The middle school students at Holy Cross take the ACT Aspire standardized test in April. The ACT Aspire test measures growth and progress from elementary grades through high school in the context of college and career readiness. It assesses students’ knowledge and skills that are critical to ensuring all students receive the support and services necessary to help them succeed in school and life. The information and insights gained from this test will help teachers focus the curriculum to prepare students for success. Students are tested in the areas of English, math, reading, science, and direct writing through multiple question types including constructed response and selected response. This test is anchored by the capstone college readiness assessment, the ACT®.
In addition to the classroom preparations for this test, we will have Tuesday Test Prep during homeroom. The 5th, 6th and 7th graders have been assigned a Holy Cross House – Cross & Anchor, Gazebo, Grotto, Thunder, and Victory Bell. Each week the winning House will wear their House T-shirt (with school pants and shoes) on Wednesday. During Aspire Test week, the House that wins the most test prep competitions will have Breakfast with the Principal.
Students in grades 8th and 9th will take the Aspire test in April. Test prep for these students is imbedded in their core classes through various resources including their Cambridge Test prep materials.
Students in grades 10th and 11th will take the ACT test plus writing at Holy Cross on March 15, 2016. Their teachers will focus on test prep for the ACT plus writing prior to the test date. The Aspire report that is posted to your son’s Portal portfolio includes a five point range of projected ACT scores based on their performance on the 9th and 10th grade Aspire test. Our goal for your son is to reach and surpass the projected score.
In addition to the ACT Aspire tests, the 10th and 11th grade students will take the College Board PSAT test on October 28, 2015. The 10th graders take the test as practice because the junior score is the one that National Merit uses to recognize National Merit Semifinalists.
“The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®)—a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.5 million entrants each year—and by meeting published program entry and participation requirements.”
Students who score in the top 1% of the PSAT are recognized as National Merit Semifinalists. This designation sets them apart from other college applicants. Also, the Holy Cross Board of Directors provides free tuition for the senior year for any Holy Cross student who is named a National Merit Semifinalist by the College Board.