Thursday, September 9, 2010

PSATs, PLANs Greet Sophomores

The three-year testing season begins any day. Our sophomore will be taking the PSAT in school in mid-October and we'll be looking into a fall date for the pre-ACT, or PLAN, too.

Before our sophomore takes the PSAT and PLAN, she needs to be familiar with the tests. Kaplan, the test prep company, is offering our students (and probably all high school students) free, online sample tests. It will probably be useful -- to the students and Kaplan, which gains information that can be used to encourage enrollment in not-free programs. Great marketing initiative, though how helpful such programs are seems debatable. That's for another discussion.

But heck, will certainly advise our sophomore to look at the free stuff.

Taking the PSAT begs the whole testing question that centers on which is the superior, most-preferred, easiest, hardest, best for some, not for others issue of SAT vs. ACT. They are both accepted equally by most colleges, with no bias for or against either. Still, when narrowing college choices, it is worth checking into preferences at specific schools. Meanwhile, to get an idea of peoples' thoughts on the matter, take a look at the comments following a post on the subject.

Which scores are submitted can be decided later. It does make sense to take both this fall to see which plays to your student's strengths.

And may the college testing begin!

1 comment:

  1. It's very important to be familiar with a test before taking it. As a tutor, my goal for sophomores is to make certain they know what to expect about the format of the test and the type of questions that they will see. I like the Kaplan products, but I question whether taking a practice test on-line will be helpful since the actual PSAT is a paper/pencil test. Students need to practice in the manner they will be taking the test - by underlining, writing in the test booklet, crossing out incorrect answers, etc. I would suggest that instead of an on-line version you purchase a test prep book and have your sophmore take a practice test under timed conditions. Kaplan has a very good PSAT prep book - around $15 and well worth it.