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ACT & Compass test at age twelve or thirteen?


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#1 mliss

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Posted Yesterday, 11:39 PM

Or university classes without testing?

 

Here is the back story.  

Last year DD (11 1/2) started taking one art class per semester at the community college and, after a bit of a rocky start due to lack of organizational skills and unfamiliarity with non-homeschooling education, suddenly everything clicked and she is doing tremendously well.  The community college has a very good art department (a greater variety of offerings than some universities I’ve looked at) and now that DD has proved she can keep up with the classes she is free to take almost any class she’s interested in.

 

DS (9 1/2) will start his first class at the community college in a month, 3D Graphics and Design, and we’re looking at Introduction to Programming in the spring.  The community college does not have a great variety of offerings in computer and technology classes and at the rate DS is going in math and computer programming there might not be anything interesting for him by the time he’s twelve or thirteen.  (Just typing that makes me panic.)

 

So here’s the problem: I feel like we need to relocate (my dad was in a car accident last year, cognitively he hasn’t fully recovered and I feel like I should be closer to home) and the city I’m considering only has a university, not a community college, so both children would have to take both the Compass and ACT in order to be accepted.  I explained this to DD and she told me that if we move she wants to take “that test” as soon as possible so she can take art classes.  She “likes being with people that are likeminded and think about art a lot” and I believe she would feel a significant void if her art classes were taken away from her.  DS is fine for now with his online classes (YouthDigital, QuickStudyLabs electronics and Fun Programming) but I don’t know how long I can keep him challenged without outside help.

 

But if we move I just don’t know what to do about the ACT!  Both children excel in their areas of interest and are working at or ahead of grade level in some subjects (DD in reading comprehension and grammar and DS in math) but neither are ready for the ACT.  Could I teach to the test for a year or two and get them to narrowly pass just so they can take their classes of interest?  I’m not interested in having them pursue full time college or degree seeking, but just getting the two of them into the educational opportunities they crave.  Is there even the remote chance anyone would let a couple of kids take one class a semester without taking the ACT?

 

I’m totally stressed out about this.  For years it’s been an uphill battle trying to find resources for my children, now we’re doing well at the community college and I would get this overwhelming feeling we need to move next year   :confused1: Even my DH isn’t sure I haven’t lost it. 

 

 

 



#2 Mike in SA

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Posted Today, 05:37 AM

I believe teaching to any test is a mistake.  Better off teaching the material in depth, as a regular course.  Take a practice ACT if you want, just to see where their deficiencies lie, but teach the material properly.

 

If there is a class at the college that you really want to take, speak with the professor about auditing.  Many will be happy to take on a young auditor, provided they are ready for the course content.  The cost is usually lower, and you normally don't have to be a fully admitted student.



#3 Dana

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Posted Today, 08:11 AM

You could also ask instructors at the cc to be references to the university.

#4 tcb

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Posted Today, 08:44 AM

I think you may be surprised about how well they will do on the ACT. My dd took it at age 12 and received a sufficiently high score that she would have qualified for the state uni nearby. Of course, she hasn't done all the required courses, so wouldn't be able to start college, but I think they would consider her for a course because of her score. I would try it now, at least for your dd. She can take it again if necessary, once she has a feel for it after doing the first one. I did not prepare my dd in any way for the test, other than showing her how to use a basic calculator and telling her there would be things on the test she had never seen before and not to panic.



#5 mliss

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Posted Today, 09:35 AM

I believe teaching to any test is a mistake.  Better off teaching the material in depth, as a regular course.  Take a practice ACT if you want, just to see where their deficiencies lie, but teach the material properly.

 

If there is a class at the college that you really want to take, speak with the professor about auditing.  Many will be happy to take on a young auditor, provided they are ready for the course content.  The cost is usually lower, and you normally don't have to be a fully admitted student.

 

If I taught to the test, and then DD passed, I would still continue teaching the material in depth and then have her retake the ACT when she is older.

But do you think the university would really let DD and DS audit a course without taking the ACT?  If so, that would be great.  I will ask the university admissions department when we go up in a few weeks.  

 

 

 

You could also ask instructors at the cc to be references to the university.

 

I'm certain I could find instructors to be references.  Great idea.

 

 

 

 

I think you may be surprised about how well they will do on the ACT. My dd took it at age 12 and received a sufficiently high score that she would have qualified for the state uni nearby. Of course, she hasn't done all the required courses, so wouldn't be able to start college, but I think they would consider her for a course because of her score. I would try it now, at least for your dd. She can take it again if necessary, once she has a feel for it after doing the first one. I did not prepare my dd in any way for the test, other than showing her how to use a basic calculator and telling her there would be things on the test she had never seen before and not to panic.

 

Thanks.  I'm feeling inspired, and not so crazy about possibly attempting this.  

A few weeks ago I printed some of the Compass reading comprehension and grammar questions and DD thought they were easy to answer - it's math she needs to work on (not that she would mind now that I finally found a math curriculum she enjoys).  I have the Real ACT Prep Guide in my Amazon wish list and I think I'll purchase it, have DD go through a practice test and see how she does.  However, if any one else has any additional advice or experience with a similar situation it would be greatly appreciated.

 


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#6 dmmetler

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Posted Today, 09:39 AM

My DD hasn't taken the real ACT yet, but I had her do a practice one, with each section limited to 30 minutes, as practice for the EXPLORE, and she scored well enough that, had it been a real test, she would have placed into college level math and English at the local state U at age 8. She audited her first college course at age 8, but hasn't taken any for credit yet.
Getting her in to audit was simply a matter of having a professor who would go to bat for her. The college she's auditing at has a "lifelong learners program" designed for senior citizens, and her professor made a case that it also should apply to a very young student, so she is able to audit classes with professor approval on a space-available basis for next to nothing (so far, she's only done them via distance learning, because it's about 8 hours from our home).


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