Testing and Test Preparation

Tests that students take while at VHHS:

The Explore is the first exam in the ACT testing series. It is given to VHHS bound students in November of their 8th grade year. The Explore is an ACT-like test that gives students practice in preparation for the ACT during their junior year. It is also used by our Department Supervisors to recommend proper placement in 9th grade classes. It is scored on a 25 point scale. 

PLAN- (www.act.org/plan )

The Plan is the second exam in the ACT testing series. It is given to all VHHS sophomores in mid-October. The Plan is an ACT-like test that gives insight into potential ACT scores and career paths. It is scored on a 32 point scale. It is used by our school counselors to estimate your ACT score and aid in beginning your college search.

Practice ACT-

All Juniors will take a practice ACT exam during mid-October. This is a practice test, so it cannot be used for admission purposes, but it does serve as a great learning experience for our juniors who will be taking the real ACT exam in April. 

Prairie State Achievement Exams (PSAE)-

The PSAE is a two day exam given to all junior students in mid-April. During Day #1, all juniors will take a state of Illinois funded ACT exam with writing. This test, scored on a 36 point scale, can be used for college admission purposes and the NCAA Eligibility Center. The completion of this test is a state and VHHS high school graduation requirement.

During Day #2, our juniors will take a series of three tests. The first two exams are ACT sponsored Work Keys tests on reading for information and mathematics application. The third test is a state of Illinois developed science exam. These three test scores, combined with the Day #1 ACT exam, are used to calculate the individual student’s and the school’s yearly academic progress. 

National ACT Exams- (www.actstudent.org )

Those students wishing to take additional ACT tests must sign up for a national ACT exam day which are held six times throughout the year on a Saturday. To sign up for a national ACT exam you must sign up on line atwww.actstudent.org. If you do not have access to the internet, please come to the College Resource Center (CRC) to register online. 

Practice SAT (PSAT)- (www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/about.html )

The practice SAT test is available to LHS juniors in mid-October. The PSAT is not used for college admission purposes, but it is good practice for those students who will be taking the SAT. The PSAT is the qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholar program. National Merit Scholars are those test takers scoring in the top 0.5% nationally of all PSAT testers. 

National SAT- (sat.collegeboard.com/home )

This is the second of the two tests used for college admission purposes. Normally, only about 15% of students choose to take the SAT, mostly those seeking admittance to East Coast, West Coast or highly selective schools. As a rule of thumb, if a college recommends that you take SAT I's or SAT II's, then you should prepare to take both in addition to the ACT. 

Advanced Placement Exams (AP)- (www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/about.html )

These exams are taken by sophomores through seniors in early-May for AP courses offered through LHS. These exams are scored on a 1 through 5 scale and, depending upon an individual’s score, may be used to qualify for college credit. 


Test Preparation: ACT Online Prep, WorkKeys and KeyTrain

KeyTrain - Username is 'cougar+student ID' ex: 'cougar123456'
                   Password is 'VHHS+student ID' ex: 'vhhs123456'
ACT Online Prep - see Mrs. Stoiniski in the main office for 'ACT Online Prep' account information

What is ACT Online Prep?

The ACT is a national college admission examination that consists of subject area tests in English, Mathematics, Reading and Science.  The ACT Plus Writing includes the four subject area tests and a 30-minute writing test.  ACT results are accepted by virtually all U.S. colleges and universities.
The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete with breaks (or just over four hours if you are taking the Writing Test). Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes (plus 30 minutes if you are taking the Writing Test).
ACT Prep Online is an interactive website that allows students to practice each part of the ACT.  VHHS has secured an account for each VHHS student - Log in to ACT Online Prep 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere you have Internet access!

What is WorkKeys?

WorkKeys is a jobs skills assessment system measuring "real world" skills that employers believe are critical to job success.  These skills are valuable for any occupation - skilled or professional - an at any level of education.

All juniors in Illinois take the Prairie State Achievement Examination in the spring.  This is a two day assessment.  Day one is the ACT test and Day two is the WorkKeys test.

What is KeyTrain?

KeyTrain is an interactive software training tool designed to help train students in these basic workplace skills.  This Internet based software provides individual, self-paced lessons at any time.  It is the first interactive computer based training specifically designed for WorkKeys using ACT's Targets for Instruction.  It provides hundreds of interactive exercies with feedback and answers and it is the first ACT Level 1 provider of WorkKeys curriculum.

Research on the use of KeyTrain shows that with a few hours of training, students can increase their performance on the WorkKeys portion of the PSAE but also on the ACT test. 

Use ACT Online Prep and KeyTrain Now...

Vernon Hills High School students can use both KeyTrain and ACT Online Prep   You must have an account established by a school administrator or instructor to use either of these links.  Current students should see Mrs. Stoiniski in the main office for 'ACT Online Prep' account information.

 KeyTrain - Username is 'cougar+student ID' ex: 'cougar123456'
                   Password is 'VHHS+student ID' ex: 'vhhs123456'
ACT Online Prep - see Mrs. Stoiniski in the main office for 'ACT Online Prep' account information