ACT for all Confluence juniors is April 28, 2015
ACT for all Confluence juniors is April 28, 2015
Posted on 04/27/2015
logoApril 28 is a big day for juniors at Confluence Preparatory Academy and Grand Center Arts Academy.

It’s the first time in the state of Missouri that every 11th grade student in public school will take the ACT on the same day, at the same time.

Between both schools, more than 215 students will take the exam. The ACT is a national college admissions test that covers English, math, reading and science. There is a writing test, too. The test consists of more than 200 multiple choice questions.

A composite score on the ACT is an average of the subject scores. The range is from 1 to 36. In 2014, the national average composite score was 21. In Missouri, the average composite score was 21.8. ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the United States.

ACT prep bookHaley Brueck teaches College Summit, ACT and yearbook at CPA. This morning, she reminded students of key tips to prepare for the test.

“Don’t leave a question blank. Use the process of elimination with the answer choices if you don’t know the answer. Do the easy questions first, then go back to finish the harder questions that will take more time,” said Brueck.

“Use the strategies you’ve learned in class,” she continued, while reiterating the importance of giving their best effort.

Brandie Jenkins, counselor, is the test coordinator. The exam is paper-and-pencil. Each test is timed, and the test will be given under standardized administration conditions.

Jenkins has a pep talk planned for juniors. She will encourage students to “be confident, follow your gut, get plenty of rest, eat breakfast, be calm and collected, arrive on time,” and most importantly, “Be ready to soar!”

“Students who want the scores are nervous,” said Jenkins, explaining the mood of the junior class. There are 116 juniors taking the exam. “Those who are unsure about it are nervous too, but they won’t say anything.”

Erica Snelson is the college and career counselor at GCAA. There are 100 juniors taking the exam. Like CPA, some students are nervous, and some are “eager to take the test and get their scores.”

“This experience is giving students an opportunity to take the ACT who may not otherwise take the test. Taking it as a class, or a group, is also a good opportunity,” said Snelson.

“Taking the test as a junior is a good way to gauge where students are, and helps them understand where they need to be based on where they want to go to college or what they want as a career.”

Snelson’s advice is to “relax and do your best,” as well as getting a good night’s and eating a good breakfast.

According to the ACT website, colleges use ACT scores in many ways:

Admissions Decisions - ACT test results, high school grades, academic preparation, out-of-class accomplishments, and future plans—these and other kinds of information help admissions officials identify applicants who can benefit most from their programs.

Course Placement - Colleges usually try to take into account individual strengths and weaknesses as they place students in first-year courses. For example, a college may offer three sections of a subject—developmental, regular and advanced. A student's ACT test results, academic background and high school grades might be used to determine which section would be most appropriate.

Academic Advising - College academic advisors may consider ACT results, high school academic program, high school grades, planned extracurricular activities, areas in which there is a need for assistance and part-time employment plans to tailor an appropriate program of study to a student.

Scholarships and Loans - Some scholarship and loan agencies may use ACT test results with other information such as high school grades to identify qualified candidates. However, the agencies may not look at academic potential alone. The ACT score report provides information about a student's educational needs, extracurricular achievements and educational plans. This information, along with high school grades and test scores, helps the agencies evaluate applications for scholarships, loans and other financial assistance.

In Missouri, students with high ACT scores can be eligible for college funds through the Missouri Higher Education Academic Scholarship, or Bright Flight, program. Eligibility guidelines are available online at