Assessments Overview

Assessments at Ballard HS

Testing News

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SAT (Gr 12) & PSAT (Gr 11) District School-Day Testing Information

Wed, Oct 11: SAT and Oct 16-31: PSAT/NMSQT Testing Date TBD.

Types of Assessments

On the corresponding individual test specific pages you will find helpful dates and detailed information about the different kinds of testing that happen for students over the course of their four years at Ballard High School.

Please visit the SPS Testing and Assessments page for updates and news on how assessments are used and their requirements in Seattle Public Schools. Note: SPS contracts with the College Board for the school-day PSAT and SAT only. The district—as a single entity—does not contract with the College Board for any Saturday testing or the ACT exam.


  • Wednesday, October 11, 2023: School-Day SAT for all Grade 12 students.
    • The College Board only provides districts with the Paper Option (not Digital SAT) for school-day SAT.
    • Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is the most widely used college admission test in the country. The test can be used as a substitute graduation requirement if the student didn’t meet passing scores on other assessments in ELA or math.
    • SPS students will be automatically registered for the SAT.
    • SPS administers the SAT assessments free of charge during a regular school day.


October 16-31, 2023: Test Window for School-Day PSAT/NMSQT for Grade 11 students. Ballard HS Testing Date TBD.

  • The College Board has transitioned the PSAT/NMSQT to a Digital Exam and SPS High Schools will administer the PSAT/NMSQT during this window.
  • IMPORTANT: All Grade 11 students will be required to use their SPS devices for the PSAT/NMSQT. This will ensure that technical assistance can be provided on-site by SPS staff on the day of testing.
    • The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT/NMSQT) helps Juniors prepare for the SAT and is used to qualify students for scholarships and advanced learning opportunities. 
    • SPS students will be automatically registered for the PSAT/NMSQT.
    • SPS administers the PSAT/NMSQT assessments free of charge during a regular school day.

AP Exams

School Year 23-24

Watch for AP Exam Registration Dates & Payment Due (November 2023).

May 2024 Exam Dates: May: May 6–10 and 13–17. 

School Year 22-23

AP Exams were held at Ballard HS May 1-5 and 8-12, 2023. AP Exam Scores from May 2023 are available to view on CollegeBoard.

State Assessments

Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA): ELA, Math, WCAS

All students are required to meet State Standards in English Language Arts and Math in order to earn a diploma from Ballard High School. The most efficient way to demonstrate proficiency is by taking and passing the state exams given to students the spring of their sophomore year.


The ACT, is an entrance exam used by some colleges to make admissions decisions. It is administered by ACT, Inc to measure a student’s readiness for college.

How important ACT scores are varies from school to school. Students and families need to register and pay for these exams as they are not offered at SPS or Ballard High School.

Overall, the higher you score on the ACT and/or SAT, the more options for attending and paying for college in the US will be available. Refer to the ACT website for more information on ACT dates, locations and fees.