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Deadline for ACT registration nears

The deadline to register for the summer ACT exam is quickly approaching and it's time high school students begin preparing themselves for the June 14 test.

Leona Turner, the guidance counselor at Goshen High School, said the first thing students need to do is register either via mail or over the Internet.

If students register by mail, their packet must be postmarked no later than May 9.

The late registration postmark date is May 23, but there is a late fee charged in addition to the $25 test fee.

The ACT tests four different areas: English, math, science reasoning and reading comprehension. The earlier students can take the test, the better, because they have more time to improve the areas that need improving.

&uot;Students can take the test as many times as they need to get a better score,&uot; Turner said.

&uot;A lot of the times, students will do really well in one section, and the not so well in the others.&uot;

She recommends that high school juniors take the test their second term, so they have time take it again before college applications are due.

It may seem that there is no way to prepare for a standardized test, and that is true to an extent.

While students have no way of knowing what the exact questions will be, they can do things to increase their overall knowledge and comprehension.

Students don't need a vast knowledge of scientific theories for the science reasoning section.

All the information is on the test, they just need to be able to understand the reading segment and know what the question is asking.

Turner said the most important thing students can do to prepare is read, read, read and review algebra and geometry.

&uot;Read anything that is grade level and appropriate,&uot; Turner said. &uot;There are also software programs and with the technology we have today, students can have all the practice they could possibly want.&uot;

Turner said when her students come to her to register for the exam she gives them old ACT tests to practice with.

GHS also offers tutoring sessions, and in the tenth grade, students are encouraged to take the PLAN test, which helps prepare them for the ACT.

After students register, they will receive a registration slip with an assigned test site.

&uot;The student must show up on time with a picture ID to take the test,&uot; Turner said.

She also said it is a good idea to take a few extra pencils.

During the test, students need to pay close attention to the time.

&uot;This is a timed test,&uot; she said.

&uot;They shouldn't leave any questions blank.

(Students) need to start by answering the questions they are comfortable with first and then they can go back to work on the ones that take a little more time.&uot;

And, since students can take the test more than once, there is no reason to get too nervous with the first one.

According to the ACT website, the average national score is 20 out of 36 possible points.

Turner said scholarships are most likely to go to students who score a 23 or better.

&uot;If students can get a 27, they're almost guaranteed a good academic scholarship if they're willing to go to those schools that offer them,&uot; she said.

&uot;And, if they get a 31 or 32, they can pretty much go anywhere they want.&uot;

Turner said the ACT isn't for everybody.

Although four-year institutions require an ACT score, two-year junior colleges do not, but &uot;it is helpful in getting scholarships.&uot;

&uot;Any student who has an ambition of playing athletics in college or going to a four-year university needs to take the ACT,&uot; Turner said.

The ACT is given in October, December, February, April and June.

Students can pick up registration packets from their high school counselor.

Practice tests and other information are available at www.act.org.