Chart Your Course

How many credits do I need to graduate? 22

Do I need to take any tests to get into college?
Check with your counselor about college admission testing such as the PSAT, SAT I, SAT II or ACT. In the fall of your junior year you will have the opportunity to take the PSAT test, which is comprised of several verbal and math sections. The PSAT serves two purposes: It is used as a practice for the SAT I, and it is a qualifier for the National Merit Scholarship Competition. The SAT I is also a three-hour test, mainly multiple choice, that measures verbal and mathematical abilities. SAT II tests are given in 13 subjects and last one hour each. Once you receive your standardized test scores you should review them with your counselor. Registration materials and guidebooks for all tests are available year round in the guidance office. All registration materials must include the school CEEB code.

What is the school CEEB code?
Elmira High School: 331830

When should I take the SAT I or ACT test?
We recommend that you take the SAT or ACT not later than the spring of your junior year. This will enable you to retake either exam if needed. Most colleges will accept your highest combined scores when they are reviewing your application. Most studies show that students can significantly raise their scores through review classes.

How do I sign up for the SAT or ACT?
Registration material is available in each guidance office. You may also go on-line to or

When do I take the SAT II test?
Students who apply to highly competitive colleges should think about taking the SAT II while course material is fresh in their mind. Colleges that require SAT II generally require the SAT II writing test plus two others. We strongly recommend that you take at least two of your SAT II s by the end of your junior year. Students who are in accelerated courses should consider taking an SAT II subject test as early as the end of their sophomore year.

Do colleges visit the high schools?
Yes, quite a few do. We invite you to attend information sessions held by the various college representatives as they visit throughout the year. Each guidance office advertises the times and dates of the various college visitations.

Do colleges only look at grades?
Colleges typically use grades as only one factor when deciding whether to offer admission to a student. While this is a significant factor, they also consider the activities you have been involved in, employment opportunities you have had, as well as community and civic involvement.

When should I visit a college campus?
The spring and summer of your junior year is the most ideal time to schedule campus visitations. Only by visiting a campus will you be able to discover whether that particular college environment is a good fit for you. If you have an opportunity, an overnight stay will give you a chance to attend classes, talk with students, tour the bookstore and student union. In order to set up a college visitation you must call the specific college admission office. Plan ahead and have a specific date and backup date in mind. Most college visitations are arranged in a group format. If you think you will need an individual visitation, be sure to request it.

Will I need to include a letter of recommendation with my application?
Most schools will require letters of recommendation. We recommend that each student ask three different people to write letters of recommendation. These letters can come from previous teachers, counselors, advisors and employers.

Will I have to write a personal essay to get into college?
Most colleges will require that you write a personal essay. This is an excellent opportunity to provide the admission personnel information about your particular strengths.

Will I have to have an interview to get into college?
Interviews are rarely required by colleges but it is another opportunity for you to obtain direct information about the school and provide them with a more personal look at yourself.

What do I need to do to submit my college applications?
Bring in your completed application and all components, including fees, to the guidance office. Be sure to provide all of the necessary information. We will attach an official copy of your high school transcript and pay the postage to have it sent.

How does my son/daughter access their counselor?
We encourage all students to see their counselor during a study hall or during advisement. If it is an emergency, they can access the counselor as needed. Students should have a pass to come to the guidance office.

My son or daughter has no idea what they want to do after high school. Where do we begin?
Each guidance department has great access to a variety of resources that encourage career exploration. One great resource available to students is where students can build their own account and use a step-by-step process that supports career exploration and college searches.