by contributing writer Tabitha.
One of the most rewarding experiences of homeschooling a high schooler is college preparation. This includes the college entrance tests like the ACT and the SAT. It also includes Mom freaking out in private moments, realizing we don’t have that much longer with our oldest at home!
Here are some things that I am learning about test preparation.
How to Prepare for the SAT and ACT
The PSAT is a great learning experience, but is only offered once a year. Sign your high schooler up for it during their Junior year or earlier for more practice.
Look at the testing dates for tests your high school student needs to take. Many students take the test twice, once during their Junior year and once their Senior year to get a better score.
Consider colleges your son/daughter is interested in. What tests do they require/look at?
Have ID. Many homeschooling students do not have an official government ID until they get their drivers license. For some of our testing experiences, we needed to get our son an official ID card… which for our state was upgraded to a drivers permit, which will then become his drivers license.
Once you have your dates in mind, have your student take a practice test if they haven’t already. (Hopefully some of the initiative is coming from them and not you by this point in their learning careers.) This will help you know what areas may need work.
There is a lot of help out there for College Test preparation. Whether your child is gifted at testing or has HUGE test anxiety a little extra help is usually a good idea. Just don’t plan study sessions for the week of the test. Most of these tests are measuring skills, not recollection of names, dates, or facts.
When preparing our son for taking these tests, here are some of the resources I found.
- Test Preparation Books – We found all the latest test prep books, even those sold by the test publishers, at our local library. You could also buy the books.
- Library Courses – Our library has free online study courses with video lectures as well as tutors ready to help guide students getting ready for the ACT or SAT.
- Online Courses – There are many out there. We are using Educator which has many different courses for one fee, but you can also look on reputable homeschooling sites to find links for good preparation courses.
- Community Colleges and Universities – Colleges and universities often have preparation courses as well. We are signed up for an ACT preparation one day course offered by one of the local colleges here in Kansas City. This particular one is free, but there are many different kinds of offerings available.
- Test Publisher – Both the ACT and SAT have websites available, both to sign up for the test but also with ways to prepare. They sell books, have free practice, email daily test questions, and provide links to different ways to prepare. They want our students to succeed, too!
While this is the beginning of the end, we’re excited to see where the next phase of life takes us, and are hoping that all our efforts in this homeschooling parent/child partnership have prepared our son for a great future. Getting ready for the ACT/SAT tests is just one part of the journey.