Class of 2018 Newsletter
September 2016

Greetings from the College Counseling Office, and welcome back! Contained in this newsletter is a timeline of the junior year, information about the upcoming PSAT, and guidance regarding standardized testing. Likewise, please mark your calendar for the Junior Class College Night which will be held on January 12, 2017. Students and their families will begin meeting individually with the college counselors following that program. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to be in touch with any of us with questions; our contact information is located at the end of this newsletter.

Timeline of Junior Year


In order to help you prepare for the year ahead, please review this timeline with important dates regarding programs, CC meetings, standardized testing, and potential college visit dates:


September - November: College admission reps visit Gilman

September 29: AIMS Financial Aid Program at Maryvale Preparatory School

October 19: PSAT at Gilman

December 3: Recommended first SAT

December 10: ACT date

January 12: Junior Class College Night

January - May: College counselors meet with juniors (at least twice) and with parents (at least once); an initial college list is created with your college counselor following the first meeting

January 21: SAT date

February 11: ACT date

February 17 - 20: School closed (good time for college visits)

March 3: School closed (good day for college visits)

March 11: SAT date

March 11 - March 20: Spring Break (good time for college visits)

April 8: ACT date

April 14 - April 17: School closed (potential time for college visits, though some schools will be closed)

April 21: AIMS College Fair

May 6: SAT date

June 3: SAT date (suggested date for three subject tests, if applicable per counsel)

June 10: ACT date

June - August: Continue researching and visiting colleges

Standardized Testing



Juniors will take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 19. Students should bring several #2 pencils and a calculator. Gilman has already registered your son for the PSAT.  It is important that juniors arrive on time and prepared. Free test prep is available through Khan Academy; you can also take a practice test here. PSAT scores are not reported to colleges, are not placed on the transcript, and have no bearing on the admission process. The PSAT serves as the qualifying test for the highly selective National Merit Scholarship program. Test-takers scoring in the top half of the highest 1% in the state are likely to be recognized by the National Merit program. Hard copies of the test results are sent to Gilman in December, and we will mail those reports to you. Results will also be available through your son's online College Board account.   

How Many Tests? 

Juniors should take at least two standardized tests - the SAT and/or the ACT - by the end of the 11th grade. Students should register themselves in advance of the deadline. Registration is done online at, for the SAT, and at, for the ACT. Most students will take an additional standardized test in the fall of their senior year. Colleges consider the highest scores posted, so there is no risk in sitting for another test. Dates, a testing timeline, and registration info are listed below.


Winter SAT Test Prep

Capital Educators will offer an SAT prep class at Gilman this fall; the schedule is online here. The course is scheduled so that it will conclude in time for the December and January SAT dates, the time we advise juniors to sit for their first standardized test. For more details and to register, please contact Capital Educators at (410) 532-9400. If your family receives financial aid from Gilman, Capital Educators will provide the same percentage discount to their fee. Inform the staff when you register, and we will coordinate the information with their office.



We recommend that juniors choose December for their first SAT.  If there is a conflict with the December date, January is also suitable. As juniors prepare to take their first SAT, we hope that they will direct their attention and energy to the tasks before them -- to the things that really do count in admissions and in life. Thus, juniors should seek out appropriate academic and personal challenges, work hard to achieve and learn, and invest themselves meaningfully in the community.


SAT Subject Tests and AP Exams

We recommend that SAT Subject Tests be taken, if they are taken at all, on the May or June date. The Subject Tests attempt to measure a student's accomplishment in particular subject matter. Students seeking admission to especially selective colleges should plan on taking three of these tests. As the time approaches we will advise students and families regarding the appropriate SAT Subject Tests. Form meeting announcements and future newsletters will provide more specific guidance as we near the spring. AP exams, given only in May, can play a similar role, though are not required in the admission process.  As the time approaches we will convey detailed advice about the AP exams.


Standardized Testing Timeline

Junior Year: 

  • October 19: PSAT at Gilman
  • December/January: Take your first SAT and/or ACT
  • February - May: Take another SAT and/or ACT
  • May: AP Tests
  • June: Take SAT Subject Tests (if advised by your college counselor)

Senior Year: 

  • August - October: Take final SAT and/or ACT


Academic Record

Although standardized tests provide important data to the colleges for evaluating potential for college level work, they are just one component of an admissions application. The quality of a student's academic record (both grades and the rigor of the curriculum) continues to be, by far, the most important factor in the admission process. Colleges typically take particular note of the junior year performance, so we encourage you to put in your very best effort towards your schoolwork this year.

Beyond Testing


Junior Class College Night

This year's junior program will be held on January 12th at 7:00 pm in the Auditorium. Please note that parents and juniors are strongly encouraged to attend. Please mark your calendar and plan on attending this very important and informative event. We are pleased to welcome Karen Richardson, Dean of Admission and Enrollment Management, Tufts University; Greg Roberts, Dean of Admission, University of Virginia; and Jeff Schiffman, Director of Admission, Tulane University.

AIMS Financial Aid Night

Please mark your calendars, this year's financial aid night will be held on Thursday, September 29, at 7:00 pm at Maryvale Preparatory School. This comprehensive financial aid program is strongly recommended for those planning on applying for college financial aid.


Each member of the class needs to establish a Naviance account. We have placed registration instructions in your mailboxes twice since last year. Naviance is accessed online here. Once we embark upon the college counseling process in the winter, the college counselors will ask the juniors to make further use of the Naviance system. Students in need of login information should see Ms. Sawyer in the College Counseling Office on the first floor of Carey Hall.


Visiting Admission Representatives

Each year, over 100 college admission representatives visit Gilman to discuss their institutions with interested students. These visits occur at 11:30am and 2:30pm daily throughout the fall, and juniors are welcome and encouraged to attend, as long as they are not missing academic obligations. An updated schedule for these meetings will be posted on the Gilman website, in the CCO, and on the US bulletin boards.


Form Meetings and Email
The college counselors will make extensive use of Form Meetings throughout the year in order to convey information about college admission, testing, and course selection. The CCO will also make extensive use of student email in order to communicate with the juniors. Juniors should check their school email account frequently or arrange for messages to be forwarded to the account they use most often. Many colleges also rely primarily on email to relay information to prospective students.


The CCO Website

Please visit the College Counseling Office page on the Gilman website. A significant amount of college preparation and planning information will be located at this helpful site.

Contact the CCO

Carl Ahlgren

410-323-3800 ext. 226

Matt Herman

410-323-3800 ext. 748

Anna Follensbee

410-323-3800 ext. 307

Justin Baker

410-323-3800 ext. 741

5407 Roland Avenue / Baltimore, Maryland 21210 / 410.323.3800

College Counseling Website

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