Test Prep

Major Changes to the ACT

The ACT is broken down into four major sections.  Currently, if a student does poorly in one section and decides they want to take the test again to try and improve their score, they would have to retake the entire ACT. It’s a tricky situation for students to be in, and less than half of students ever retake the ACT. Research has shown, though, on average students who retake the ACT score 3 points higher. The New York Times released, starting this September, the ACT test will soon allow students to retake a certain section of the ACT. Allowing students to retake a section will give students what some institutions have coined a “superscore”.

With this new change students are placed in a much better situation to improve their overall scores while alleviating a large amount of stress as well. If a student wants to only retake the Math section of the ACT they will have the freedom to focus solely on the Math section while prepping for the next ACT test. The hours required to sit down and take the ACT will drastically reduced as well. Students will be able to come in, take the section they need and leave.

This small change to the ACT is already having a large impact. These new “superscores” bring great opportunities for students. Students now can have ACT prep class tailored towards just the one section of the ACT they need to improve. The ACT test will also offer more online locations for students to go take the test and potentially get the results back within a few days instead of the sometimes weeks it can take.

This change is a step in the right direction; however, it isn’t without some concerns. USA Today reminds everyone that Colleges do not have to use the “superscore,” and can opt to use scores from a single test. Another concern are the fees. Taking the ACT isn’t free and retaking the ACT won’t be free either. CNN recently published an article covering this same topic and with their research they concluded on average only 45% of students ever retake the ACT. Students in lower economic brackets are eligible for waivers that in turn make taking the ACT free. This gives students in need a level playing field. Retaking the ACT sections will also be covered under these waivers, but these waivers aren’t guaranteed. Just because a student needs a waiver doesn’t mean they will meet the criteria set up to get the fee waived. A student from a higher economic bracket can potentially retake a specific part of the ACT as many times as needed to improve their score.

We encourage all of our readers to take a look at the articles linked throughout this post covering the change!

Test Prep

Colleges Dropping Standardized Testing

No More SAT or ACT?

A growing trend among institutes of higher learning in America reveals many colleges are dropping the ACT and SAT as a part of their requirements for admission. For decades, the importance of these tests has been stressed to students across the country. However,  a slow trend of dropping the scores as part of admissions has picked up speed to the point currently 1 in 4 colleges in the US have dropped the testing requirements for freshman applicants. The obvious question is why? Why is something that’s been touted as so important suddenly not important?

Newsweek recently published an article about this very issue on 10/16/19. The article looks at a June 2019 analysis of 200 schools that no longer require the test scores as admission, it was revealed that if the schools had used the SAT score alone as a factor for admission that more than half of their freshman would not have made it into these institutions. One score could have prevented these students from going to college.

Colleges are taking notice that the affordability of tutoring and access to other resources can limit a student’s ability to score high on these tests and get into their desired college. If a student living in a lower economic bracket can’t afford SAT and ACT tutoring/prep, then they are at a natural disadvantage. All the preparation will have to be done with any free resources that student can find (after school programs, study groups, etc.).  But someone born into a higher economic bracket who has parents that are willing to spend extra money on college prep for their child can find the best tutors to help their child prepare. This economic advantage is the reality of the situation colleges are facing and this is also negatively effecting diversity on college campuses.

The Washington Post also wrote an article recently on 10/18/2019 examining this same subject and they reveal that “Research has consistently shown that ACT and SAT scores are strongly linked to family income, mother’s education level and race.” The National Center for Fair and Open Testing recently analyzed the scores of the high school class of 2019 and they reported gaps between demographic groups grew larger from the year before.

What does this mean for you or your children? The list of schools dropping the ACT and SAT is growing. However, for the time being the test scores still play a large role in acceptance to many Universities, so students and parents alike shouldn’t dismiss the importance of these tests. The majority of Ivy League schools and elite learning institutions still require the tests for admission so students should still prepare accordingly. Until all schools stop requiring the tests it’s still important for students to prepare and work hard to receive high scores on the tests.

FairTest has a list of colleges that have “Test Flexible” requirements. They still want to see a student’s test scores but admit that the scores do not play a large factor in admission. As of Fall 2019, there are more than 1,050 accredited College and Universities that do not ACT/SAT scores to admit substantial numbers into bachelor-degree programs. We encourage all of our readers to look at all of the articles for details and a full list of colleges that have currently dropped the required testing.

