study/preparation information for the ACT can be found at the ACT webpage
    • Taking a class to prepare for the PSAT, SAT, or ACT can often improve scores
      • Pearland ISD offers a full-year-length Advanced SAT Prep at all three high schools
        • There is a course fee of $25, which goes toward taking the SAT in the spring as the course's final exam
        • This course can earn a student up to a 5.0 grade point
        • Advanced SAT Prep provides students with an addition GPA-waiver for the school year
      • The following preparation companies are available but not endorsed by Pearland ISD:

    5. How do I become a National Merit Scholar, an AP Scholar, or receive orther honors?

    • To become a National Merit Scholar, students must score above the selection index cutoff (which changes annually) on the PSAT during 11th grade
      • The selection index cutoff is determined by the top 50,000 scorers
      • The bottom 34,000 of these 50,000 will be named Commended Scholars
      • The top 16,000 will be named semi-finalists and will receive information on how to continue the process
      • The top 15,000 of this group of 16,000 students who meet specfic academic and non-academic requirements will be named finalists
      • Out of these 15,000 students, 7,600 students will be chosen based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments to become National Merit Scholars
    • Students can improve their chances of becoming a National Merit Scholar by
      • Taking the PSAT multiple times
      • Accelerating their math classes so that they are positioned to take PAP Precalculus in 10th grade
      • Participating in Math Club and math competitions
      • Taking math classes outside of school
    • Students can become AP Scholars by fullfilling the following requirements
      • AP Scholar - A score of 3 or higher on three or more exams
      • AP Scholar with Honor - Average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams
      • AP Scholar with Distinction - Average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams