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irit123 April 30, 2009

Has someone got experience about PLAN testing. My daughter's private school does not give PSAT in 10th grade instead administers a test called PLAN. PSAT is given only in 11th grade. They say, if I want her to try PSAT this year (10th grade) dates clash with PLAN, hence has to be taken outside elsewhere. Do I need to worry, or just go with the flow in his school.


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MagnetMom April 30, 2009

The PSAT is the precursor to the SAT, put out by the College Board. PLAN is by the makers of the ACT. Since this isn't the 11th grade for your daughter, as the school has said, you could take it elsewhere, or perhaps have your child get study materials to familiarize yourselves with the PSAT format.

Since your child is entering 10th grade, it's really just a pre-pretest. If she's taking the PLAN, she will get on the college mailing lists, which is another reason to take the test early. If your daughter is already selecting schools, you might want to see if they treat scores from the SAT and ACT similarly. If the school gives preference or only accepts the SAT, you might want to look to have your daughter take the PSAT elsewhere.

Good luck!!


irit123 April 30, 2009

Magnet mom,
Yes, you are correct about the Plan and then ACT way. I think the school does give SAT also along with ACT. If not, I think this is very different from normal way.. and I need to think about alternatives. I really don't know about ACT tests being recognized by colleges of her interest.


healthy11 April 30, 2009

Many colleges are accepting the ACT or the SAT. You really should contact whatever university your daughter thinks she's interested in, to find out if they allow either.

My son took the PLAN in 10th grade, and it gave an accurate indication of how well he'd do on the actual ACT. (Our counselor said most kids score to the higher side of the range they give.) The ACT, unlike the SAT, has 4 sections, including Science (along with math, english, and reading) whereas the SAT only has the latter three.

In addition, the PLAN had an excellent interest inventory section, which could help many students identify possible career paths. My son has said for years that he was seeking to major in engineering, and in his case the PLAN confirmed that he should concentrate on math/science/technology jobs. (Which is another reason why having 4 ACT subtest scores, including Science, was beneficial.)

Having said that, my son also took the PSAT in his Junior year, and he did reasonably well, although he was not a merit scholarship finalist. He did take a sample SAT and sample ACT at a test prep place just to get an idea of what the "real" tests would be like, and his scores, based on the conversion charts, were virtually the same. (Princeton Review, Huntington Learning, etc. often allow students to take one test for "free," in the hopes you'll sign up for their tutoring, but there's no obligation to do so.)

As I said, my son decided to focus on the ACT, due to his interest in attending a technical university. He never actually took any test prep classes, but he did take the ACT a couple of times. It seems that was enough to raise his scores, since the last time he took it, in fall of his Senior year, he ended up at the 99th percentile for his composite score.

My feeling on your daughter's situation is that unless she's likely to be a PSAT merit scholarship finalist, I wouldn't worry about having her take it in both her sophomore and junior year. Instead, I'd let her take the PLAN, see how she does, then have her take the PSAT, to compare (both will estimate how the kids will do on the respective ACT & SAT) then you'll know which might be the better test in the long run.


irit123 April 30, 2009

Hello everyone,
This is great information. She also tool EXPLORE as freshman which is prelim version of PLAN. It exactly tells her career goal which was lined up with her classes she is taking too. Reagrding PSAT, I really don't want to go out of the way to get this done in Sophmore yer.. will go with the schools flow of PLAN.
I will check with the univ he will apply to.


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