By Magen McCrarey
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Juniors and seniors are prepping for their future in the next couple of weeks, to make their best score count on the ACT test on Feb. 9. The ACT is a student’s ticket to the best college of their choice.
“The higher the score you get, the greater you look to a college,” said Tharon Hurley, director of Assessment and Accountability for Laurel County Public Schools.
North Laurel High School will be hosting ACT prep sessions for all students on the following dates:
• Jan. 31 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. for English
• Feb. 5 & 7 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. for math
The ACT is not only a college entrance exam, but also a way to measure a student’s college and career readiness. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has set benchmarks for students to meet in the new Unbridled Learning model. These benchmarks require students to make a minimum score of 20 in reading, 18 in English and 19 in mathematics.
“If a student meets those benchmarks, they get the credit for being college ready,” Hurley said.
Each year, the model changes for college and career readiness, but Hurley said the most important factor is that the district’s students are improving. In 2010, 188 Laurel County juniors and seniors, or 36 percent, who took the ACT were considered college ready. In 2012, the number increased exponentially to 42.9 percent. The district’s goal in 2014-15 is to become 68 percent ready.
The February ACT test in London will take place at North Laurel High School. This will be the first test administered of the year. Each year, a student receives six opportunities to take the test. KDE requires every junior in the state to take the test once, at no cost.
Students should take advantage of the opportunity to make the best score they can, Hurley said. Every attempt following that first test will cost them approximately $30.
According to ACT, 57 percent of students increase their composite score when they took the ACT more than once.
“We encourage student to take the ACT more than once,” Hurley added.
Students in seventh grade can also take the ACT early to see where they stand, as part of the DUKE TIP’s Talent Search, a selective honors program. Students are prohibited to take the ACT more than 12 times.
ACT online test prep and registration is available online at www.actstudent.org.