Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review: ACT Inc. Explore & Plan Assessment Tests

Attending college was never really "tops" on my Things To Do When I'm an Adult" list. I understood the reasons why some of my peers were working themselves into a frenzy over their SAT or ACT exams, but it just wasn't a priority for me. (After all, you don't need a degree to become a ballerina or a wife/mother, which were my goals at that time.)

As a homeschooling mom, college still isn't high on my list but I realize that one--if not all three--of my children may eventually want or need to attend college, based on their career choices. Enter the Explore & Plan Assessment tests from ACT Inc.!

The Explore and Plan Assessments are handy tools for parents to determine whether or not their child is on the right path for college. By taking either assessment, students gain valuable practice for the actual ACT exam, while parents are alerted to any potential learning gaps or holes that need to be covered in the process.

The Explore assessment is for 8th-9th graders, while the Plan assessment is designed for 10th graders to use as a pre-ACT exam. Each exam assesses your student's skills in four core subject areas:
  • English
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science
Both assessment packets are available for $22.95 and contain:
  • Testing booklet titled Sample Test Booklet and Answer Sheet
  • Using Your Explore (or Plan) Results brochure—a brief overview of score results and the process
  • College Readiness Standards handbook—a handbook that provides ideas for progress in each subject to prepare students for college or the workforce
While I may not be a huge pro-standardized testing, pro-college person, I did enjoy using the Plan test with Sierra. It didn't tell me anything I wasn't already aware of as far as her skills were concerned, but it did provide her with a helpful visual aid at this stage of her academic career. She also didn't seem to mind the testing process at all (especially when I told her it was just a "give it a shot" thing and not a "If you flunk, you have to practice saying, "Do you want fries with that?"). I'm actually looking forward to using the Plan Assessment in another year or two to see where she's improved.

If you've got a college bound student, are curious to see where you student's skills reside on the grand college scale, or simply want to brag about your skills as a homeschool teacher (Ahem! Not that any of us actually do that...), check out either the Explore or Plan Assessment Packets from ACT Inc. Click here to visit their website and learn more.

We give this handy product 2 thumbs up! :)

*As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received free copies of both the Explore & Plan assessments for the purpose of this review. No additional compensation was given and my opinions are strictly my own.*

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