ACT aftermath


Depending on who you ask, ACT week is either the most stressful or relaxing week of the school year.

For juniors, the ACT marks the end of months of preparation, most of which focuses on how to get a high score on the most important test in high school.

“It’s important to me due to the fact it determines which colleges I could go to,” junior Stephanie Belprez said.

Students have to sit through weeks of ACT preparation in addition to their normal classes. Sophomores are required to take the PLAN test to prepare for the ACT.

“The PLAN test has no relation to the ACT in my opinion,” junior Mason Deleeuw said. “It was nowhere near as difficult as the ACT.”

While there are multiple opportunities to take the test, having a decent first test score allows some  students to relax. With the testing behind them, all there is left to worry about is picking the right college to attend.

ACT testing is also big deal for the school. Schools are judged on the scores of their students, making the test equally important for them.

“We consistently score in the top five for Macomb county, behind the other UCS schools,” principal Janet Jones said. “My goal for Utica is to be best in the county one year.”

Since schools are judged on the March 4 test, they emphasize scoring high the first time around.

Utica offers incentives to help boost motivation to score well on the test. Any student who scores a ten or higher on the writing portion receives a $50 Visa gift card.

“We want students taking the test to try their hardest,” Jones said. “That’s why we want students to be comfortable when testing.”

As a way to make testing more comfortable, Jones and the school served free catered breakfast on the first two days of testing and free McDonald’s breakfast on the third day.

Testing doesn’t end with the ACT, which is taken on the first day of three intensive testing days. Juniors also take the Michigan Merit Exam (MME) and the WorkKeys tests.

The MME assesses mathematics, science, and social studies for Michigan high school students.

The WorkKeys test is a job skills test,  and assesses  reading, mathematics, and “locating information” in real world situations.

“Some of the questions were just common sense,” Belprez said. “Some of the other parts of the test were a lot more challenging.”

Whether it be the students taking the test or the school administrating it, ACT testing is of significant importance to everyone involved.