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Park Rapids students take tests to achieve success

Megan Larson, student writer

Each year upper classmen are subject to testing. But unless they are planning on attending college, not all tests are required.

The only test required to pass high school is the MCA II, which students take in April of their junior year. Juniors also take the ASVAB aptitude test given by the military. This test gives kids an idea of a career path but does not affect grades.

Most colleges require students to take standardized tests like the ACT or SAT. According to Counselor Susan Rassier these tests are used to equal the playing field between kids from all across the nation. They are used to determine whether a student has the ability to move on to a higher level of education.

Park Rapids Area High School offers students the chance to take these tests during school hours. But it is a student's responsibility to register, pay and show up for the test. The school also provides ways to prepare for the tests.

The SAT tests students on reading, writing, and math, whereas the ACT tests on English, reading, math, and science.

"Tests measure different things," said Academic Advisor Shelli Walsh.

According to Rassier, it is best to take these tests the second half of the junior year. This way students may be better prepared and will receive their scores in time to apply for college.

Students often take these tests a second time and improve their scores by two or more points. Students who achieve high test scores often receive scholarships.

"Kids need to be competitive," Rassier said. "They could gain a lot by doing their best."