TruSpark High School Career Assessment Review

Homeschool parents know that motivation is so important for homeschooling. It is often the difference between a fun and enjoyable homeschool experience and a frustrating one- for parents and students. That’s why I was so excited to discover TruSpark! The TruSpark Middle and High School career assessment goes beyond testing talents or aptitude and provides a glimpse into a student’s core motivations. This information is so helpful for both students and parents. Here’s what you need to know about TruSpark.

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I received compensation and access to the TruSpark assessment and curriculum in exchange for my honest review, but all the opinions in this post are my own.

What is a Career Assessment?

A career assessment is a quiz that helps middle and high school students find career options that would be a good fit for them. Career tests often take into account a student’s interests and personality type to suggest different careers that the student might enjoy. There are several different types of career assessments:

Aptitude test: An aptitude test analyzes a student’s abilities in different areas. It matches students with potential careers based on their strengths and weaknesses as well as their personality traits. Examples: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Enneagram Test, Keirsey Temperament Sorter

Interests test: An interests test helps students choose a potential career path based on their interests. Examples: Strong Interest Inventory

Core Motivations Assessment: A core motivations assessment helps students understand the inner drives that motivate them to make the choices that they do. This information is critical to help students understand themselves and choose a successful career.

What is TruSpark?

TruSpark is a Core Motivations assessment and curriculum for students in middle and high school. TruSpark uses students’ own life experiences to help them understand what motivates them. Then, it applies this information to recommend career choices that might be a good fit for the student’s motivations.

Student pointing to a computer screen with the TruSpark high school career assessment

The TruSpark Curriculum

The first step after creating your TruSpark account should be to check out the TruSpark curriculum. The curriculum comes in the form of a Google slides slideshow, which includes 3 levels. Students should complete Level 1, Core Motivations, before taking the TruSpark assessment. Levels 2 and 3, Career Exploration and Live Out Your Purpose, are designed to be completed after the assessment.

The Curriculum Helps Students Understand Themselves

As a former middle and high school teacher, I love the TruSpark curriculum. So many of the students in my classroom struggled to figure out what they wanted to do after high school. Because they didn’t have direction for their education, they struggled to stay motivated as well.

The TruSpark curriculum is exactly what they needed! It goes beyond standard career information and helps kids understand themselves better. This kind of information is so valuable to students as they plan their future.

The Curriculum is Easy to Use

I was excited to try out the TruSpark curriculum at home with my son. He really enjoyed working through the lessons, and was sad when we had to stop. He loved the slides because they were engaging and colorful. And he never got confused because there were so many examples that helped him understand the concepts.

I really appreciated how new vocabulary words were defined right on the slides, and how discussion questions were included as well. The slides were easy to navigate, and my son was able to complete this curriculum independently with no problems.

The curriculum also comes with a printable student workbook. This is perfect for busy homeschool families to print and use.

TruSpark Assessment

After completing the first section of the curriculum, it was time for my son to take the TruSpark Core Motivations assessment.

During the assessment, he was asked to reflect on two different times in his life when he did something well and felt great about it. Then, he answered a series of questions about each of those experiences to help him understand what his motivations were. The whole test took about 20 minutes to complete.

Although the assessment is designed to be easy to use so that kids can take it independently, I would strongly recommend sitting with your child while they take the assessment. This is because seeing their answers is a great way to understand your child better.

I really enjoyed watching my son take the assessment. It was insightful to me to hear his answers and we had a great conversation about what makes him special and unique as a person. This was a great opportunity for me to be able to encourage him and a powerful bonding experience for us.

How Accurate is it?

The TruSpark assessment is different from other career assessment tests or personality assessments because it focuses on motivation. This is important because our motivations are a part of our personality that does not change throughout our lives as our interests do.

This means that the TruSpark assessment should be more consistent over time than other assessments are.

Core Motivations

TruSpark is unique in that it is based on core motivations. These go much deeper than interests, strengths, or even personality. TruSpark has identified 19 core motivations that students can have.

Check out this list of the 19 motivational themes to see which ones seem like they may fit with your child.

At the end of the assessment, your student will receive a list of their top 3 motivations.

Applying Core Motivations in Homeschool

I was not surprised at all to learn that my son is a builder. He loves to put things together, and to follow directions step by step to complete a project.

I was surprised, however, to discover that he is also an overcomer. This means that he takes pride in meeting a challenge. When I think about his achievements, this makes sense. He loves to compete and is always motivated by races.

