High School Students Could Face Changes to Entrance Exams

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By Matthew Searcy

WSIL -- Illinois high schoolers trying to get into college may soon see a change in their entrance exams.  

 

For years the American College Testing exam, better known as the ACT, has been given free of charge to Illinois high school juniors, but now the state board of education wants a change. 

 

The test is currently required by the state and funded by taxpayers. The state board says the mandatory test should become voluntary.  

 

A new battery of mandated tests are scheduled to start next spring and state educators are concerned  the additional testing will overwhelm high schoolers . Cutting out mandatory tests like the ACT are expected to help, but some local educators disagree.

 

"There were a lot of complaints when we first started it but what it has done it's given students across the state the opportunity to take this test to see if they had a chance to be successful in college," said regional superintendent Matt Donkin. "It probably sparked the idea that several of them went to college and may have not been thinking about it before."

 

More than 100,000 juniors took the test last year. Students use the results to help gauge their strengths and improve their weaknesses before retaking the test as seniors.  

No final decision has been made, but the issue is expected to be debated among lawmakers later this spring. 

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