High school accountability and college entrance

Feb 18, 2018

ACT® is one of the leading college entrance exams that is built to determine students' academic readiness for college and career. To increase accountability of students and high school administrators, many states offer juniors and seniors free opportunities to take ACT.

Historically, the ACT and SAT have been used by counseling teams to help students make decision regarding college and degree. These exams are playing an increasing role in additional decision-making. At last count about 12 states required students to take the ACT according to a 2017 Education Week article on state requirements. With the rollout of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the ACT exam has now been pushed to the forefront even more.

There are options when it comes to preparing for exams like the ACT but developing a school, grade or classroom plan to help teachers and students to succeed can be challenging. There are many free test prep solutions but they are not tailored to fit into school schedules and meet educational outcomes needs of schools.

  1. Student resources:

    The ACT website offers a wealth of knowledge for students to understand the concepts being tested, upcoming test date, sample questions and full length test. Students can create a student profile to register for the test. Use the account to review question of the day. ACT has released a free online prep program.

  2. School resources:

    Schools can create their own ACT account and request a free "Preparing for ACT" booklet. The booklet includes a full length test that schools can use for instructional purpose by testing students on it. Ideally schools should test their Sophomores or Juniors during their state ACT test day and provide feedback to students.

  3. Improvement programs:

    To structure an improvement program in school you will need to go beyond administering a retired ACT test. Teachers will need the ability to analyze student performance on these tests to identify opportunities for improvement e.g., subset of students that need intervention, subset of students that need a boot camp to reach state benchmarks, content area needs of students. For this you will need to identify a solution provider that can offer solutions that meet your unique needs as there is no one-size fits all solution.