High school juniors required to return to school buildings this week for statewide ACT exam

Posted at 4:11 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 19:28:11-05

Statewide high school ACT exams start Tuesday in Wisconsin. All high school juniors are required to take the test in-person due to state and federal law.

No matter if students are learning in-person, 100-percent virtual or a hybrid of both, all Wisconsin high school juniors are required to take the ACT college entrance exam at their schools starting this week.

“We’re going to do it in our gym like right there,” said Brown Deer High School junior Jordana Reisma.

Reisma is set to take the test among her peers on Wednesday. Given that it’s scheduled on the school’s only virtual day of the week, the district says it plans to bus students to and from the test.

“I feel like it’s fine, the tables are spaced out,” Reisma said. “They give us like food and water so I feel like it should be fine. I’m not worried about it.”

Racine Unified School District is back to full in-person instruction, but due to the ACT day, school administrators say only juniors will be in class Tuesday “in order to provide a focused, positive test-taking environment.”

Leading up the exam, Reisma said classmates aren’t putting much weight into the test that usually comes with high stakes for getting into their college of choice.

“I feel like people don’t even study for it anymore because they’re just like, it’s whatever now because colleges aren’t like looking for it anymore,” she said.

The UW System Board decided last fall to waive the ACT requirement for applicants due to concerns students wouldn’t be able to safely take the test in-person or even have the option.

UW-Madison says it’s suspending the requirement of ACT or SAT scores through the spring of 2023 due the pandemic. But Reisma is in a different situation as she hopes to go to school in Cleveland on a full-ride basketball scholarship. She says the university told her it’s still up in the air whether her class will need an ACT score for admission.

“They don’t know if they’re going to have it or not so it’s kind of up in the fence,” she said.

Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction says students will be allowed to take an online version of the test this year, but that must take place in-person at a school-proctored setting. There are no remote testing options for the ACT.

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