Understanding Standardized Testing

PSAT and PLAN Tests. You may have already taken the PLAN (offered by the ACT Company) and/or the PSAT (Preliminary SAT offered by the College Board) as a sophomore. Ideally, all students take the PSAT in the fall of the junior year. Taking the test as a junior will qualify you for some scholarship consideration and identify you to colleges as a potential applicant. Reviewing results of PLAN and PSAT tests will help you to prepare for the SAT and ACT exams. The results of these tests are not reported to colleges. They are for your benefit only.
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Additional Tests:

SAT Subject Tests: These are one hour multiple choice exams given in specific subject areas (see http://sat.collegeboard.com/about-tets/sat-subject-tests for list of tests offered). Some of the most competitive colleges require one or more of these tests for admission and other colleges and universities use them for placement in courses in college. Students need to ask whether the colleges to which they are applying require the Subject Tests.

Advanced Placement Exams: AP exams are 3 hour exams in specific subject areas and are designed to be taken upon the completion of an AP course or the equivalent. They are rigorous exams that include both multiple choice and essay sections. More than 1,400 colleges and universities accept AP credits. To learn more about AP exams go to http://professional.collegeboard.com/testing/ap. AP exams are scored on a scale of 1-5.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): tests a student’s ability in English and is a test for students for whom English is not the first language. The test measures skills in reading, listening, speaking, and writing in English and requires the student to combine two or more of these skills to respond to a question. It is usually an internet based exam given by appointment designated test centers. Paper based tests are offered only in remote areas. For more information go to www.ets.org.
Source: College Board Web site, www.collegboard.com