Day 4: Tackling Those Tests
[View the entire series HERE]
This topic is one of those good news/bad news kind of things. I don’t want to burst your bubble, reader, but it’s best you know the truth right off the bat.
The good news is that more and more colleges are finding other ways to evaluate their applicants, and no longer placing so much emphasis on SAT or ACT scores any more. Some colleges have even become test-optional, meaning they no longer require those tests at all. They — the test optional schools – are allowing students to demonstrate their mastery and skills in other ways. If you read the previous article in this series, you’ll understand why this is such great news.
The bad news is it’ll probably take some time (maybe even a long time) before all colleges see the logic and follow suit. Meaning, if you’re applying to colleges today, or in the next few years, you’ll be among the millions of students (yes, millions) taking the SAT or ACT for college admissions each year. You might even be taking the new Classic Learning Test that just came out, the “CLT”.
Armed with this data, you’ll need to be ready — ready to ace the test (as in ready for the English, the Math and maybe the Writing portions), and ready to sit and actually take the test (a different matter altogether).
When homeschooling high school, remember, time is on your side. There is plenty of time to get ready — if you start early and plan things out.
In 9th and 10th grades, begin looking at old tests. Pick up some study guides or find some online. With a parent’s permission, open an account on the College Board web site and/or the ACT Student Site; and start poking around.
In 10th or 11th grade, take the practice SAT exam. This test (called PSAT) is given in the fall, once a year. Contact your local high school to find out when and where to go. Keep up your grades in your regular coursework, and make sure to address any areas that may be troubling you. Remember, you’ll be tested on English (including reading), math, and (your choice) writing for the SAT. The ACT includes a science test, too.
If you want, you can enroll in a study course, too. I recommend multiple modes of studying, as they each offer a little something different, and the more the better.
In both 11th and 12th grades, take the SAT or the ACT — or both. Some teens test better on one or the other. Take the test at least once in 11th grade and again early in 12th grade. Because taking the tests offer practice (and usually higher scores each time), some teens actually take the tests 3 times or more.
With planning and practice, every homeschooled teen can be ready for standardized tests. It’s never a good idea to wait until the last minute, so knowing what to expect will give you a major leg up over the other students who wait until Senior year.
Next and last up is Day 5: Marketing Yourself.
Dr. Marie-Claire Moreau is a college professor who traded in her tenure to become a homeschool mom 20+ years ago. A homeschool pioneer and the founder of many groups and organizations, she works to advance home education, and is an outspoken supporter of education reform coast to coast. Her book, Suddenly Homeschooling: A Quick Start Guide to Legally Homeschool in Two Weeks, was industry-acclaimed for illustrating how homeschooling can rescue children and families from the public school system, and how anyone can begin homeschooling within a limited time-frame, with no teaching background whatsoever. A writer, a homeschool leader, and a women’s life coach, Marie-Claire mentors in a variety of areas that impact health, education and lifestyle. A conference speaker, she has appeared at FPEA, H.E.R.I., Home Education Council of America, The Luminous Mind, Vintage Homeschool Moms, iHomeschool Network, and many other events. Her articles have appeared in and on Holistic Parenting, CONNECT,Homefires, Homemaking Cottage, Kiwi, Circle of Moms, and hundreds of sites and blogs nationwide. Marie-Claire can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her latest book, The Ultimate Guide to Florida Homeschooling, is now available on Amazon.