The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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The Hawkeye May 2024
1st Amend Award School

PSAT and PLAN to prepare students for college, beyond

By Erika Fisher | The Hawkeye
By Erika Fisher | The Hawkeye
By Erika Fisher | The Hawkeye

On Oct. 16, all sophomores and juniors will be taking the PLAN or PSAT tests. All sophomores will be required to take the PLAN test and all juniors will be required to take the PSAT test. Both the PSAT and PLAN tests give students a sneak peak of the actual SAT and ACT tests.

This is the first year that students will be asked to take these tests. In previous years, juniors and sophomores were able to sign up for the PSAT test if they were interested and spots were available. All sophomores and juniors are automatically signed up for the test.

The PLAN test is sponsored by the ACT and tests students on four subjects: English, math, reading, and science. These four subjects are the subjects that actually tested on the realACT. There is also a career exploration component that helps students to start thinking about future careers.

Last year, the PLAN test was given to sophomores during the pilot testing for the Smarter Balanced Assessments.

The PSAT/NMSQT or the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is sponsored by the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The PSAT test gives juniors early practice for the actual SAT. The PSAT measures skills also found in the SAT which includes critical reading, math, and writing.

By taking the PSAT, students will be able to find out their strengths and weaknesses in certain subjects. Other benefits of taking the PSAT include entering competitions for scholarships and receiving information from colleges.

“While it is not technically required, no graduation requirements are hanging on it, no college entrance is hanging on it, it is an extremely good idea that students show up and take this test. It is the best practice opportunity they will ever have for those standardized tests that colleges want to see before they can be admitted,” Assistant Principal Peter Schurke said.

Both tests will also be administered differently than in past years. In past years, students were tested in the theater, but this year students will be assigned to classrooms. Classroom assignments will be posted the day before the test on Oct. 15.

Students must arrive on time at 7:15 a.m. or they will be turned away and their money won’t be refunded. The cost for both tests is $14. If the fee isn’t paid and students test without paying, the student will be fined. If students don’t show up and test, then the student won’t be charged.

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The PLAN and PSAT testing day schedule is similar to that of the EOC and HSPE testing schedule with a three hour late start. However, there will be no second bus run. Since there will be no second bus run, activities will be available for freshmen students while juniors and sophomores are testing. Seniors are expected to be working on things such as their senior projects during this late start.

On test day, students must bring picture ID and number two pencils. Calculators are optional, but suggested. No food or drink except for water is allowed during testing and cell phones in testing rooms are prohibited.

Students can prepare for both tests through booklets available for each test. There are also practice problems online for students to look at.

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