College & Workforce Readiness

Delaware Gives All Juniors SAT During School Day

By Caralee J. Adams — January 25, 2011 1 min read
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You don’t have to shell out $47 or kill a Saturday to take the SAT if you are a high school junior living in Delaware.

On April 13, the SAT will be administered statewide to all juniors in Delaware public schools during the regular school day, the Delaware Department of Education announced today. Money the state won in the Race to the Top competition is funding the $1.8 million contract with the College Board to give the test in high schools for the next four years.

Last year, about 36 percent of 11th graders in Delaware took the test, according to a news release from the state education department. The hope is that by making the test more widely available to students, it will help teachers get a handle on students’ college readiness and increase the number who apply to higher education institutions.

Delaware is one of three states that give the SAT free to students. Maine has offered it to high school juniors for several years as part of an accountability and college-admissions program, according to the College Board.

The ACT is provided during the school day for free to juniors in 10 states, says ACT Inc. spokesman Scott Gomer. The test has been offered in Colorado and Illinois since 2001. The others include: Michigan, Kentucky, Wyoming, Tennesee, North Dakota, Arkansas, and Utah,

In March of 2010, Texas began to give juniors a voucher to take either the SAT or ACT outside of class.

To get ready for the schoolwide testing in Delaware, the Red Clay Consolidated School District is offering a free SAT-prep class. About 400 students signed up for the seven-week class, which lasts two hours a night, says Superintendent Merv Daugherty. SAT-test prep has also replaced study hall in the high school as part of the district’s efforts to improve college readiness.

All juniors will take the April 13 test, unless their parents send a letter to opt out by the end of March.

The schoolwide SAT will give students an opportunity to realize their strengths, weaknesses, and what they need to prepare for if they take the test again, says Daugherty.

“It will open the eyes of some students to say, ‘I can do this,’ It may be a confidence-builder that opens the window for college,” he says.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.