All juniors to take ACT at no cost during school day in April


All juniors will take the ACT during the school day in April at no cost to the student. Photo by Sury Rawat.

Derek Wang

Every year, juniors and seniors take the ACT many times over the year, spending $38-$54.50 each time, depending on whether or not they take the writing portion as well.
On April 28, RBHS will have the chance to take the ACT for free. The state passed the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) 5 last year, enacting the second part of it this year. MSIP 5 measures school effectiveness and focuses on college and career readiness.
One aspect of this plan is to offer the ACT to all juniors for free. Director of Guidance Betsy Jones said that the state is now funding for all schools to administer the ACT to all juniors.
“Since the state is funding it, it is now possible for the school district to offer it,” Jones said.
“[The state] is looking for students who have taken a college entrance exam, whether that is ASVAB, Compass, SAT or ACT, and have scored over the state and national average.”
Because of the legal mandate for schools to serve lunch, the testing will have to be interrupted. This, along with our late start time, forces RBHS to apply to the ACT officials in order to have special permission to have extended breaks and start the test after 8 a.m., the time the ACT usually starts.
“The only problem is how we are going to fit it in during the school day,” Jones said. “We are offering the full ACT including the writing portion, so taking into account the socio-demographic stuff that happens at the beginning and the natural breaks that you have in between the testing, the total test time will be about five hours and 15 minutes. We are still working out the details on how we are going to include lunch and still finish before school ends.”
Jones said she is glad RBHS is able to offer every junior the chance to take the ACT. She believes it is a great opportunity for them to measure their college readiness. Junior Catherine Maring agrees with Jones, saying taking the test will allow juniors to judge how much they need to study for the ACT.
“I think it’s definitely a helpful thing,” Maring said. “Some families that might be monetarily strained would definitely be helped out by this, and it could help others make a goal that they could study for.”
AP World Studies teacher Greg Irwin believes that every student should take the ACT. Irwin thinks the ACT is one of the best ways to measure college readiness. Irwin said he believes the test will also increase in importance to students now that the state is emphasizing it more.
“I think this will be very helpful to juniors,” Irwin said. “I think just the potential for what happens on Friday nights, culturally, differs enough from what happens on, say, a Tuesday night that they’re more likely to get a good night’s sleep and do the things that prepare your mind best for testing. I think you have the potential to see an increase in scores across the state of Missouri, and certainly here at Rock Bridge.”
By Derek Wang