Consider having your ninth and tenth grade students take a standardized test in a formal setting with students she doesn’t know, proctored by an adult other than yourself, that is timed and has bubble sheets to fill out. Your student will need to get familiar and comfortable with this setting because the setting is similar for the test required for PSEO admissions at most colleges and the college placement tests (ACT and SAT). These tests are
If your student scores extraordinarily high, then have her take the PSAT in tenth grade as practice for taking it in eleventh grade for the potential of becoming a National Merit Scholar.
ACT has changed their EXPLORE and PLAN tests to the Pre-ACT which is geared toward 10th graders and contains an education and career planning component like the PLAN test did. You can sign up to take these tests at South Heights Christian Classes.
But my student doesn’t test well
If your student has high test anxiety, be sure to talk her through the testing process, have her try some practice questions online, and help her understand that there will be questions for which she doesn’t know the answer. The reason they have to ask questions that are “taller” than her knowledge is similar to the idea that in order to measure how tall she is, you need to use a tape measure that is taller than she is. The test will be “taller” than her knowledge so it can more accurately measure. Also, be sure she understands the ramifications of the test results; i.e., in eighth and ninth grades, it doesn’t matter.
How to Prepare
ACT offers training and practice tests for the Pre-ACT for a price. However, I would suggest practicing by using old PLAN tests since the tests are essentially the same. Khan Academy has a free prep course for the PSAT.
Help pave the road to success for your student, even if you do not fully know where that road might lead them at this point.