In Search of Why We Must Take the Accuplacer

Ayanna Martinez, Staff Writer

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If you are a senior, you may know the pain that is related to the term “college ready.” This term essentially means that each high school graduate has the knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses without the need of remedial coursework.

One of the major pieces of this is the Accuplacer test, which is specifically targeted at students who are not taking the SAT or ACT, but do plan on attending a community college after graduation. This test determines if you are or are not  “college ready.” The accuplacer has two parts: Elementary algebra and English. You must pass Elementary Algebra with at least a 109 and English with at least a 99.

You  must achieve these scores to graduate and be considered “college ready.”

A student can graduate if they show improvement over their last score – but these students do not qualify as “college ready”. If they want to be “college ready,”they have to take the test either during SAT day on April 9th or after they graduate so they can go to college. If they don’t take this test then they aren’t eligible to go to college.

The whole process can be quite  irritating for kids who can’t reach the score.It can  cause stress, anxiety, and mental breakdowns depending on the person. Some take classes and even extra test prep sessions, but it is  not a guarantee they will pass.

So, is all of this necessary? No. Not everyone is going to college. I understand why there is this push toward achieving a specific score on this test,but it shouldn’t be mandatory, If a student does the work to graduate from PB or any school in Maryland, they should be done with their requirements. Being forced to pass or achieve a certain score on a standardized test is unreasonable, which is why this requirement should be  optional.

If they absolutely must make us  take this test, they should make us do it before our senior year, so that we have more time to earn the score we need and more time to prepare for the skills that it tests. But overall I feel this test is very irrelevant and should only be given to those who choose to go to college and can’t afford the SAT/ACT.