As students complete their Guideways on I Have A Plan Iowa®, they take several assessments focusing on interests, skills, abilities, and values. Assessments help students start to learn more about themselves. Self-reflection is an important component of career planning.
Basic skills provide the foundation for acquiring new knowledge and skills.
The Basic Skills Survey is part of the 9th grade guideway, but can be taken at any time. Click the “Career Planning” tab, then “Learn About Yourself” to access the assessment.
- The Basic Skills Survey is a non-standardized self-assessment which assesses skills in 10 core areas, and then matches them to career options
- Since this is a self-assessment, results are based on perceptions. This tool does not measure skills
- This assessment is written at an 8th grade reading level and can be administered in various formats (individual, group)
- When taking the assessment, students are asked a series of questions related to 10 core skill areas. Students place a checkmark next to skills they think they can do. The skills are listed in advancing levels of achievement
- The survey is based on the skills reported by the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) used in O*NET to help describe occupations
- This assessment generally takes 10-15 minutes to complete
NOTE: Sometimes, students believe they are to check every box on each page, which results in self-assessing skills at a much higher level than is true. Giving clear instructions when administering this assessment helps to avoid this.
Once the assessment is complete, students see a bar graph which ranks their level on each of the 10 skills. They can view a description of each skill below, and compare their skills to careers.
The chart below correlates the skill level to the appropraite grade and can assist you when interpreting students’ results:
Level 1: 3rd grade level
Level 2: 6th grade level
Level 3: 9th grade level
Level 4: 12th grade and entry-level worker
Level 5: College and professional level
Level 6: Graduate school and high-achieving professional
Level 7: Highest level of professional achievement
Follow Up Activities:
Follow up activities assist students in interpreting their results to enrich the students’ experience when completing assessments.
Compare results to other skills assessments and Journal
Comparing results of the basic skills survey to grades in coursework and other assessments can help give students a richer understanding of their current skill level. Students can document results and test scores received on several assessments (PSAT, SAT, EXPLORE, PLAN, ACT, WorkKeys, AP Exams, TOEFL, and GRE) in their I Have A Plan Iowa (r) portfolio.
Students can document test scores in their portfolio by clicking “My Portfolio,” “College Planning,” then “Test Scores.”
Ask students if they notice themes among coursework and test scores. What are their academic strengths? What classes do they find most interesting? What types of projects do they like to work on? What subjects do their friends ask them for help with? What more do they need to learn to maximize their strengths/what do they already do well? Journaling reflections to questions like these can help students identify themes and academic strengths to focus on.
Perform a Gap Analysis
The Basic Skills Survey Results identifies how students perceive themselves in 10 skill areas. Ask students to search for a career of interest on I Have A Plan Iowa®, and review the career profile. Compare and contrast current skills and those needed for their career of choice.
It can be easy for us to notice the things we are not so good at. Help direct students’ focus to what they are already doing well. While gaps will be present in their current abilities, and what they need for their career of choice, a focus on maximizing skills they already posses will pay off much more than spending the majority of your time on deficits.
Students can find skills needed for a particular career in a career profile by clicking the “Skills You Need” tab.