Class of 2021 Newsletter
Fall 2018


During the next three years, your son will be taking a series of tests and making certain academic and extracurricular decisions that bear upon the college process. We hope that the following information will help prepare students and their families for these events and decisions. The college counseling program at Gilman School will begin in earnest during the winter of the junior year. Between now and then, you will receive timely newsletters from this office regarding everything you will need to know as the college search process approaches. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to reach out to one of the college counselors. Our contact information is listed below.


What Counts in the College Admission Process?


Though much of this newsletter is devoted to standardized testing, we need to first emphasize that these tests are but one part of a student's application. Also important is a student's academic performance, measured both by grades and rigor of curriculum. In fact, a 2016 survey by the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) found, once again, that grades in rigorous courses are the most important factor in college admission. Electing courses that are appropriately rigorous, and working hard in these courses, is a significant asset in the admission process.


Other components of the admission review include an investment in extracurricular activities that reveals growth and commitment over time. The community service requirement is an excellent opportunity for students to develop as young men of substance and make significant contributions to their communities. Gilman also has a wide range of artistic, musical, publication, mentorship, club, and athletic offerings that broaden interests as well as develop character. We encourage students to try something new, join a club, and find meaningful ways to express themselves and contribute to our shared school life.


To learn more about qualities that can, in the "big picture," play a significant role in the college admission process, click here.


Standardized Testing



Sophomores will take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 10. Gilman has already registered your son for the PSAT. Remember, this is truly a "Practice" SAT. We encourage you to prep accordingly, but this test should not cause you additional anxiety or stress. If you'd like preparation beyond the PSAT guide book that will be provided, there is free test prep offered 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. 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 a College Board account your son will create.


Additional Standardized Testing

In addition to the PSATs that begin this year, a handful of sophomores will also take SAT Subject Tests and/or an AP test. A number of highly selective colleges recommend SAT Subject Tests. Some sophomores will be eligible to take one or two of these; for example, if a student is taking Honors Chemistry or Honors Latin, he should consider taking the SAT Subject Test in that subject area while the material is still fresh. Students may also opt to sit for the AP European History exam. As the spring approaches, your teachers and our office will send you reminders and appropriate counsel. We have also included a standardized testing timeline to help you sort out the testing events to come.


Typical Standardized Testing Timeline

Sophomore Year:

  • October 10: PSAT at Gilman
  • May: AP Test (if advised by your Euro Civ teacher)
  • June: SAT Subjects Tests (if advised by your Latin or Chemistry teacher)

Junior Year:

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

Senior Year:

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


Testing Accommodations

If you are a student who has a diagnosed learning disability and who has been approved to receive testing accommodations (such as extended time) at Gilman, please note that you do not automatically qualify for those same accommodations on the SAT or ACT. There are separate procedures you must follow if you are requesting accommodations from The College Board or the ACT. To learn more about the process of requesting extended time, please visit the College Board's website on Services for Students with Disabilities and/or the ACT Accommodations page. If you have any questions regarding the process of applying for extended time, please contact directly our Upper School Learning Specialist, Dr. Stephanie Dennis.


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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