Getting their ACT together -- juniors prepare for annual rite

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Most colleges are looking for good ACT scores, which means college-bound students particularly focus on the test.

But in Colorado, every high school junior is required to take the test as part of the state's assessment of their educational progress. As freshman and sophomores, students take CSAP, as juniors, they take the ACT (American College Test).

Students already have had three ACT practice sessions, but according the Moffat County High School Counselor Paula Duzik most of the preparation for the test is done through regular coursework.

The school used to offer an ACT preparation course as an extension class, but it was eliminated when juniors were allowed an extended lunch period.

Now, the curriculum is test preparation.

MCHS students will take the test April 27 for free. Those who miss it, make it up on May 11.

That may seem like a long time from now, but students will start filling out the ACT assessment forms next week.

The forms assess things such as goals and career and educational plans.

Most college-bound students take the school-sponsored free version of the test the first time to see where they stand and then will pay to take a state-sponsored test later to try for a better score.

"That can hurt us," Duzik said.

College-bound students generally consider taking two tests -- the ACT and the SAT. The ACT, Duzik said, tests what you know. The SAT tests how you think. It's based more on logic, Duzik said, than knowledge.

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