OHS prepares for spring testing

Cole Earles, Writer

The snow has melted and birds are chirping, with summer right around the corner students gather every Wednesday in the big gym to take part in comprehensive assessments and college readiness tests. The tests will challenge the knowledge students have gathered at OHS through their years.

The ACT also known as the ‘American College Testing’ is a test taken nationwide, required in 10 states this year. The ACT is used to measure how ready a student is for college, it tests what they have learned, and what they are ready to learn. Junior Luke Wottreng was looking forward to taking the ACT.  He said, “I hope to get a good score on it, hopefully high 20’s, I just sometimes get caught up and spend too much time on one question.” One of the challenges students have to overcome in the ACT, along with the difficult questions, is to solve 215 questions in a two hour and 55 minute period. 

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment or MCA is a state test in reading, mathematics and science. The MCA is used to measure student performance relative to the Minnesota Academic Standards, which is given on a yearly basis. Hybrid learning has affected how students test. Junior  Taylor Radsek feels this way.  He said, “I don’t think I have had to prepare for the MCA’s since elementary school, usually our teachers would go through examples with us in class, but this year has been different.”

Testing this year has a slight change to it, as students around Minnesota prepare for the MCA and ACT, OHS is split up into two groups to follow COVID-19 protocols, even all virtual students were surveyed to see if they would be willing to come in, and take the MCA or ACT. All sophomores will be taking the reading and science test if they are enrolled in biology. Juniors will be taking the math test and given the opportunity to take the ACT, as well as seniors who have not attempted the ACT yet. Assistant Principal Ms. Hollie Jeska mentions her concerns about how students will respond to testing this year. Ms. Jeska said, “It’s always good to have a good picture of where the students are at in their learning. I have a hard time with what it looks like this year, with what kids have been exposed to and whether it is valid or not.” Students spent a good majority of the year at home learning how to be independent with their education, and it may have an impact on testing.

With the ACT being completed, MCA is still taking place. On April 14, group one sophomores will be taking the science test and group one juniors will be taking the math test, On April 21, group two will be participating in their tests. The school is running a modified schedule with  MCA  testing starting at 8:10 and first hour starting at 10:10. Two lunches are also served. Testing at OHS will wrap up on April 21.