Many Plymouth High School juniors will have the opportunity to take an exam that is designed to assess college and career readiness. The ACCUPLACER will be given on both Monday, March 17 and Tuesday, March 18. Questions on the specifics of the test can be referred to Aimee Portteus, PHS director of guidance.
ACCUPLACER is used to identify strengths and weaknesses in each subject area and to help improve skills though interactive online learning tools. Tests are untimed. Portteus said, “This is a new test, but the concept of the diagnostic testing is a good one.” “I think it will be really valuable.” she said. Guidance counselors from all over the state received specific training on the test at regional sites.
Portteus said, “This is the guidance year. And the IDOE (Indiana Department of Education) is using the PSAT scores to mandate the ACCUPLACER.”
Students can prepare for the testing using learning tools that help to familiarize them with the type of questions that are on the test. An official ACCUPLACER application can be purchased for iPhone that provides interactive sample questions in the areas of arithmetic, elementary algebra, college-level math, reading comprehension and sentence skills. Students receive immediate feedback on both correct and incorrect answers. There are also practice sites that can be utilized without charge.
During the 2013 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed HEA 1005. According to Portteus, one component of the law requires public school students who meet specific criteria to take a college and career readiness exam. Potentially, students can receive remediation if warranted after the results of the test results are compiled.
Portteus said, “Criteria for inclusion in this testing include juniors who earned less than 46 points (46 of 80) on either or both of the PSAT Critical Reading and/or math tests.” According to Portteus, approximately 150 PHS students will be taking the exam.
Testing results are used by academic advisors and counselors to guide students into appropriate college courses to meet skill levels. Portteus explained that the testing results could be used for any post-secondary education including internships, two-year colleges, or vocational training.
Carol Anders Correspondent