College Awareness Day to provide different activities for students

Juliana Moraes-Liu and Noa Braun

Palo Alto High School students will take standardized tests and attend college and post-high school information sessions and workshops instead of regular classes as part of College Awareness Day on Wednesday.

Freshmen will take the EXPLORE test and sophomores will take the PLAN test. The ACT company provides both tests, which not only simulate college entrance exams, but also include a career component, according to Assistant Principal Kathie Laurence.
Juniors will take the Preliminary SAT, which will be paid for by the Parent Teacher Student Association this year.

“The tests have all been ordered,” Laurence said. “There is one for everybody. PTSA has generously donated money for all the students to take the PSAT. It’s during a school day and the feeling was that it’s just better for everybody if we can find the money some way.”

The PSAT is the qualifying test for scholarships provided by the National Merit Scholarship Coperation. The test will also be offered on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Seniors will have a variety of workshops to choose from, including a college question-and-answer session covering the basics of college applications, a presentation on college interviews and an essay workshop. Seniors may attend two optional sessions during College Awareness Day, and can sign up by taking the “2011 College Awareness Day Sign-up” survey on Naviance. Seniors can also schedule times to meet with their college advisers.

The EXPLORE and PLAN allow calculator use on the mathematics sections, but do not allow students to use TI-89 calculators, according to Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson. The PSAT allows students to use TI-89 calculators. Students who will be taking tests are asked to bring No. 2 pencils as well.

Students are advised not to worry about the tests, but should arrive at school with the necessary materials.

“Just show up with your pencils, your calculators and a happy face,” Laurence said.