Class of 2020 Newsletter
Summer 2018

Final Exams: When admission counselors evaluate an application, the most significant and meaningful part of the file is that student's transcript. Studying hard and doing well on your final exams will have an impact on your final grades. Remain diligent and focused during these last weeks of the semester, and we wish you luck on your finals.

College Visiting for Rising Juniors


While most students will begin visiting colleges in earnest during the spring of their junior year, some sophomores may express an interest in visiting campuses this summer. These visits should be less about touring schools to which a student might eventually apply and more about simply stepping foot on different campuses to get a feel for different "types" of schools in terms of size and setting. We are fortunate to live in an area rich with options for higher education, and you could visit a variety of schools without leaving the Baltimore area (e.g. Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Goucher, Morgan State, McDaniel, or Towson). Or, if your travel plans take you near a college campus this summer, consider signing up for a tour.


If, conversely, your son doesn't mention anything about visiting college campuses, that's okay, too. Rising juniors can have an equally meaningful and worthwhile summer by engaging in a service project, working, going to camp, reading a few books, traveling with family, or playing on a sports team.

Standardized Testing


PSAT and Testing Accommodations

On Wednesday, October 10, 2018, students will be taking the PSAT at Gilman. For more information on the test and to see sample questions, please visit the College Board's PSAT website. If you are a student who has been approved to receive testing accommodations (such as extended time) at Gilman, learn more about the process of requesting extended time on the PSAT by visiting the College Board's website on Services for Students with Disabilities. If you have any questions regarding the process of applying for extended time, please contact directly our Upper School Learning Specialist, Dr. Stephanie Dennis.


Test Prep

As this recent NACAC survey confirms, the most important factor in college admission is a student's transcript. Right now, then, students should be focusing their energy on doing well in their courses and developing relationships with teachers. Also important, however, will be standardized testing. Most students will elect to do some form of test prep often starting in the summer or fall of their junior year. A number of companies in the Baltimore area offer test prep for a fee (we referenced a few in the spring newsletter). There is likewise comprehensive, free online SAT prep offered through Khan Academy and free online ACT prep offered through ACT Academy.


Capital Educators: Fall Test Prep

Capital Educators will offer a test 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 SAT and ACT dates, the time we advise juniors to sit for their first standardized test(s). 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.


Common Standardized Testing Timeline

Fall of Junior Year: PSAT at Gilman

Winter of Junior Year: Take your first SAT and/or ACT

Spring of Junior Year: Take another SAT and/or ACT

June of Junior Year: Take SAT Subject Tests (if advised by your college counselor)

Summer/Fall of Senior Year: Take final SAT and/or ACT

What Should You Be Doing Now?


We always answer this question the same way: be deeply engaged in every aspect of being a student, from doing your homework to studying for tests to being involved in the vibrant extracurricular life at Gilman to being a good teammate. Try to cultivate joy in your course work and nurture meaningful relationships with peers and teachers. Additionally, below is our list of five things you should be doing now:


  1. Strive to do your best in your classes. The most important element of the selective college admission process is your academic record.
  2. Invest yourself in a few activities, over time, that are meaningful to you and provide opportunity for you to grow and take on increased responsibilities.
  3. Read outside of the curriculum for your own personal enjoyment. Voracious readers fair better on standardized tests, are better writers, and tend to have a better grasp on the complexity of the world and their place within it.
  4. Don't just do community service. Reflect on it, and try to find meaning in it.
  5. Take academic and personal risks -- the kind that provide opportunities for growth.


Counselor Spotlight

During the fall, a number of college admission officers travel the country and host local information sessions for college counselors where they offer insights into campus life and new institutional programs and initiatives. In just the last few weeks, members of Gilman's College Counseling Office have met with representatives from: Bucknell University, Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Muhlenberg College, University of Dayton, Miami University, Occidental, Harvey Mudd, and Brandeis.


Ms. Follensbee recently traveled to New York to visit Union College, Skidmore College, Hamilton College, and Colgate University. During the trip, she got to catch up with Gilman alums Cole Vincent (Union '21), Wiley Hopkins (Skidmore '19), Michael Shea (Colgate '21), and Tyler Pantle (Colgate '20)



Please remember that the Gilman CCO website and our Tenth Grade CCO Shared Folder contain many resources that will equip you for school and admission success.

Contact the CCO

Sarah Ross

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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