The people at ACT want to help administration, teachers, homeschoolers, parents and students make sure that students are prepared for college. The "Explore and Plan" tests help with early intervention and planning for what students weaknesses and strengths are, before they are ready to take the college entrance exam - the ACT.
I previously reviewed the ACT Advantage Discover program. You can see that review here.
There are numerous web pages for the ACT. Here is a list of some of them.
- The ACT Advantage site Advantage Homeschool Solutions for Families (ACT stuff especially for Homeschoolers)
- The site for the Explore Program
- The student Explore page (with some extra's)
- The site for the Plan Program (ordering and such)
- The student Plan page (with lots of extra's)
- The page for ordering all products in the ACT Advantage program
Before I explain the parts of each test I want to tell you how we used it and what our results were. I administered one part of the test to the boys on each of four consecutive days. I set the timer and notified them if the time was getting close to being done. They did very well for never having taken standardized tests before. Oh, we did not study for these tests at all. We just took them. I wanted to see how they would do using the curriculum and products we have been using.
Christopher is in the fall of his 7th grade year. He took the Explore test meant for 8th and 9th graders. I was excited to see how he would measure up to others who had taken this test. First you have to take the raw scores and translate them to scale scores and from that you figure out the National Norms. Christopher scored from 90-99 percent on his tests. That means he did better than 90-99 percent of all children taking these tests in the Fall of 8th grade. His composite score was 94%, that is the score of all the test put together. He did better than 94 percent of kids who are a year older than him. I was so proud.
Nathan is in 10th grade and took the Plan test. He scored from 89 to 99 on his National Norms, with a 99 as his composite score. So he did better than 99% of students taking this test in the fall of 10th Grade. WoooHooo!
Explore is a standardized achievement test for grades 8 and 9 from the makers of the ACT. It is made up of four academic achievement tests:
|English||40 items||30 minutes|
|Mathematics||30 items||30 minutes|
|Reading||30 items||30 minutes|
|Science||28 items||30 minutes|
The student Explore page has some extra's to help your student get ready for the test, know what their scores mean and begin to plan for their future.
Plan is also an assessment test but for 10th graders. The test includes:
|English||50 items||30 minutes|
|Mathematics||40 items||40 minutes|
|Reading||25 items||20 minutes|
|Science||30 items||25 minutes|
Once you know what each test covers, your test results can show you where you're strong or weak.
The ACT Student PLAN website has tips for taking the test, information on how to use your test scores once you have them back, and help with planning your/your students future. They also have a download of sample test questions.
At the bottom of the ACT Student PLAN page there are further links to more information. This information is available to and useful for everyone with high school age children. The first quick link takes you to the "World of Work" map. Your child can choose a career and see what the potential earnings are, what further education after high school is required or suggested and other pertinent information on that career. It is really well done. The third quick link takes you to a list of college majors that you can explore with your child. See what topics you will study and what careers are available in that field. The links in the career part take you to the same pages the World of Work map takes you to.
With your Advantage Homeschool Materials you will also get (as you could see in the pictures above) a "College Readiness Standards" booklet. This booklet will help you to see, from the scores you child gets on the tests, what plans you should proceed with to prepare your student for college.
Both the Explore and the Plan programs can be ordered from this part of the site: Ordering page for all ACT Advantage Homeschool Materials
Explore: Price: $22.95 each
Plan: Price: $22.95 each
Out of five stars the boys and I give the ACT Advantage Explore and Plan products:
Check out the other reviews of the ACT Advantage - Explore and Plan products here at the Homeschool Crew Blog. The Explore and Plan reviews should be marked as such. The Discover reviews also marked. they are all together in one post on the Homeschool Crew Blog.
***The ACT Advantage provided me with the Advantage Explore and Advantage Plan tests and booklets so that I could do my review. Though I received this product for free I have given an honest review of them here in this post.