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Plan to take the PLAN

Although the SAT has traditionally been the test of choice among high school students along the East Coast, the ACT has been gaining ground. Last year, for the first time ever, more students nationwide took the ACT than the SAT (see this article at The Huffington Post).

One of the driving factors behind this shift is that every college in the United States will now accept either the SAT or the ACT without prejudice.  This allows students to pick the test that better aligns with their learning styles.  For an in-depth comparison of the two tests, check out Jed’s post on the SAT vs. the ACT.

Unfortunately, many students don’t realize until well into their junior or senior years that they strongly prefer one test to the other.  At that point, they’ve usually invested time, energy, and money into prepping for one test, and switching between the two can be both frustrating and costly.

One way to avoid such a switch is to determine on the front end which test is better aligned to your student’s skillset.  Most of you have heard of the PSAT, or pre-SAT.  It’s a shorter…version of the SAT, designed to introduce students to the test and to give them a sense of how they can expect to do.  What you may not know is that there is also a pre-ACT called the PLAN.  The PLAN is an abridged version of the ACT that can help introduce students to the structure and content of the test.  Unlike the PSAT, which is targeted for both sophomores and juniors, the PLAN is recommended only for sophomores.

Students who take both the PSAT and the PLAN tests as sophomores are able to make much more informed decisions about test preparation in their junior and senior years.

Almost all college-bound sophomores and juniors will take at least one PSAT through their schools.  Many fewer will take the PLAN.  Applerouth Tutoring Services now offers free mock PLAN tests at many schools around the metro area.  If yours is not one of the schools where a PLAN has already been scheduled, ask your counseling office to contact us to set up a PLAN test at your school.  Alternatively, we’ll be happy to mail you an in-home mock test.


Applerouth is a trusted test prep and tutoring resource. We combine the science of learning with a thoughtful, student-focused approach to help our clients succeed. Call or email us today at 202-558-5644 or info@applerouth.com.


  • vcr6@cdc.gov

    Do you know if Lakeside High School plans to give a PLAN test in 2012-2013?  Thank you Valerie Robison