My family recently received the Explore and Plan series of assessments, a part of the Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPAS), published by ACT Advantage for the purpose of its use and review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.
Homeschoolers worry about “doing enough”, “doing too much”, “covering everything we need to”, “will my child test well when he has to as part of the college admissions process”, among other questions.
I’ve had those thoughts a number of times. So, when I received a copy of the Explore assessment from ACT Advantage, I was curious as to how my eighth grade son would perform.
I previously reviewed the ACT Discover online program as my son explored possible career choices; now we could try out another product offered to help prepare students for the future.
The Explore and Plan assessments, part of the Educational Planning and Assessment System, are designed to test students in four core subject areas, to help parents identify subject areas needing remediation, and to provide parents with suggested skills activities to promote progress in core subject areas. These tests can help you determine your course for ACT, high school, and college preparation.
The Explore assessment is targeted for the 8th and 9th grade; while the Plan is for 10th grade. Each assessment has four timed test sections:
- English – Usage/Mechanics and Rhetorical Skills (organization and style in writing)
Each test comes with a bubble answer sheet, simple directions for administration, an answer key, and directions to tally and interpret resulting scores. There is a helpful explanation as to how your child’s test results relate to percentiles and level of likely college -readiness.
What is especially helpful and significant about these assessments is a booklet, “College Readiness Standards”, that accompanies the test booklet. This booklet is broken up into the four core subject areas – each subject area is broken into brackets based on test scores. In these brackets are detailed descriptions of skills and learning strategies to promote further knowledge and progress in that subject area. So, if you want to know how to help your child acquire the knowledge indicated as needing remediation, this booklet serves as a map to follow to gain knowledge in more advanced levels.
The tests were all about 30 minutes each and my son found it simple to understand and complete. If we did not cover a concept in math yet, he skipped that problem on the test. (Since my son took this test the fall of 8th grade – we used the chart available for this time frame when interpreting the results. Other charts are available for interpreting test scores when taking the test in the spring of 8th grade and the fall of 9th grade.)
Each homeschool packet is $22.95.
Visit the TOS Homeschool Crew to read more reviews of the ACT Explore and Plan assessments.