Montana High School students to take the ACT Online

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 1:31 PM CDT
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SIDNEY, Mount. (KUMV) - March marks the beginning of the spring testing season for high school students. One of those tests includes the ACT, an important benchmark for students heading to college. In Montana, the test will look a little different than in years past.

Juniors at Sidney High School are taking every opportunity available to prepare for the upcoming ACT. For those planning on continuing their education, a high score would be beneficial.

“The one scholarship I’m looking at, you need a score of 28 and it gives you a full ride to a Montana school which would be very beneficial for my future having no student debt,” said Corben Holler, junior.

While some studying is done with pencil and paper, most of the preparation is now being done on computers. That’s because this year, the ACT in Montana will be taken online.

“I’m really going to have to dial in. I’m going to have to not focus on distractions and just think about my test,” said Ella Norby, junior.

The change comes from the Department of Public Instruction, with Superintendent Elsie Arntzen saying an online test will improve access for students. Sidney High School Career and Vocational Counselor Stacey Collins said she believes it will help students relax a bit more when taking the test.

“I think it’s more valuable to the student. It’s more comfortable for the students because it’s technology and so they are used to using computers,” said Collins.

Some students, however, say it’s a big difference.

“I feel like I have less concentration when I [take tests] on a computer,” said Norby.

It will require students to overcome new obstacles.

“I have to scroll up to read a passage then scroll down to answer the question. It was just time-wasting compared to a piece of paper that I can read,” said Holler.

While not as important compared to years past, the ACT is still used by most school districts to measure student growth. It also is an important factor in many scholarships.

Testing windows for the Montana ACT will start on March 28 and continue up to May 4.