Juniors prepare for new state tests

You are in another room sharpening #2 pencils with a million questions racing in your mind. How will I do? Will it be hard or easy?
The ACT is set for March 3, and students have been doing everything they can to prepare for what’s to come.
“Practice it, be aware of what’s on it, and use guides,” principal Thomas Lietz said. “I encourage kids to take it multiple times to get the best scores. Practice makes close to perfect.”
However, there are still some things that make the pressure of the ACT higher. The ACT, unlike other tests, is a major player in college entrance decisions.
“Most kids worry about doing well on the test,” Lietz said, “which is unfortunate, because they should be worried about the questions in front of them.”
With a new state test beginning this year, students will work to prepare for the online M-Step test. It will take place during the springtime and will take 15 hours to complete in total. Another major change to come in 2016 is the switch from the required in-school ACT to the SAT.
“The problem is that we don’t know a lot about it,” Lietz said. “There is good and bad with it. It’s bad timing to start a new state test that’s longer. There are some advantages, though. Some schools take the SAT instead of the ACT, so students may be able to apply to a wider range of schools.”
As students and teachers begin to prepare for the 2016 SAT, one immediate road block centers around the fact that the SAT format is in the process of a major change as well.
“The SAT is being completely redesigned for 2016 and is going to look more like the ACT,” Lietz said. “Change is always tough because you’ve been practicing for the ACT since fifth grade. It was very sudden and no one saw it coming.”