We’ve already been using this knowledge in our homeschool to help him stay motivated. This morning I challenged him to finish an assignment before I finished folding the laundry. Even though he beat me, I still feel like I won- because he got the assignment done, without frustration or nagging! This is the power of his Core Motivations at work!

discover your core motivations with TruSpark- so much more than a personality test!

Career Exploration

After completing the assessment, students receive a report showcasing their top three motivations. The report also includes a list of related occupations for students to consider as they are working on career planning. These careers include links to O*Net OnLine where students can research the careers more fully, learning additional information about the work environment, education and basic skills required, projected job outlook, and more.

This would be a great starting point for a follow-up assignment researching different careers from the assessment. Students could compare different careers to choose the best matches for their interests and career goals.

In addition, students should complete levels 2 and 3 of the curriculum after completing the assessment.

Student completing the TruSpark high school career assessment

Benefits of TruSpark for Homeschoolers

TruSpark is Research Based

As a former middle and high school teacher, I love that the TruSpark motivational assessment is based on 60 years of research with the System for Identifying Motivated Abilities (SIMA) assessment. The team of psychologists and researchers at TruSpark modified it to fit students in middle and high school.

This makes TruSpark a useful tool for students to understand their motivations and core values, and how these can help them make career decisions.

Check out this post to learn more about the the research model that TruSpark is based on.

TruSpark shows motivations, not just interests

Many career aptitude tests are based on interest assessments, which are likely to change as kids get older and their interests change. Even personality tests can be inaccurate, with people getting different results each time they take the test.

The TruSpark assessment is focused on motivations instead, and these are more stable throughout a person’s lifetime. This means that the test results will be a more reliable indicator of the right career for a student.

The assessment is story based

I love that the TruSpark assessment, and the TruSpark curriculum, are based on a student’s life experiences. This allows students to make personal connections with the information they are learning, and to personalize the assessment for their unique personality.

It was so much fun to watch my son write his personal stories for the TruSpark assessment. I got a glimpse into his personality and passions in a unique way as we worked through the assessment and curriculum together.

The curriculum helps kids plan ahead

One of the reasons why my family is homeschooling is because homeschooling gives my kids time to pursue their interests in greater depth. And the TruSpark Core Motivations curriculum encourages them to do just that. The career exploration module helps kids use the information they learned about themselves from the assessment to choose a career path.

Kids can take the time to understand what educational programs they will need to complete to pursue their career choice. This is a great way for kids to make plans about college majors, as well as classes they will need to take as a high schooler.

TruSpark gives kids purpose

One of my favorite things about TruSpark is that it helps kids see a long-term purpose for why they are learning in school. Some kids struggle to see the point of learning until they can understand how what they are learning ties in with their career interests. TruSpark will help them make that connection in a way that will help them stay motivated to learn.

The curriculum helps kids focus on their strengths

I love the way the TruSpark curriculum helps kids think about what they are good at. As my son was working through the slides in the curriculum, we were able to have a great discussion about the qualities that make him unique. This gave him a better understanding of what he needs to do to be successful.

Check out a sample lesson from the TruSpark curriculum here.

Learn the 3 sparks that light their fire- understanding their core motivations make you a better homeschool parent.

TruSpark gives helpful information for teachers

As my son’s teacher, I am so excited to use the information we learned in his lessons. I always knew that my son is very curious, so it was no surprise to me that “The Explorer” was one of his motivations. I will be looking to include even more opportunities for him to explore things that he is interested in as a part of his school day.

TruSpark improves parent-child relationships

I enjoyed the process of completing the TruSpark assessment and curriculum with my son. It was fun to watch his self-confidence grow as he focused on the strengths that make him unique. It was interesting to see the list of careers that TruSpark generated for him, and I could see him being successful at many of the things that were suggested.

But, my favorite part of TruSpark is the insight I gleaned about what makes my son unique. I feel like I understand him better after working through the assessment together, and this information is helpful as we relate to each other.

Student completing the TruSpark high school career assessment

Try TruSpark for Yourself

I would recommend the TruSpark assessment and curriculum to any parent who wants to learn more about what motivates their child. This information is so valuable to homeschool parents! The curriculum and assessment are a great next step for parents of middle and high school students who are looking for insight into specific careers that might be a good fit for their student.

Learn more about TruSpark and get the TruSpark assessment and curriculum for your student here.

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