Acronyms To Know

[Editor’s note, Feb. 2017: Technically, these are not all acronyms because they’re not all pronounced as words. Some are a kind of abbreviation called initialisms, pronounced one initial at a time. However, we’ve kept the original title in case anyone was linking to this post from elsewhere or using the word “acronym” in a similar way when doing a web search. We’ve added information about what each abbreviation stands for.]

SAT — www.collegeboard.com

Stands for: originally, Scholastic Ability Test, then SAT I (to distinguish from the Scholastic Achievement Test or SAT II), now just SAT, pronounced as separate letters (S.A.T. — not the word “sat”).

What it is: a standardized achievement test covering mathematics, reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing, and grammar skills.

How it works: one single test offered several times per year at local high schools/testing centres. Anyone can register online for this test.

ACT — www.act.org

Stands for: originally from the American College Testing Program, but now just known as ACT.

What it is: a standardized achievement test covering mathematics, science, social science, reading comprehension, vocabulary, writing and grammar.

How it works: one single test offered several times per year at local testing centres. Anyone can register online for this test.

AP — www.collegeboard.com

Stands for: Advanced Placement

What it is: a series of subject-specific examinations (approximately 20 different ones) that measure specific content knowledge at the senior high school or first year university level

How it works: students must sign up for and write this test at a participating high school. Contact local public/private schools for permission to join. Schools are not required to allow you to write.

CLEP — www.collegeboard.com

Stands for: College Level Examination Program

What it is: a series of subject specific examinations intended to provide first year college (US) credits.

How it works: any student can write at any testing centre; however, the only testing centre in Canada is in BC and the closest one to Ontario is in Buffalo.

GED — www.gedcanada.net and www.ilc.org/ged/

Stands for: General Educational Development

What it is: a series of examinations in various subjects intended to provide a high school diploma equivalency.

How it works: exams are held by the Ministry of Education over a weekend (Friday night and Saturday).

NOTE: most universities do not consider this equivalency for admission purposes. It is usually accepted by employers who require proof of high school graduation. [Editor’s note: Be aware that some employers look on a GED unfavourably. See the article High school diplomas vs. GEDs: Do employers care? on CareerBuilder.com.]

AMDEC – www.amdec.ca

Stands for: Avon Maitland District e-Learning Centre

What it is: The Avon-Maitland District Public School Board’s Centre for Distance Education offering accredited Ontario high school courses for credit.

How it works: AMDEC courses are very similar to regular courses, only lessons are available online (on websites) and work is submitted by email or fax. Students are required to complete a minimum number of work units per course per month. Assignments, tests and exams are all usually required. Group projects may be required.

NOTE: These courses count as any regular high school credit courses. They are not “equivalent” to high school courses, they ARE the courses!

ILC — www.ilc.org

Stands for: The Independent Learning Centre.

What it is:  the Ontario Ministry of Education’s official correspondence school. The ILC offers accredited Ontario high school courses for credit.

How it works: ILC courses are independent paper and pencil based correspondence courses where pre-printed lesson books are mailed (no direct teaching) and material is completed at the student’s own pace. Homework is submitted as it is completed (by mail or email) and may be marked by a different teacher each time. A supervised final exam is written at the end.

NOTE: These courses count as any regular high school credit courses. They are not “equivalent” to high school courses, they ARE the courses!

Want to tell some folks about this post?