Testing season begins by Ally Eckert The testing season has begun at Wakonda High School. Some of the tests have already been taken, but there are many more ovals to fill in.
Though students begin standardized testing in third grade, they take all the fun tests in high school.
Testing begins in the freshman year with a Stanford Writing assessment test. Students are given a prompt or subject to write about for 50 minutes.
Sophomores aren't left out. They have the option to take the PLAN test. This helps prepare them for the ACT test they will be taking the following year.
Junior year is the busiest year for testing. First students can opt to take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Qualifying Test or the PSAT/NMQT. This is another test to help prepare students for the SAT and ACT, but it is also a scholarship program. If they score high enough they can qualify to be part of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation scholarship program.
Juniors also take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery or the ASVAB. Results from this test will help students compare their current abilities to that which is needed for a certain occupation. It will also open many doors for those who are planning on joining the military because it can qualify them for certain types of training.
In the spring, juniors all across the country take the Stanford 10s, the test that are the official tests of the No Child Left Behind legislation several years ago. Depending on these scores, the school will be judged on whether or not they are teaching the right curriculum and they can receive more funding.
For the past several years Wakonda has surpassed the score on the state and national level.
The biggest and most important test in any high schooler's career is the ACT or SAT. In South Dakota, most students take the ACT. This test is the designed to see how prepared the student is for college level classes. Most colleges require a score of 18 or above to attend. The highest score possible is a 36.
The ACT is usually first taken in the spring of the junior year. Many of the Wakonda seniors this year have decided to take it again on one of the other test dates.
The ACT will be going through a change this spring. Starting with the February test date it will include a writing section.
Most of today's tests are geared toward college-bound students. This is no surprise either; almost every senior last year went on to some form of college.