Changes in Missouri Standardized Tests

Brooklyn Spencer, Staff Writer

This year’s juniors will be the first to take the ACT as their high school standardized test. It is mandatory and will the exit exam for high school. Juniors will be tested on April 28.

Last year, the State Board of Education approved the mandate of the ACT statewide administration to all grade 11 students in Missouri public schools, beginning in 2014-15 school year.

The scores will be part of the state evaluation of the school.  Counselor Laura Cooke helps students to sign up and prepare for the ACT.

“We use standardized testing as a measuring tool for school ratings,” said Cooke.

Missouri students will also take the ACT Plus Writing portion of the test. The test includes 215 multiple-choice questions and one writing prompt. It takes approximately 4 hours to complete, including a short break. The actual testing time is 3 hours and 25 minutes.

Juniors won’t pay for the test administration, but regular ACT fees will apply if they choose to take it again.  Juniors will be taken to St. Ann’s Catholic Church on buses.

ACT prep will be offered during advisory and added to class work in English III classes. The ACT is hoped to eventually replace End of Course Exams (EOCs). Although, this year students will still be taking Algebra I, Biology I, and English II EOCs.

The ACT was designed to evaluate college readiness, but now will evaluate all students on academic abilities, even non-college bound students.

Junior Thane Henderson took the ACT in October and got a score of 19.

“I think juniors should have to take the ACT because you need it for college,” said Henderson.

Junior Timothy McClusky doesn’t know what he’s going to do after high school.

  “Taking the ACT is pointless since I’m not going to college,” said McClusky.