Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Vicky Dorvee

NHS hits high mark with ACT scores


September 20, 2017

Friday’s celebratory announcements at Niwot High School included the newsflash that students had earned an average ACT test score of 24 in the previous school year, a threshold that has not been hit since the year 2012. NHS principal Eric Rauschkolb said scores have hovered above 23 since that year, but this year saw the score tip up to 24.

While students received their individual scores prior to the beginning of school this year, the composite score had not been publicized. Niwot High School’s average score gives it the distinction of being the highest in the St. Vrain Valley School District. The district’s average and the average for the entire U.S. is a composite score of 21 points, with the highest possible score being 36.

ACT stands for American College Testing. This national test is one of two standardized tests used to demonstrate a student’s level of achievement in high school and to predict their college readiness. It is accepted by every four-year college and university in the U.S. and has surpassed its competition, the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), in terms of the volume of test takers.

Traditionally taken by students in their junior year, and occasionally by freshmen and sophomores, the ACT Test website touts it as “the most popular college entrance exam accepted and valued by all universities and colleges in the United States.”

Rauschkolb said the 308 NHS test takers performed so exceptionally well, because “NHS teachers are doing an excellent job of teaching thoroughly and enthusiastically, and students are academically motivated day-to-day and on standardized tests for scholarships and an array of choices for colleges and universities.”

Subjects covered in the multiple choice test are in four sections: English, math, science reasoning and reading. There is also an option to take a writing test. A student’s ACT score, along with overall grade point average, class ranking, and extracurricular factors, is critical to evaluating students during the higher education application process.


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