Reduce Test Stress

Testing week does not have to be stressful!

College Board has compiled a list of resources, available for parents and students, to help alleviate anxiety, fear, and frustration around testing at ( 

The College Board has also partnered with Khan Academy to provide individualized practice for the SAT suite of assessments based on past scores. Student are also able to take a diagnostic assessment and have an individualized study path created at (

For students interested in becoming familiar with the PSAT 9 or PSAT 10 tests, we have last year’s test booklets available to use as practice and familiarization so there are no surprises. Come by the Assessment Center in Room 409 to pick up your copy!

This year’s testing slogan is “You Against You!” We are challenging each student to set the goal of beating their test score from last year, demonstrating growth they can be proud of and that CEC can celebrate. 

Student Benefits

These tests are not only beneficial for the State and for CECFC, but they also highly benefit the students directly as well as enable us to provide free college courses for our students!

The benefits for students interested in attending a 4-year college and beyond are the most obvious. The SAT is the primary entrance exam accepted at Colorado public universities and the PSAT and CMAS tests have been significantly modified to align with and prepare students to succeed in the SAT.  

Even the students not interested in a degree path here at CECFC still benefit greatly from these assessments. Students and their parents gain a greater understanding of their readiness to enter the workforce. In addition, many non-degree careers require an entrance exam for their applicants, allowing these mandatory tests to serve as a practice environment. Some of the careers that require entrance exams are: Bank teller, call center, welder, postal worker, electrician, plumber, construction worker, accountant, mechanic, bookkeeper, bus/truck driver, cosmetician (hair design, makeup technician, nail technician), teacher, EMT/Paramedic, Firefighter, pilot, real-estate broker.

The SAT will be administered on April 9th, the PSAT 9 and PSAT 10 will be administered on April 10th and 11th, and the CMAS 11th grade science test will be administered on April 12th. We Highly encourage ALL students to take these tests. Opt-outs are available for emergency situations.

Score Comparison

We are extremely proud to share our scores from the Mandatory State Testing given last year. The graph below displays the average scores of the State of Colorado compared with various districts and schools in our area, including CECFC. Since last spring, we have been busy working on cross-curricular instruction, which helps students excel and give them the resources they need to shine. We are excited to see what our students can accomplish in this year’s administration. Here at CECFC our policy is to never teach to the test. Colorado has aligned their test to meet the requirements students need to be successful after high school. This spring, one of our goals is to improve our overall PSAT 9 scores. As last year was the first year that particular assessment was administered, we are confident that our students will be prepared to conquer this challenge.

Why is student participation important for standardized testing?

1. Colorado standardized tests prepare students for life in the real world.
The tests (CMAS, PSAT 9, PSAT 10, and SAT) are aligned with the Colorado Academic Standards. They were modified to match content taught in the classroom every day and are designed to measure real-world skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and writing. All are skills that will prepare students for success in college and/or their chosen careers.

2. Each test builds on the previous assessment to encourage student success.

The Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) assessment is given to students in 3rd through 8th grades. The PSAT 9 and PSAT 10 are given in 9th and 10th grade respectively and build on the CMAS while aligning with the state standards. The PSAT tests the same skills and knowledge as the SAT in a way that makes sense for 9th and 10th-graders so that in 11th grade the students have been adequately prepared for that assessment.

3. Parents can make informed decisions on school selection.

We at CECFC are thrilled with the new state assessments and the interactive reports that are generated. Parents receive scores that will demonstrate how well their student met state standards overall and how their scores compare to other students in Fort Collins and across the state. They are also informed as to which schools and districts perform best in preparing students for academic success.

4. Colorado schools are “graded” on student scores and participation.

Federal law requires 95% of students take the required assessments. If the school or district fails to meet the 95% participation requirement, then the school or district’s plan type will be lowered one level. Because of YOU, our amazing students and parents, and our history of reaching this required 95%, we are able to 1) Open new schools 2) acquire grants 3) make autonomous instructional decisions and 4) Do what is BEST for your students and family.

