Why Each of My Kids Will Take the ACT

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My oldest child recently took the ACT. She really should have taken it last year, but for a variety of reasons, we waited until last month. Despite our delay, taking the ACT is something I will have each of my kids do, regardless of whether or not they intend to go on to college. Why take the ACT?

photo credit alberto g on flickr

The ACT will back up their homeschool diplomas.

I plan to issue each of my children a homeschool diploma. Because of the negative stereotype that often surrounds the GED, we have determined that our children will be issued a diploma, rather than take the GED.

(Just so you know, I don’t personally have an issue with the GED, but it’s been our experience that many potential employers view it negatively – as an option taken by kids who did not complete high school.)

I know that there is the strong possibility that potential employers or college admissions officers will have the opinion that “mommy grades” might be more lenient than those of a traditional brick-and-mortar school. While they might question my grades, however, no one can argue with standardized test scores.

Whatever my kids choose to do after graduation, I want them to have proof (despite what my opinion may or may not be regarding the true worth of standardized testing) that they received an education comparable to graduates of traditional school settings.

The ACT is reasonably priced and easy to schedule.

If the student takes the ACT with the writing option, it’s just over $55. If they chose the option without writing, it’s just over $35. There are testing centers all over the country. We were fortunate that our local high school was one of the testing centers. It’s less than 15 minutes from our house.

A student simply registers on the ACT site. From that point, all instructions are emailed to the student and he or she just shows up at the testing site on test day. You don’t have to call and register anything with the school where your student will be taking the test.

Additionally, there are multiple testing dates throughout the year – in September, October, December, February, April, and June. The registration deadline is usually about a month prior to the testing date.

The ACT meets our state’s standardized testing requirement.

Our home state, Georgia, requires standardized testing every three year, starting in 3rd grade. The ACT meets testing requirements for senior year and serves the purpose, as I mentioned, of backing up our homeschool grades, diploma, and transcript. Win-win.

What do you think? Do you see the benefits of the ACT, regardless of a student’s plans after graduation?


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  1. I feel exactly the same way you do. I don’t have a problem with the GED, but I will also issue diplomas because of the negative stigma a GED holds. And, mine will each take the ACT or SAT in case they choose to attend college.

  2. I think every student should take the ACT. Even if s/he doesn’t plan to go to college NOW, s/he might decide later. And chances are s/he’ll score much better on the ACT while the math, especially, is still fresh! It’s amazing how quickly those formulas fade away!

  3. My kids are still in elementary school(5th, 4th and 1st) so I am not sure if they will take the ACT or other standardized test. I am not even sure if they are going to college. Our state(Idaho) does not require testing. But it is good to see the available options.

  4. My daughter who is in 12th grade is taking the ACT in December. Like you I feel it will back her up in the future even though she is planning to attend community college for 2 years and see where she goes from there. I also have 2 sons that are in the 7th and 8th grades, that when they are seniors they will take the ACT.

  5. We are going the CLEP route. They are guaranteed college credits for the schools my teen is considering. They will do the SAT also, but I believe finding out if the ACT vs CLEP will gain you more. After my kid finishes her core subjects (like English Composition, English Lit, American Lit) she’ll take 3 weeks to study for the CLEP Analyzing Lit, English Composition test. After she finishes Alg 1 and Geometry, she’ll study for 3 weeks then take the College Mathematics CLEP. They hold the college credits until she is ready to transfer them to a college. It’s a great tool. A great site to visit to find CLEP lesson plans modeled for homeschoolers is https://clepprep.tripod.com/cleplessonplans/

  6. My oldest took the ACT since he wanted to go to college. It was the first test ever he had ever taken–not even a spelling test in all that time here at home. He did fine.

    Our second also intends on going to college, so he’ll take it later this school year.

    But–our now-8-yo daughter will probably not be taking it. For one thing, there are learning disabilities with this child. For another thing, if the Common Core garbage keeps up through her school years, then the ACT will follow suit and it will not measure anything she’s learned.

  7. We are in GA too. My twins did their first required testing last year (3rd gr). They did the Stanford. I also had my 1st grader take it too b/c he tends to freak out with new situations, so I wanted to ease him into it (my girls did the CRCT when they were in public school 1st grade). That said, they all did really well. 🙂 We even did practice tests at home to get him into the groove of multiple choice.
    At this point I am planing on them taking the ACT/SAT when they are in high school. Did you test every year, or just the every 3?

  8. My oldest is 8th grade. I’ve been wondering about testing? Why the ACT vs. SAT? Would love some more info. Thanks!

    1. Because the ACT was cheaper with an abundance of testing dates, easier to schedule, and all my daughter needs for the colleges she’s considering.

  9. I had my daughter take both the SAT and the ACT because some kids do better on one that the other. Mine did better on her SAT- however she did retake the ACT and raised her score by 3 points. I highly recommend if they plan on going to university that they take it a couple of times. My daughter didn’t study or anything but being more familiar with the setting helped her to raise that score up. And it paid off in Scholarships. 🙂

    1. I agree. We’re already planning for taking the ACT again. I had a friend tell me that she took it three times and her scored improved each time. She was also telling me that colleges will take your highest score. Knowing that should help to take the pressure off for many kids taking the test subsequent times.

      That’s a good suggestion for taking both tests. Many people have asked me, “Why the ACT?” Really, for us, it was simply a matter of the ACT being easier to schedule, rather than a preference for either test. This post could have just as easily been titled, “Why Each of My Kids Will Take a College Entrance Test.”

  10. Is there any reason why your child shouldn’t take the ACT and use CLEP for certain subjects? My oldest is take a standardized test in the spring through our co-op to get used to testing. Then we plan on taking the ACT in May or June and then taking it again the following year. He’ll take it the final time his senior year. I’ve heard this suggested so that their best score is used when applying to colleges. any opinions?

    1. I’ve had several people suggest having kids take the ACT more than once. My daughter is planning on taking it at least one more time. I’ve heard, but haven’t checked to see if it’s fact, that only the highest score is what’s accepted, so that takes a lot of the pressure off for many kids.

  11. My kids are still young, but I plan to avoid the GED also. I think that many people don’t realize that the GED isn’t the equivalent of a high school diploma – it only certifies a 10th grade education. The negative stigma isn’t merely one of perception and opinion; the GED is actually “less” than a diploma.

  12. Most Libraries have the study guides for the ACT, SAT , CLEP, and the Military ASFAB. If your library does not have it you can order it at Amazon.com.

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