Test Prep

ACT Test Dates 2019

ACT Test Release Information for 2019

The test release information (TRI) for the ACT has recently been updated, so we’d like to highlight this optional service that allows you to request a copy of the questions and answers from your test.

How it Works

TRI is available to any student who takes the ACT at a national test center on a national test date in the months of December, April, and June. For a small fee of $20.00, it can be purchased online within five days of the test date, or by mail up to six months after the test date. Students who took or plan to take the test on the following dates are eligible for TRI:

  • December 8, 2018
  • April 13, 2019
  • June 8, 2019

ACTReleaseWhat you Get

Your TRI includes:

  • A copy of the multiple-choice questions
  • A list of your selected answers
  • An answer key

If you took the writing test, in addition to the items listed above, you’ll also receive:

  • A copy of the writing prompt
  • A copy of the scoring rubric
  • A copy of the scores assigned to your essay

Information on ordering a photocopy of your answer sheet (including the essay) for another small fee will be enclosed with your materials as well.

Why You Should Get It

While the standard score report is helpful for gauging college preparedness and potential career fields, the TRI provides greater specificity on what subsections of each test (English, Math, Reading, Science, Writing) could use extra practice. It allows you to examine the mistakes that were made, and learn from them, allowing you to improve your skills and do better on a potential retest.

How to get started

More information on TRI, as well as the Information Release order form, can be found here.

Events

2018 MCBEP Career Fair

The Madison County Business & Education Partnership is a committee of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. Each year, they host a career fair for high school juniors in Madison County. This includes juniors from Madison Central, Madison Southern, Model Lab, and Berea Community. The career fair is comprised of panel discussions and presentations that focus on the 17 career clusters recognized by Kentucky Career and Technical Education. This year, Making the Grade sent multiple volunteers to serve as moderators for panel discussions and assistants for the event.

Events

Halloween Hoedown

Events

2018 Berea Business Fest

Business Fest

On September 13, Making the Grade attended the 2nd annual Berea Business Fest. At the Business Fest, local businesses set up on the Fairchild Lawn at Berea College and share information about their products and services to the campus community. Making the Grade held a fun competition to complete a brain teaser puzzle; participants who completed the puzzle correctly got a shot at guessing the number of pieces of candy in a jar. The winner took home a gift card.

Success

Student Spotlight: Patrick Nnoromele

Patrick Nnoromele

McDermott Scholars receive one of the most selective and generous undergraduate merit awards in the nation; it includes a full scholarship and stipend package at The University of Texas at Dallas. Along with being a National Merit Finalist, Model Laboratory School senior Patrick Nnoromele was chosen as one of the twenty McDermott Scholars from a pool of 1900 applicants and will be studying molecular biology at UT-Dallas in the fall. Patrick was accepted into 11 schools including Yale and Stanford and turned down 5 full scholarships to attend UT-Dallas as a McDermott Scholar.

A 2017 Governor’s Scholar, Patrick boasts an incredible 1470 SAT score and 33 on the ACT. Throughout his four years at Model Lab he participated in multiple extracurricular activities and was a student athlete. He participated in Future Problem Solving and coached the middle and high school teams for 3 years. Patrick achieved 2nd place in the state in the half-mile while on the track and cross country team. He also created the Diversity Union at Model Lab, promoting political awareness and cultural acceptance. Patrick will attend the Professional Education Preparation Program (PEPP) at the University of Kentucky this summer. UK PEPP is a 4-week residential program that provides an introduction to careers in medicine and dentistry through academic enrichment, admissions guidance, health-related seminars and experiences, and clinical/hospital rotations UK’s Chandler Medical Center. After all this, Patrick still found time to play four instruments: saxophone, flute, guitar, and ukulele.

During high school, Patrick found success in balancing his education and his extracurriculars—something very difficult for many students in high school. When asked how he managed, Patrick answered, “I’m an athlete, but I’m a student athlete.” Above all, Patrick values his education, and it shows through his nearly $1.5 million in scholarship awards.

