In wake of recent K-PREP test scores, the Pineville Independent Schools administered what they believe will help to increase test scores. On Wednesday, juniors at Pineville High School took a mock ACT exam.
The ACT exam counts toward college and career readiness, which counts as one-fifth of the K-PREP score.
“The ACT plays a much larger role in the state assessment now,” said Pineville High School Principal Bill Keyes.
The school attempted to make the mock ACT as close to the real event as possible. The school took questions from the practice ACT exam and printed off bubble sheets for the students to use to mark their answers.
The exam was timed, and students took the exam in the exact room they will be taking it in March.
Students even received a special breakfast the morning of the mock exam. The exams were graded in 15 minutes.
Keyes listed three primary reasons the school performed the mock exam.
The first reason,he said, was to place students in ACT-like conditions. Students have a tendency to get nervous when taking a timed exam, and Keyes and Pineville Superintendent Terry Hayes said they hope the mock exam will diminish at least some of that anxiety.
The second reason for the mock assessment was to expose the students to an ACT exam, he said.
The final reason, one that both Keyes and Hayes noted they believe to be the most important, was to gather data from each student.
“Now we know where the students stand,” said Keyes. “(The mock ACT) is going to enable us to better prepare our kids for the ACT. It will not only help us prepare the group, but prepare (students) individually.”
Keyes said data will allow the school to know what areas and sub-areas the students are lacking in, then enabling teachers to focus on that area. The scoring machine also produced the 10 most frequently missed questions in each area, which will aid teachers in knowing an area for concentrated focus.
“We are hoping this data will give us the information we need to guide instruction,” said Hayes. “All these ideas are good, but where (the job) really gets done is in the classroom. That is were the rubber meets the road.”
Hayes stated the school plans to continue to push students. This push will include an increase of rigor in the classroom.
“The state has raised the bar,” said Hayes. “Now…there is no bar too high.”
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at email@example.com or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 208.