ACT provided to all DCHS juniors at no cost

Kaylee P.

All juniors at DCHS had the opportunity to take the ACT, a national college entrance examination, for free during school hours on April 28.

The school made this decision after school counselor Brenda Siffring attended an ACT conference and learned many Nebraska schools are beginning to administer the test to all juniors during the regular school day instead of on the traditional Saturday test dates. The school district paid the registration fee for all of the students.

“The state is running a pilot program in schools across Nebraska to test the ACT for all juniors,” Siffring said. “It is a possibility in the near future the state [will] decide to use the ACT rather than the NeSA tests for juniors.”

The NeSA tests are the state accountability tests given to all students in Nebraska. Siffring said she thinks it is wise to start administering the ACT to all juniors now since it might become the norm.

With the test being administered during school hours for free, more students were able to take it.

“There are lots of kids who wouldn’t have taken [the ACT],” Siffring said. “We tested 58 juniors. That’s probably twice as many than would normally take it on a Saturday.”

Siffring added that the test is important because it allows students entrance into colleges and can provide scholarship opportunities.

Juniors tested in the Activities Center in the morning under the supervision of various staff members. Being in a familiar setting and eating breakfast at school are a couple benefits of the students taking the ACT during school hours, Siffring said.

“I think it’s great that the school is allowing us to take the ACT for free,” junior Trisha H. said. “I think it’s nice having it during the school hours, so it’s easier for the people who live out of town. We don’t have to worry about getting off of work.”

In the weeks prior to the ACT, John Baylor Test Prep was administered in the students’ English, math, and science classes.

“It’s a stressful test,” Siffring said. “The familiarity will ease some of that stress.”