The Importance of Testing

Published by Wendy Nelson on

Today’s post is a guest post from Joan Girkins.  Joan’s website,, focuses primarily on helping homeschooling parents prepare their children for college.  I love how she provides homeschool-focused guidance that isn’t readily available on most sites.  See below to learn about her exclusive DVD seminar.

Every parent is interested in obtaining the highest value scholarships for their children; did you know that some of the highest value scholarships are based upon test scores and high school GPA’s? In many cases these high value scholarships do not need a separate application but they are applied automatically once your student is accepted at the college or university.
So, here is a suggested testing plan for your high school student:

  1. 9th Grade: Take the PSAT; the score will not count however the test is only $14 so it is an inexpensive test to take; this test is only offered in the fall so be sure to go online and register early
  2. 10th Grade: Take the PSAT again
  3. 11th Grade: Fall: Take the PSAT again; the score will count this time and will be evaluated for a possible National Merit Scholarship
  4. 11th Grade: Spring: Around February, take the SAT test; take the ACT test shortly after taking the SAT

What is a “good” test score? Every college is different however, the following are some typical test scores required for the highest academic scholarships:

  • A composite SAT score of at least 1860 or a combined Math and Critical Reading score of 1300
  • An ACT score of at least 28-30
  • Minimum High school GPA of 3.75-3.8

So, if your child follows the schedule listed above and achieves the scores needed to obtain the academic scholarship, then there is no reason for them to take the test again. However, if your student did not achieve the desired score there is still time for them to register for the next SAT or ACT test. Check the college or university website that your child wants to attend and type “Scholarships” into the sites’ search engine; sometimes the information is also listed under the “Financial Aid” tab of the website.

I have created a DVD titled “Preparing Your Children for College Seminar.” This seminar will present unique strategies to help parents prepare their children for college. A variety of topics will be covered, such as:

  • NEW! Common Core & Standardized Testing
  • How to develop a 4 year High School Plan
  • Record Keeping~How to create Lesson Plans, Report Cards, Transcripts, etc.
  • Should my child take Dual Credit, CLEP or AP Courses?
  • Why Community College? Why not?
  • Online Classes vs. Classroom Courses
  • Scholarships~How do you find them?
  • And much more!

For more information, please visit my website at: and click on “Store” to order!

My husband and I have been homeschooling for over 19 years. We have 4 children, 3 of whom are enrolled in college; our last child will graduate this year. In the course of planning for our children to attend college, we have learned much. My desire is to pass along to other homeschooling parents the information that we have learned so that you can prepare your children for college.  ~Joan Girkins

Joan Girkins