The Monmouth County Vocational School District (“MCVSD”) is home to several of the top public high schools in the United States and offers students a variety of specialized academic programs.
These schools are competitive (about 20-25% of the students who apply are offered a seat) and given strong demand, students are accepted based mainly on performance on the customized MCVSD test.
Read on to learn more about the Monmouth County schools and whether taking the exam might be a good choice.
The MCVSD Powerschools| School Information
For interested students, the first admission criterion is residency in Monmouth Country. Assuming this location restriction is met, certain students may sit for the MCVSD exam in January of their eighth grade year.
This test determines entry into the five specialized MCVSD schools (details below).
While all of these schools meet state requirements for their high school curricula, each school has a specific academic focus for its students.
The Academy of Allied Health and Science (“AAHS”) is a medical sciences-focused school which encourages students to pursue later careers or further studies in the field of medicine.
AAHS has a strong partnership with its community and with community service.
Biotechnology High School (“BTHS”) is a school focused on sciences, agriculture, engineering, and the environment. Students will graduate with an International Baccalaureate Diploma, which is an internationally recognized designation. Students also receive exposure to academic research best practices and have the chance to participate in studies of their own.
Communications High School (“CHS”) is a great choice for any students who are curious about the communications fields. At CHS, students will take courses in TV and radio broadcasting, journalism, publishing, commercial art, and media studies.
Students will also have the opportunity to work with community partners to test out their growing skills in the real world.
High Technology High School (“HTHS”), is a pre-engineering school that emphasizes STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) core competencies as well as humanities.
The focus of the school is to encourage students to become creative problem solvers in their communities.
The final MCVSD school is the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (“MAST”), which focuses on marine studies. The school concentrates on marine studies with a global focus, so graduates will be well-prepared to continue studies in many different marine science fields.
Unlike all other MCVSD schools, MAST will accept a small number of applicants from outside Monmouth county.
MCVSD Admissions Process
In order to attend any of these specialized schools, students need to follow a specific admissions process, which includes submitting seventh and eighth grade report cards and test results from the MCVSD exam.
The admissions breakdown is as follows:
The report card averages are rated based on letter or number grades: an A+ average would award students the full 15 points, while a B would award 11 points, a C 8 points, and so on.
Out of these hundred possible points, students will need at least a 75 to qualify for admissions.
Given the intense competition at these schools, most schools have cutoff scores higher than this 75 point minimum: for the 2015 year, MAST and CHS required an 83 minimum, AAHS required an 87, BTHS required a 93, and HTHS accepted students starting at 94 or higher. The maximum score is 100.
The MCVSD schools will accept a limited number of students to join for their tenth grade year, but this number fluctuates based on attrition and availability.
To be considered as a tenth grade student, applicants will need to take a math and language exam, show one year of foreign language study completed at their current schools, and present report cards and standardized test scores.
What's On the MCVSD Test?
This district exam includes a math component and a writing and language section, scored from 1-35. The format includes many multiple choice questions.
Though the district reveals the above basic information about the exam, no MCVSD sample tests are provided by the schools.
So, what do we know? As with several other high schools which 'screen' prospective students using a home-made admissions exam, we know that the MCVSD test includes material that is similar to what students have encountered before in general coursework in 8th grade, and is aligned to the State tests such as NJ Ask 8 Exam and Core Curriculum Content Standards.
However, since these schools are looking for brightest students, prospective MCVSD students also need to show they can manage more challenging and advanced material, in addition to proving their mastery of the basic grade-level curriculum.
Students will thus face a combination of more straightforward math problems and trickier word problems, as well as a number of challenging reading comprehension passages and language arts questions.
How to Prepare for the MCSVD Entrance Exam?
Because the MCVSD exam is such a large portion of the admissions scores, students will want to prepare before exam day.
Generally, students who score well on their state exams every year will have a good base level of readiness for the test, though some concepts will need review, especially if the student has not worked on them for some time.
Typically students may need to brush up on geometry and trickier grammar concepts, as well as refreshing their test-taking strategy set and tools for approaching tough questions.
Students can also practice math questions and brain teasers before the exam to make sure they are ready to tackle challenging and difficult questions on the math section.
MCVSD Practice Test
One of the ways improve one’s chances of getting into a Monmouth County Vocational School is to work on questions similar to what are on the MCVSD admissions test. Based on what we know about the entrance exam, we have put together some reading comprehension and math questions that reflect the test’s content.
Please click the button below to download these free MCVSD practice questions and get started on preparing.Access MCVSD Practice Questions
How Can We Help?
At Origins Tutoring, we believe that preparation for the MCVSD test does not have to be daunting and exasperating; instead, it can represent an important opportunity along a student’s path to learning mastery. Indeed, the perspectives and abilities acquired during preparation can last throughout a student’s school career and beyond.
Our two-track approach to mastering content and improving test-taking skills means that students will not only thoroughly understand the fundamental concepts and skills on the exam, but they will also excel in using essential techniques to improve attitude, endurance and focus.
Our students hone their independent thinking skills while developing a resilient mindset so they can perform on test day in a powerful, resourceful, creative and calm manner. Each student in our program receives the undivided attention and expertise of a dynamic and experienced coach who provides the framework to support each student on his unique path to becoming a master learner.
We would be happy to discuss how we can help your child achieve his or her personal best. Please be in touch for a complimentary consultation now!