Class of 2020 Newsletter

October 2018

Juniors will take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 10. Gilman has already registered your son for the PSAT. In addition to the test booklets that were placed in students' mailboxes, 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 does, however, serve as the qualifying test for the highly selective National Merit Scholarship program. Test-takers scoring in the top half of the highest 1% in Maryland are likely to be recognized by the National Merit program. More information and directions pertinent to the test day will be sent via email.




We suggest that students try both the SAT and ACT at least once to see which they might do better on. All colleges will accept both the SAT and the ACT; they have no preference for which you send. Thus, we encourage students to try both tests to give themselves the best chance to post their highest possible score.

On Monday, November 12th, from 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Capital Educators will administer a free mock ACT at Bryn Mawr for all interested 11th graders from Bryn Mawr and Gilman. This is a professional day with no school for students. The purpose of the exam is to help students compare the experience of taking a full ACT with the experience of taking the PSAT.

On Wednesday, December 12th, from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Phil Pine, the founder of Capital Educators, will return to Bryn Mawr to return the ACT results and help families compare mock ACT scores with the most recent PSAT results. This session will be of benefit to those students who tested in November; but it will also be helpful to any 11th grade family because Mr. Pine will discuss the SAT and ACT, recent changes in standardized testing, and how to best plan for testing. All are welcome to attend this information session.

To register for the mock ACT on November 12, please email Anna Follensbee by November 5. 


Monthly Focus



During the last Form Meeting, students registered for Naviance, the college search and application platform employed by the College Counseling Office. Students learned how to utilize the college search features, compile a list of prospective colleges, and access and interpret scattergrams. We encourage juniors to spend time with their parent(s) researching various schools and their offerings using Naviance. If you have any questions about Naviance, please contact Ms. Sarah Ross, the director of college counseling.   

Visiting Admission Representatives

In addition to the nearly 200 colleges that will visit Gilman at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily, the CCO is hosting three college fairs that will welcome larger groups of college admission representatives. These fairs will be held in the Lumen Center dining hall on October 3 (2:45-3:30 p.m.), October 11 (2:30-3:30 p.m.), and October 16 (2:30-3:30 p.m.). A full schedule of college visits is on the CCO website.

HBCU Panel

On Monday, November 5, from 7:00-9:00 p.m., Garrison Forest School is hosting a panel on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This event is open to all AIMS Upper School parents and students and will feature alums, students, and admission representatives from various HBCU. To register, please email Ms. Vivian Sawyer (please also let her know if you will need transportation between Gilman and Garrison Forest).

January of Junior Year

The formal college counseling program will begin in earnest in January. On January 8, 2019, Gilman's College Counseling Office will host an evening for parents of the junior class, and will hold an "Exploring College Admission" program for juniors during the school day on January 22, 2019. Prior to these formal programs, students will be given the opportunity to request a college counselor. Following these programs, students and parents will begin meeting with their college counselor. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please reach out to anyone in the CCO. We are here to support you at every turn.  

Register for a Winter SAT and/or ACT

Juniors should take at least two standardized tests - the SAT and/or the ACT - by the end of the 11th grade. We recommend that juniors choose December for their first SAT and/or ACT. Students should likewise register for a spring SAT and/or ACT. A full list of SAT and ACT test dates can be found by clicking on the links provided.

Standardized Test Prep

We encourage all student to engage in meaningful test prep. There are many reliable test prep options available to students. Capital Educators will offer an SAT prep class at Gilman in early October; the schedule and registration is online here. The College Board offers free, online SAT test prep through Khan Academy, while the ACT offers similar free, online test prep through ACT Academy. In the past, Gilman families have also utilized other local, fee-based test prep resources such as Omnitest Prep and C2 Education.    


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 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.  


Counselor Spotlight

Ms. Follensbee recently returned from the 74th National Association for College Admission Counseling conference in Salt Lake City. At the conference, Ms. Follensbee attended sessions pertaining to trends in college admission and connected with college admission officers from a wide range of colleges and universities. Ms. Follensbee also had the opportunity to visit the University of Utah. Ms. Follensbee also had the chance to attended a reception in the Inner Harbor with staff, students, and alums from Washington College where she learned more about their outstanding Center for Environment and Society. The following week, she attended a breakfast hosted by Dickinson College and heard about new initiatives on campus.


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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