Madonna preparing for college exams

The faculty and staff at Madonna High School always have very important goals in mind for her students, not the least of which being the educational advancement of every Madonna student. This includes preparing Madonna students for college. There are many factors most colleges look at when admitting students and distributing merit-based financial aid. Colleges look at the student’s GPA and standardized test scores primarily, and to a lesser extent leadership, service, and extracurricular activities. SAT and ACT scores partially dictate if a college will admit a student to the institution or accept these students in activities such as honors college or other curricular and extracurricular activities.

The primary tests that high school students are expected to take are the ACT and SAT college entrance exams. For the past two years, Madonna High School offered both the ACT and the SAT in the second semester as ACT State and District Testing and the SAT School Day during a regular school day. Every junior was registered for both tests. Junior year is prime time to take each because enough time is allowed to improve scores if need be. Scores can be electronically linked to Kaplan (for the ACT) or Khan Academy (for the SAT) to provide differentiated test prep resources for each student to improve for future attempts at each test.

Seniors are also welcomed to take ACT State and District Test at Madonna in hopes of improving ACT scores to earn higher merit-based aid at their future college of attendance or possibly to earn the coveted WV PROMISE Scholarship.

On Tuesday, April 9, 2019 Madonna HS administered the SAT School Day to all juniors. Juniors taking the exam reported to school in casual clothes so they could be comfortable while taking the test. Madonna provided breakfast for all test takers, and juniors prayed together before reporting to testing rooms. A similar itinerary was followed when Madonna juniors and some seniors sat for the ACT State and District Test on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

There are many benefits to taking ACT State and SAT School Day during a regular school day. The cost of the test is less expensive by taking it at the school during a regular day. ACT State and District Testing is $45, while the cost for a regular Saturday administration is $50.50. As for the SAT, the West Virginia Department of Education provides the SAT School Day at no charge for every junior in the state, including Madonna. Many thanks to the state of WV for extending this opportunity to Madonna, and for Hancock County Schools for helping us to make SAT School Day possible at Madonna.

Some other benefits include: the testing occurs during a regular school day, which is arguably better than waking up on a Saturday morning to take the SAT or ACT. Finally, some may contend it is better to take it at a student’s home school because the student takes the test among friends and in well-known surroundings, administered by teachers with whom students are familiar. The faculty, staff and students strive for constant excellence even beyond the halls of Madonna High School. Part of this excellence is the preparation for post-secondary education.

Offering the ACT and SAT during a regular school day is one more example of how at Madonna: we are Followers of CHRIST…Leaders in the WORLD!

(Durante is a senior at Weirton Madonna High School.)

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