Search - Quix
Search - Content
Search - News Feeds
Search - Easy Blog
Search - Tags

Should Homeschoolers Take the ACT in 9th grade?

Should a 9th grader take the ACT or SAT?



My daughter, Faith, is in 9th grade.  NC requires we administer a nationally recognized test each year, which has been either CAT or Woodcock-Johnson. However, it had been recommended that I use the ACT from here on out to familiarize her with the test in hopes of achieving the highest score for possible scholarship opportunities.  But yesterday, while actually in the midst of composing my email to you, I hear her crying.  She was  finally getting into the test prep material I had bought for her and she was so upset about the prospects of doing poorly on the test.  Is this a bad idea? How did /or would you handle this? Any suggestions would be so appreciated.
~ Laura

Dear Laura,

I think it's a bad idea to give the ACT in 9th grade.  It is intended to measure 11th grade skills. The test does include some algebra and some geometry.  For that reason, taking the test early may only cause frustration.  If the student simply CAN’T score well, because they don’t have the requisite math, then the test will only be an exercise in frustration.  You don’t want to put your child into a situation where they will feel badly about a test they will need to take next year or the year afterward.

In schoolwork, particularly in a homeschool based on mastery of concepts, children are only exposed to tests where they might score 100%.  If they are faced with the SAT, PSAT or ACT early in high school, it may not be possible for them to score well.  If they miss all the questions they have not covered yet, and a few "normal" questions that are difficult as well, they may only get a much, much lower percentage of questions correct.  Taking the test very early can backfire and cause test anxiety that may make their scores worse in the long run.

Instead of practicing test prep to take the ACT test, I suggest that you teach individual skills that are measured by the test.  Teach quick essay skills, vocabulary, and math at their level.  That's wonderful preparation for the test.  Once your children are in 10th grade, you can slowly introduce test prep at home, and have them take the test when it will help them.

There is an alternative to the ACT, called the PLAN.  It is intended for 10th grade.  It is similar to the PSAT, because it's intended to be taken earlier in high school as preparation for the college admission tests. Notice that they still recommend it for 10th grade, not for 9th grade. You can get more information here: http://www.act.org/plan/benefits.html.

For more information, I have a class called "High School Testing."  That class is included as a bonus with the Total Transcript Solution and the Comprehensive Record Solution.  It is also part of the Convention at Home Kit.



Lisa Baughn wrote a review of my Total Transcript Solution. She wrote, “With Lee’s help, any home educating family can create a marvelous, intriguing, scholarship-inspiring transcript.”  Read Lisa’s Review.
The Difference Between the SAT and the SAT Subject...
CLEP Exams: Grades or College Credit?
 

Comments 2

Guest - Bethany LeBedz (website) on Friday, 29 April 2011 17:06

My daughter did the ACT in 9th grade because we likewise live in NC & testing is required by state law. She did review some, but not a ton. I stressed to her that it was just a practise and not to worry too much about the score. I think she got a 19 or something like that. The next year, in 10th grade, she was much more prepared with the chemistry & geometry & scored a 28! She just took it again this year, but we don't have the results yet. This was her last time taking it, because she crunched 2 years into 1 & is graduating next month!!

My daughter did the ACT in 9th grade because we likewise live in NC & testing is required by state law. She did review some, but not a ton. I stressed to her that it was just a practise and not to worry too much about the score. I think she got a 19 or something like that. The next year, in 10th grade, she was much more prepared with the chemistry & geometry & scored a 28! She just took it again this year, but we don't have the results yet. This was her last time taking it, because she crunched 2 years into 1 & is graduating next month!!
Guest - Catherine (website) on Friday, 29 April 2011 07:00

Lee,
I hadn't heard about the PLAN until a few weeks ago, so we had our daughter take the ACT this year in 10th grade. We knew that she wouldn't be ready for the math section (my husband has taught Math in the high schools) so we tried to convey to her that this was JUST PRACTICE.

She took the test about a month ago and made a 28! She should do better next year when she's had more math, and we will practice analyzing data to help her with the science section. She's planning to study music, so she needs solid, but not sky-high scores.

Knowing what we know now, I would have had her to the PLAN test at the high school instead of the ACT. But, it worked out well for us.

I read your blog posts every day and it's keeping me a little more sane as we do this high school adventure!

Catherine

Lee, I hadn't heard about the PLAN until a few weeks ago, so we had our daughter take the ACT this year in 10th grade. We knew that she wouldn't be ready for the math section (my husband has taught Math in the high schools) so we tried to convey to her that this was JUST PRACTICE. She took the test about a month ago and made a 28! She should do better next year when she's had more math, and we will practice analyzing data to help her with the science section. She's planning to study music, so she needs solid, but not sky-high scores. Knowing what we know now, I would have had her to the PLAN test at the high school instead of the ACT. But, it worked out well for us. I read your blog posts every day and it's keeping me a little more sane as we do this high school adventure! Catherine
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Saturday, 19 September 2020

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.homehighschoolhelp.com/

More Encouraging Posts

  • July Homeschool Calendar Reminders

    It's time to enjoy the summer while doing a bit of planning for the homeschool year ahead. Here are some July homeschool calendar reminders to make the most of your

    Read More
  • Ask Questions During College Visits

    Ask Questions During College Visits

    Is your child a high school Junior? It's time for college visits!

    Ask questions during college visits. Try to ask questions that will engage people in dialog and show you
    Read More
  • Come Spring Into Transcripts With Me!

    Let me guess.... You KNOW that you should get your homeschool transcript done now, but you really don't want to do it. You know you should, but it doesn't sound

    Read More
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • 11
    • 12
    • 13
    • 14
    • 15
    • 16
    • 17
    • 18
    • 19
    • 20
    • 21
    • 22
    • 23
    • 24
    • 25
    • 26
    • 27
    • 28
    • 29
    • 30
    • 31
    • 32
    • 33
    • 34
    • 35
    • 36
    • 37
    • 38
    • 39
    • 40
    • 41
    • 42
    • 43
    • 44
    • 45
    • 46
    • 47
    • 48
    • 49
    • 50
    • 51
    • 52
    • 53