Silver Chips Online

Students have new test option for College Readiness Day

Juniors can now take ASVAB instead of PSAT or ACT

By Melissa Arias, Online Entertainment Editor
October 8, 2012
Editor's Note: Article updated 5:22 p.m., Oct. 11. Correction: Original article included incorrect information about Option 8.

On this year's College Readiness Day, which will take place Oct. 17, Blair juniors and sophomores will be able to choose between three exams to take in preparation for their future college admission tests: the practice SAT (PSAT), the American College Testing (ACT) and the newly-offered Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

William Currence, testing coordinator for Blair, holds a Practice SAT guide. Hilario Morales
William Currence, testing coordinator for Blair, holds a Practice SAT guide.
The ASVAB is not a college admission test like the SAT, or the ACT. It is a multiple-aptitude examination designed to measure developed abilities and predict future academic and occupational success in the military. It is administered annually to more than one million military applicants, high school students and post-secondary students. "The test indicates current readiness for the college admission tests, and it shows propensity for different careers, and it helps students who are still undecided on their careers, based on their aptitude and interests," Principal Renay Johnson said.

The ASVAB gives students the opportunity to access useful data such as geographical openings of a particular career interest and possible scholarships the student can apply to. "Once a student takes the test, and has the access code, they can apply to jobs and scholarships tailored to the student," William Currence, the testing coordinator for Blair, said. The access code gives students two years' access to the Department of Labor website.

Because of the "Armed Services" part of the acronym, the ASVAB has a stigma of being a military recruitment test. Each brand of services has a different ASVAB score, but Maryland is an Option 8 state. This means that all students are automatically opted out of the military recruitment, unless they choose to opt in.

The test is given in over 14,000 locations and, unlike the SAT and the ACT, it does not have pre-set dates. A student only has to get a proctor to supervise them while they take the test.

Instead of taking the ACT Plan on College Readiness Day, freshmen must now take the P-SAT. "I'm happy that the ninth graders have two years of practice for the SAT, hopefully it will advance scores for grade 11," Johnson said.

The practice tests, all provided by the Huntington Learning Center, allow students to qualify for the National Junior Merit Scholarship.

Seniors will attend a class breakfast, as well as a college fair, at which they will have the opportunity to meet representatives from many different colleges and universities.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/11764