Published: Friday, November 30, 2007 - 10:03pm
Tomorrow morning I will wake up before 8, get out my No. 2 pencils, graphing calculator, eraser, and drive to Uni. Sounds an awful lot like a school day doesn’t it?
Not quite. Instead of heading into Uni I will make my way across the street and into DCL. I will then sit at a desk and await the distribution of my test booklet and answer sheet. After a “You may begin,” I will take the PLAN.
In order to prepare themselves for the ACT, many Uni students take the PLAN in the autumn of their sophomore year. The test covers English, math, reading, and science. In addition to providing a practice for the ACT, the PLAN helps address the courses and work areas that best suit your strengths.
While the test may be a good preparation for future goals and plans, it is optional and some students elect not to take it. However, the majority of Uni students do.
This makes me wonder. How many people would willingly give up their Saturday morning to take a standardized test? It doesn’t sound like the ideal day for anyone. Is it because Uni students are conscious about their futures, or because it has been drilled into them that they should be?
I suppose it crossed my mind to opt out of the test. I for one HATE tests and try to avoid them whatever chance I get. They add an additional level of stress that I know I don’t need and sometimes aren’t the best indicators of how well I actually know the information being covered.
In sixth grade my class had the option of participating in a math contest. It wasn’t for a grade or anything that would impact me at school. It would be scored, and those who did well would have the possibility of advancing further. Years before this I had been required to participate and I dreaded every minute of it. This year I decided not to take it. Not only did I have to answer a number of questions concerning my decision, but I wondered how I would have done. Although the process of taking a test is stressful, knowing I missed an opportunity also drives me crazy.
With my options laid out in front of me, I decided I would go through with the PLAN. Since the score does not affect me this year, I figure it is best to see how I’ll do. If things don’t work out how I’d hoped I have a year to deal with the problem. I’d rather know what I need to improve on now and make those adjustments than close off future options without meaning to. While it may give me an extra day’s stress, taking the PLAN may help me plan out some very important things.