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Dakota STEP (State Achievement Test)
Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 11
are required to test during the following testing window: April 1 - 19, 2013. This test is required by and paid for by the state of South Dakota and is designed to test the state content standards.  Results are made available in the summer and will be mailed to parents along with the Parentsí Guide to the Dakota STEP within the first month of school. More information is available on the SD Dept. of Ed. website at http://doe.sd.gov/oats/dakSTEP.asp


EXPLORE Test - 8th Gr.
A baseline assessment that provides early indicators of college readiness and helps to plan for high school courses.  Administered late in the spring semester to all 8th grade students.  I-W School pays for this optional test.

 PLAN Test - 10th Grade
This is a test for 10th graders which is designed to be a practice test for the actual A.C.T. college admissions test. Tests include English, math, reading, and science reasoning, as well as an interest inventory and questions about the students' future plans, needs and goals. The test must be administered within a testing window in the fall months. Results will be mailed back and interpreted to the students in approx. 4 weeks.  I-W School pays for this optional test.


Write to Learn (State Writing Assessment)
For all 5th, 7th & 10th grade students in South Dakota. New online tests; students must submit 2 writing samples during the school year.  Currently, there are no class or school reports - but focus on the "ongoing" writing process. More info.: http://doe.sd.gov/oats/writetolearn.asp

10th Grade Career Assessment - SDMyLife

Consists of an interest inventory, an inventory of work-relevant abilities, and academic tests that are taken on-line in the fall.  The results are available immediately to the students. This is also part of the state testing program. 


Testing Resources

ACT Test Prep

SAT Prep Center

Most Important SAT Words



A.C.T. - Juniors & Seniors (College Admission
The A.C.T. is required for admission to most colleges (not vocational/technical schools) in the Midwest. The basic fee is $35. Students can register on-line and get test taking tips from the A.C.T. website: www.actstudent.org. The fee nearly doubles for late registrations. There are fee waivers available for low income students, but they can only be used twice. The test is administered locally at U.S.D., Mt. Marty College, and Vermillion H.S., six times a year. Juniors may take the test as early as the April test date; Mt. Marty offers a ACT Review class prior to this date. Our juniors take a practice test in the winter and are introduced to the free ACT review program within SDMyLife and the state library website. A.C.T. practice tests are also provided from the test publisher, at no cost. A student may retest as often as they wish.

A.S.V.A.B. (Armed Services Voc. Aptitude Battery) - 11th Grade
Administered to juniors during the fall each year (at no cost). The A.S.V.A.B. is a multi-aptitude test battery that is designed to measure several job aptitudes that can be measured against other students' at that grade level. When the results are received, the students also complete the ASVAB Careers Workbook with an interest inventory. No cost for this test. Minimum AFQT scores are needed for all branches of the military.


P.S.A.T. - 11th Grade
The PSAT/NMSQT gives students firsthand practice for the SAT 1: Reasoning Test and SAT11: Writing Test. The SAT tests are commonly required for college admission on the east and west coast. It also gives students a chance to enter the competition for the National Merit Scholarship Competition. The PSAT will be administered the 3rd Wed. in Oct. and the test fee is $14.00. Fee waivers are available.


CLEP - College Level Exam Program
CLEP exams are administered at 1,300 colleges and universities nationwide, and almost 3,000 institutions award college credit to those students who perform well. The student does not need to pay for the class, nor buy texts or attend the class. There are 33 different exams.  Cost is $80 w. a test admin. fee of $15 - $20, compared to a current cost of $722 for a 3 credit class at USD. Exams are on the computer and scores are available right away.  Students usually can test USD or Mt. Marty College and have the scores sent electronically to their college or university. It is important to make sure you are taking the correct exam and that your college or university will accept CLEP for it.  More info. at CollegeBoard.com.









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