Patrick is a three-year participant in Making the Grade’s tutoring services for ACT/SAT test prep. Patrick began preparing for these standardized tests his sophomore year of high school. He estimates that he completed over 4,000 practice questions during his preparation. Patrick believes in the importance of preparation before execution; he finds taking practice tests an extremely important step in preparing to take any standardized test. When Patrick was asked what advice he has for students who have yet to take the ACT or SAT, Patrick suggested to prepare most for the sections you are most afraid of to overcome your fear so that it does not consume you on test day.

Patrick has been extremely successful in his education, service, extracurricular activities, and hobbies. He was willing to share his secret to success, saying “Flexibility is key. Just understand that there is more than one right way to accomplish your goals.”

 


Patrick Nnoromele

Model Laboratory School

Graduating Class of 2018

Test Prep

ACT Test Dates

ACT Test Dates 

Making the Grade’s Practice Tests

February 11, 2017
March (In the School) February 25th (9AM-1PM)
April 8, 2017 March 25th (9AM-1PM)
June 10, 2017 April 29th (9AM-1PM)
May 27th (9AM-1PM)

To register for any practice test, please visit: MTG ACT Program Registration

Events

2017 Chamber of Commerce Kickoff

Chamber of Commerce Annual Kickoff

2017 Richmond Chamber of Commerce Annual Kickoff

On February 6, 2017, Ms. Jenny and Mrs. Renee attended the Richmond Chamber of Commerce Annual Kickoff at the EKU Perkins building. They were joined by dozens of local businesses who are also Chamber members. The meeting was led by the Chamber CEO and president, Mendi Goble. The chair, Myron Fisher, also spoke to the Chamber members.

The meeting centered around the outlook and vision for 2017, which includes raising awareness of the drug issues facing Madison Co. and bettering the community through various projects. Businesses set up tables and Chamber members “shopped” vendors and met other Chamber members.

Making the Grade’s table was very busy engaging other Chamber members by presenting them with a small English quiz to demonstrate skills necessary for success on the ACT. The quiz is listed below. Several people got several questions correct, but no one could get all 5 questions answered correctly! Can you?

 

Listed here is the English quiz. Try it! Send your answers to Mrs. Renee at mrs.reneemFall@gmail.com for a chance to win.

Choose the correct word to complete each sentence:

1. Mrs. Smith, who/whom I saw at the store yesterday, will be our volleyball coach.

2. The cheerleaders or the band is/are going to have to take a separate bus.

3. We/us women like to go shopping on the weekend.

Correct the following sentences:

4. After rotting in the cellar, my brother brought up some oranges.

5. I really had no interest in politics however I did like to stay informed by watching the debates held in Washington D.C. Philadelphia Pennsylvania and Richmond Virginia.

 

Send your answers to Mrs. Renee at mrs.reneemFall@gmail.com for a chance to win!

Thank you for participating!

Test Prep

2017 ACT Test Release Info

Get a Copy of Your ACT Test Questions and Answers!

If you order and pay $20.00 for a Test Information Release (TIR) during the registration process and test at a national test center on a national test date that offers this service, you will receive a copy of the multiple-choice test questions used to determine your score, a list of your answers, and the answer key. (If you took the writing test, you will also receive a copy of the writing prompt, the scoring rubric, and the scores assigned to your essay by two readers.) Information about ordering a photocopy of your answer document (including your essay if you took the writing test) for an additional fee will be included with your materials. We highly recommend getting a copy of your ACT test questions and answers when it is offered.

Which Test Dates Offer this Service?

2016–2017 Saturday National Testing

If you took the ACT test at a national test center on one of the national test dates listed below, you can order a Test Information Release (TIR) when you register, or during the three-month period after your test date. This service is not offered on any other test dates or for any non-national administrations (e.g., International, Special).

  • Saturday, December 10, 2016
  • Saturday, April 8, 2017
  • Saturday, June 10, 2017

When & How Can You Order It?

If you would like to order a Test Information Release during the three-month period after your test date, you should use the Test Information Release Order Form.
Your request must be postmarked no later than three months after the test date. Materials are normally mailed about four weeks after you receive your score report. You cannot expect to receive them before the registration deadline or in time to study for the next test date.
All orders received after score reports are first issued will be mailed three to five weeks after receipt at ACT.

Test Information Release Form