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The ACT: The impact of OnToCollege

The ACT is a standardized test that has been taken by high school students since 1959. The purpose of the test is to try and measure how well prepared a specific student is for college. Scores range from 1 through 36. The test is usually taken the first time your junior year and you can continue to take it throughout your senior year. ACT scores have an impact on college admission and scholarship decisions. Hence, it’s why receiving a good score on the ACT is detrimental. Mercy High School gives students the tools needed to improve their score. As a matter of fact, Mercy High School is the only school in Omaha to offer ACT preparation all four years of high school.

Starting freshman year, students have access to the praised OnToCollege program. The OnToCollege program was created by Stanford graduate, John Baylor, and is designed to help students increase score in the areas of math, English, science, and reading. 

The juniors attend a John Baylor Session on 3/13.

In person instruction is given by the OnToCollege staff to the junior class in preparation for the ACT during the spring. The current junior class has already had four of those in-person instruction sessions this year. 

Each session lasts two and a half hours every Monday. Juniors Itzel Tamayo and Gray Temme state,  “It’s been great to have access to these resources. The sessions are lengthy but we know that in the long run the OnTo College program will be beneficial for us. The in-person instruction is especially great because you get to ask questions in real-time. It’s obvious that the OnToCollege staff is knowledgeable and ready to help us”. The OnToCollege program, besides offering academic tips, also has a section that outlines how to prepare for any standardized test. In general, students leave the program just better prepared for any test that they might have to take in the future. 

Furthermore, seniors who already completed the program also have positive feedback to give. Senior Kailey Anson already completed the program and she states, “OnToCollege was a key factor that helped jump my ACT score. I’d take time out of my week to go through the lessons, specifically the English ones. John Baylor’s grammar rules were part of the reason my English score jumped.  I’m thankful for the program and John Baylor’s lessons”. Similarly, Senior Savannah Hemsley says her score increased by two points and she credits the program. “ I remember how worried I was about the ACT. I made sure to pay attention during the in-person instruction sessions last year and I could definitely tell I improved my skills and felt more confident when I took the test”.

ACT scores are important due to the influence that they have on colleges and universities. Currently, the average ACT score for Nebraska high schoolers is a 20 and the average ACT score for Mercy girls is way above a 20. The next ACT test is in April and we are wishing best of luck to the junior class. You got this!

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