During the 10th grade year, students still take mostly required classes. Since they will have had a year to adjust to the high school, expectations for student performance increase. It is crucial that students take greater responsibility for keeping track of homework assignments, preparing for tests, and asking for help when needed.
Students in their 10th grade year will take the ACT Plan. The ACT Plan is currently sponsored by the Ingham Intermediate School District, so it is offered at Okemos High School at no cost to the student. The ACT Plan is an achievement test, so it seeks to measure how well a student knows material they should have learned by the 10th grade year. Results from the ACT Plan are compared to national norms for 10th graders, and are reported in a raw score and a percentile score format. Additionally, ACT prepares specific suggestions for how each student may improve his or her score, based on the incorrect responses from that student's answer sheet. This test includes a student interest survey that can help to clarify career options. The ACT Plan is administered sometime in the fall, and results are distributed in late winter. Scores from the ACT Plan may be used to qualify students for Dual Enrollment. Now that the ACT is part of the Michigan Merit Exam, the ACT Plan becomes an even more important opportunity to practice test taking skills.
Sophomores may also sign up to take the PSAT. The PSAT is the practice test for the SAT. This test is based on national norms for 11th graders, and serves as the qualifying test for the National Merit Competition. Scores for 10th grade students are not considered for the National Merit Competition, but some 10th graders choose to take the PSAT for extra practice.
Also during the 10th grade year, students will be invited to visit the Capital Area Career Center. The CACC offers a wide variety of educational and training programs for students to attend during their 11th and 12th grade years. These options are presented sometime during the 2nd semester, before students register for 11th grade classes in the spring.
Registering for 11th grade classes is a very important process for 10th grade students. The 11th grade schedule requires students and parents to make more choices within each subject area. Some students may have completed specific graduation requirements by the end of the 10th grade year. Even so, students should still consider taking additional courses within those subjects to be prepared for post-secondary education.