SAT School Day Essay

This Spring, 11th-grade students can add the SAT® Essay to their SAT School Day registration for free. The Colorado Department of Education will cover all fees for this optional portion of the mandatory Spring SAT.

About the SAT with Essay

  • The SAT with Essay will take approximately one hour longer than the SAT.
  • It’s your choice. You decide whether or not to take the SAT with Essay.
  • The SAT Essay is scored separately from the SAT and does not impact your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score.

Why Take the SAT with Essay?

  • The SAT with Essay is a lot like a typical college writing assignment that asks you to analyze a text.
  • Some colleges may specifically require it as a part of the admission process (we recommend that you confirm admission policies with your school of choice).

How do I register for the Essay portion of the School Day SAT?

  • You must register between January 15 and February 12, 2019.
  • Register online at org, login to your College Board Account, and choose “Add the essay to my registration.”
  • OR Register by phone at 1-866-917-9030, option 2
  • Ask your SAT English Prep instructor for assistance if needed.

Practice! Practice! Practice!

Data released this spring links time spent on Official SAT Practice to substantial score gains on the new SAT. Access to early and ongoing practice matters and is key to student success.

  • Studying for the SAT for 20 hours on FREE Official SAT Practice is associated with an average score gain of 115 points between the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT, nearly doubles the average score gain compared to students who don’t use Khan Academy.
  • Out of the nearly 250,000 class of 2017 test takers studied, more than 16,000 gained 200 points or more.
  • Results showed that practice increased student scores regardless of their gender, race, income, and high school GPA.

It is never too early to start practicing!!

 College Board Official SAT Practice site:

Why do Students Need to Take Standardized Tests? Part 2

Here at CECFC, we offer a unique opportunity to our students by providing them with FREE college because we LOVE to see our students soar and realize their dreams. In order to continue providing this amazing opportunity to our students, we need YOUR help in understanding and participating in required state assessments.

Standardized tests support our goal of ensuring that all students receive an excellent education and graduate ready to succeed in their chosen career or in college. We use the results from standardized tests to reflect upon our educational programs in order to improve our instruction and curriculum,
and to better identify those students who might need a little more support in particular courses. The tests are also designed to measure how well your student is progressing toward the knowledge that colleges and universities expect their entering freshmen to have as they begin their freshman year.

You can read more about standardized tests here.

What are State Standards and Why are they Important?

The standards set by the State of Colorado provide clear, consistent guidelines for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level across 10 subject areas, including English language arts, math, science and social studies.  The standards incorporate future skills and essential knowledge that the next generation will need to be successful in college and in their chosen careers. The Colorado Academic Standards were updated in 2018 and were based on what colleges and universities expect from their incoming freshmen to ensure their continued relevancy. (

Did you know?

  • Every 4- year college or university in Colorado requires a student to submit an SAT or ACT score.
  • Many Colorado universities only accept the SAT score.
  • The PSAT 9 and PSAT 10 tests offers students practice in taking the SAT and can help increase SAT scores.
  • College Board and Khan Academy have partnered to offer a FREE official SAT practice website
  • CECFC provides a free SAT session to every 11th grade student. 
  • CECFC will administer the PSAT 9 to every 9th grade student this coming spring.
  • CECFC will administer the PSAT 10 to every 10th grade student this coming spring.

Why do students need to take standardized tests? Part 1

The number 1 reason students need to take standardized tests is that the Federal Government requires that schools administer them. 

States that accept federal funds to support the education of children in poverty, English language learners, and students with disabilities are required to administer statewide assessments to all students. Currently, Colorado receives approximately $350 million in federal funds for these and related purposes. The minimum federally required assessments are:

  • Grades 3 through 8 for English language arts and mathematics
  • At least once in high school for English language arts and mathematics
  • At least once in elementary school, once in middle school, and once in high school for science

 The state of Colorado requires additional assessments as follows:

  • Social studies at selected schools in grades four, seven and 11 (Only one-third of schools will be selected each year to administer social studies assessments.)
  • PSAT in 9th and 10th grade
  • SAT 11th grade

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