Group of educators with students discussing finances

Test Drive® Reality Fair

Give your students a chance to test drive their futures by using one of our highly interactive reality simulation programs.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about Test Drive® Programs at testdrive@rcu.org

Test Drive® gives high school students a real-life simulation of money and finances and lets them test drive their future to see what it takes to make it on their own as a 25-year-old. During the simulation, students choose their education level and career, are randomly assigned a family status, and calculate their net monthly salary. They are then tasked with managing their budget by paying for various expenses the average adult is faced with each month. They have to make decisions within each expense category, with the goal of making it through the month without running out of money. Through their participation, students gain a better understanding of what it takes to make it on their own and prepare for their future.

Which version of Test Drive best fits your needs?

  • Want to host an in-person reality fair for 150+ students? Test Drive…Next Stop Reality
  • Want to teach it virtually, either synchronously or asynchronously? Test Drive Digital
  • Want a condensed version that incorporates mobile devices and can be experienced as an event for 50-150 students? Test Drive Mobile
  • Want it taught by one of our financial educators as an interactive presentation in your classroom? Test Drive Express

Royal is proud to offers all versions of Test Drive® completely free of charge!

 

Test Drive®…Next Stop Reality is a day-long, in-person event meant for groups of at least 150 students or more. The event occurs in a large space, such as a gymnasium, and utilizes over 80 community volunteers to run successfully. Each wave of students spends approximately two hours visiting 22 different stations and making their purchase decisions.

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Preparing For Test Drive

The Test Drive®… Next Stop Reality classroom curriculum allows students to choose a career and research the required education for that job. They then calculate the average monthly starting salary for that career and their expected student loan debt. Lastly, the students are randomly assigned a family status. They will use this information to make their purchase decisions on the day of the event.

Running the Simulation

During the hands-on simulation, students visit a variety of stations to make key life decisions and manage a monthly budget. Students are required to live within their selected career’s monthly salary while paying for things like student loans, insurance, housing, and groceries, as well as accounting for additional expenses like entertainment, pets, and life’s surprises!

Impacts & Education

The event is staffed by Royal team members and community volunteers who offer advice and help guide the students, but participants ultimately make their own purchase decisions. Many students find out that making it on their own isn’t easy, and learn that the choices they make today will have a lasting impact on their future. Students’ knowledge of basic financial terms and concepts are assessed before and after the program to measure both knowledge and attitudinal gains. 

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Contact us if you would like to learn more about Test Drive®... Next Stop Reality at testdrive@rcu.org

 

 

Test Drive Digital® gives students the reality fair experience through virtual programming. Schools that are unable to host an in-person event or that are located outside of the communities that we serve can still offer a reality fair program to their students through incorporating Test Drive Digital into their curriculum. There is no minimum or maximum required number of students to be able to participate in this version of Test Drive®.

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Preparing for Test Drive Digital®

Test Drive Digital® can be delivered either synchronously or asynchronously using Google Classroom, Xello, Canvas, or other avenues. Once we have determined the platform you will be using, Royal team members set each teacher up with their own unique classroom and necessary links.

Running the Simulation

Students begin with a pretest and a brief instructional video that explains how to navigate the virtual classroom. They get to choose their level of education and career, but they are randomly assigned their marital and family status, as well as their credit score. Using the Income and Transaction Log, students calculate their net monthly salary and track their expenses.

There are 11 short video lessons and a few surprises along the way, helping students learn that life is anything but predictable. The lessons covered are:

  • Savings and Student Loans
  • Health Insurance
  • Credit
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Childcare
  • Household and Grocery
  • Clothing
  • Connections
  • Leisure and Entertainment
  • Charitable Giving

Once the students have finished the lessons and turned in their Income and Transaction Log to their teacher, they finish the simulation with a posttest.

Impacts and Education

Many students find out that making it on their own isn’t easy, and learn that the choices they make today will have a lasting impact on their future. Students’ knowledge of basic financial terms and concepts are assessed before and after the program, allowing measurement of knowledge gains and attitudinal changes. Royal’s financial education team is available for technical support and guidance throughout the program.

Test Drive Digital® has received both the 2020 Wisconsin Governor’s Award for Financial Literacy and the 2021 Desjardins Youth award from the Wisconsin Credit Union League.

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Contact us if you would like to learn more about Test Drive Digital® at testdrive@rcu.org

 

 

Test Drive Mobile® allows students to test drive their future using a hands-on app based simulation that appeals to teens. Students use their phones or other mobile devices to access the app and complete the program. The app works on both iOS and Android operating systems. Test Drive Mobile® is suitable for groups of 50-150 students.

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Preparing for Test Drive Mobile®

While a traditional Test Drive®…Next Stop Reality event has 22 stations, Test Drive Mobile only uses 10 stations, but the same conversations will be had with students. For example, instead of visiting the car dealership, convenience store and automotive insurance stations as they would at a Test Drive®…Next Stop Reality event, all of these conversations will take place at the single transportation station. Since there are fewer stations, fewer volunteers are needed to run the event which allows us the flexibility to offer the experience to smaller groups.

Running the Simulation

Students begin the simulation by taking a short, five question pretest. Once that is completed, they receive a code which allows them to choose from 40 different careers. Once they have selected a career they will be shown additional information about their family, current debts and insurance premiums. They will be asked to walk around and make purchases at 11 different stations while staying within their monthly budget. At the end, students will be asked to answer the same five questions they answered at the beginning of this event.

Impacts & Education

The event is staffed by Royal team members and community volunteers who offer advice and help guide the students, but participants ultimately make their own purchase decisions. Many students find out that making it on their own isn’t easy, and learn that the choices they make today will have a lasting impact on their future. Students’ knowledge of basic financial terms and concepts are assessed before and after the program to measure both knowledge and attitudinal gains. 

Contact us if you would like to learn more about Test Drive Mobile® at testdrive@rcu.org

 

 

Test Drive Express® allows participants to test drive their future within the classroom setting. A financial educator from Royal teaches the program to students during their class period and they make their purchase decisions while seated at their desks. The instructor interacts with the students as a group and has assistance from the classroom teacher to walk around and check their work as they complete it. This version normally takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and works best with groups of 30 or less.

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Preparing for Test Drive Express®

There is no preparation required prior to the simulation if you wish to use random assignment of careers (based on education level that students’ choose the day of the event). If a teacher would like to do college and career exploration prior to our visit and use those results to complete Test Drive Express®, we offer lesson materials for them to use with their students. Additionally, we share a link to a pretest with each teacher and ask that they have their students complete it prior to our visit.

Running the Simulation

The Royal financial educator uses a PowerPoint presentation to deliver the lesson. Students follow along by utilizing purchase decision guides, transaction logs and calculators. Each step of the process is thoroughly explained and shows examples, making it easy for students to stay on track. Guided by the presenter, students discuss, choose, and budget for items in eight different categories such as housing and transportation. At the end of the simulation, students are asked to complete a posttest.

Impacts & Education

Many students find out that making it on their own isn’t easy, and learn that the choices they make today will have a lasting impact on their future. Having a group discussion with participants once they’ve finished helps them reflect on their choices and gain perspective from the choices their peers made. Students’ knowledge of basic financial terms and concepts are assessed before and after the program to measure both knowledge and attitudinal gains.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about Test Drive Express® at testdrive@rcu.org

 


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