The North Nodaway R-VI School District decided to add an ACCUPLACER Placement Test as an option for students to take instead of the ACT.
The ACCUPLACER test is a way for students who plan to attend a two-year college or technical school to test their ability in a way separate from the ACT. Along with the test being significantly cheaper than the ACT, it’s also untimed and can be used for dual credit courses for two-year colleges. It covers reading, writing and math. It does not take the place of the ACT when applying to four-year colleges that require an ACT score.
The ACCUPLACER costs $20 while the ACT costs $55 without the writing portion. The ACT only allows students a limited amount of time to take each section, but unlike the ACCUPLACER, it also provides a science and English section.
Roger Johnson, president of North Nodaway R-VI School District High School and Junior High, said he and Kit Meiners, school counselor for the district, wanted more opportunities to be available for their students.
“We decided this was another option for our students who were planning on taking dual credit or enrolling in a two-year college program or technical school after graduation,” Johnson said in an email.
Johnson said they initially learned about the ACCUPLACER test after conducting research on two-year colleges and technical schools when they had four students planning to attend two-year colleges last year.
After doing the research, they decided it would be beneficial to add it as an option for their student population. Johnson said he hopes that by adding the ACCUPLACER test as an option and making more students aware of it, the number of North Nodaway graduates attending a two-year or technical college will increase.
Meiners and Johnson both said they believe the lack of a time limit will be beneficial for students and will help improve district test scores.
“Since the ACCUPLACER is untimed, in theory, students are able to score higher because they do not have a set time to finish the assessment,” Meiners said in an email.
With the approval of adding the new test as an option for students, a reimbursement policy was also added for dual credit courses.
“For juniors and seniors who earn an A or B in dual credit, we will reimburse them the full amount for one class,” Meiners said.
Johnson said the school will fund either one ACT or ACCUPLACER test for its students, not both. However, students can take both by paying for one themselves if they so choose. It is recommended that students planning to attend a two-year college or technical school take the ACCUPLACER, and those wanting to attend a four-year institution take the ACT. The new test will be held in November at the North Nodaway R-VI High School.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students at North Nodaway and we are thankful that our board saw this as a positive step for our students’ future success,” Johnson said.