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Standardized Tests



If you plan to go to college you will probably have to take one or more of the following standardized tests.

Check with your high school counselor or the colleges you're interested in to find out what tests you should take.

Know what to expect — ask your counselor, link to the testing agencies’ Web sites, or check your local bookstore for samples of past tests.

PLAN

The PLAN is the pre-ACT test taken by 10th graders to help them estimate how well they will do on the ACT. PLAN helps students measure their academic development, explore career options, and plan for the future. Talk with your high school counselor for more information or visit the PLAN web site.

ACT

The ACT is a standardized test that assesses high school students' general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. It is often used for college admission decisions, and virtually all U.S. colleges accept ACT results. The ACT consists of four multiple-choice tests in English, math, reading and science. There is also an optional writing test that evaluates your ability to plan and write an essay. Contact your high school counselor for test dates, locations and study materials to familiarize yourself with test content, or visit the ACT web site.

PSAT

The PSAT (Preliminary SAT) is very similar to the SAT. The PSAT includes two 25-minute critical reading sections, two 25-minute math sections and one 30-minute writing skills section. Most people take the PSAT in the fall of their junior year in high school. It provides firsthand practice for the SAT and gives students an opportunity to qualify as National Merit Scholars. Moreover, many colleges and universities offer merit awards to students who perform well on the PSAT. Talk with your high school counselor for more information or visit the College Board web site.

SAT

The SAT is another standardized test used by many colleges as part of their admissions criteria. The SAT I evaluates critical reading, writing and math problem-solving skills. The total test time is 3 hours and 45 minutes. Scores on each section range from 200-800 points. The SAT II: Individual Subject Tests measure your knowledge and skills in particular subject areas. Many colleges use these tests for admissions and for course placement. The SAT II includes more than 20 subject areas or achievement tests. Contact your high school counselor for test dates, locations and study guides or visit the College Board web site.