Free ACT Tests Offered for Austin High School Students

Posted at: 02/26/2013 6:11 PM
Updated at: 02/26/2013 6:43 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's an important gauge of college readiness. But this year at Austin high school there's going to be a new look to the ACT.

“I've taken the ACT to show colleges what I know ... and to gauge maybe some of the things need to work more on," said Austin High School senior Megan Brown.

The ACT measures student knowledge in four key areas – reading, English, math and science -- and plugs the results into what it calls the “college readiness benchmark”.

"There is a score that says if you reach this, then you are college ready," Austin high school principal Brad Bergstrom explained.

There are some pretty strict guidelines for the tests -- they're only administered on certain days ... usually Saturdays ... and at approved sites. But that's part of the change.

"We will be able to give the test on a non-national testing date. We will be able to do it during our school day here at Austin high school," principal Brad Bergstrom said.

“Then the kids are in the classroom and they know the teacher and they know the setting, and have a little bit less pressure in a test that man colleges look at," AHS senior Megan Brown told us.

"Just as important we're going to be able to have it for every junior or senior at Austin high school at no charge," principal Brad Bergstrom said.

And that could make the test possible for families who might not be able to afford the $38 dollar testing fee.

"People hear the word college and they automatically think of a four year school, and what we say is no, college is anything post-secondary in nature that you can get certification," principal Brad Bergstrom said.

The changes came about because ACT is developing a new program it plans to roll-out nationwide in September of next year, and was looking for places to give it a test-run.

"We were looking for an opportunity to open the door to get the act test, they merged together," Brad Bergstrom told us.

April 13th is national ACT testing day, and students at Austin high school will take the test ten days after that