MCPS offers vouchers to juniors taking SAT/ACT
As part of Maryland’s 2013 College and Career Ready Standards (CCRR) initiative, MCPS has implemented a standardized testing voucher system for all 11th grade students this year, covering the cost for one ACT or SAT exam.
“I appreciate MCPS doing this for us but some of the details of implementation are unclear,” stated Global junior Amy Germer, citing confusing about the entire process. “We were given the free SAT or ACT voucher after many students (including myself) took their tests months ago. Moreover, before we were alerted of the voucher opportunity, some of us already paid for a test this spring. so I think more communication with students and families is needed.”
In compliance with CCRR, MCPS decided in November that it would offer each high school the option to administer the SAT during the school day, or vouchers for their students to take one of the tests independently, according to Mr. Gysberts. Around 18 schools chose the former, while the remainder, such as Poolesville, chose to offer vouchers, as many of their juniors had already taken eithers of the tests. Most students do end up taking either exam more than once, however.
“I think the MCPS testing voucher is an incredible idea- one of the best that the district has ever had. It’s made something that is considerably overwhelming and terrifying for high school students slightly less so by eliminating a stressing factor of the process,” stated Samantha Stewart, a Humanities Junior who plans to take the SAT this March.
The usual $46 fee will be covered by MCPS, lightening the load of the many costs incurred by students and their families during the college admissions process. Students were given the option to choose between March and July SAT test dates and April and June ACT test dates; the May test date was not offered as it conflicts with A.P. testing. The additional $14 essay fee will not be covered, but students wishing to take the SAT with the essay can go onto collegeboard.com and pay for that option themselves. Any students who do not sign up for the SAT or the ACT will be automatically registered for the Accuplacer, the placement test used by Montgomery College.
“We wanted to make sure every eleventh grader takes one of these exams at least once before the school year ends, to make sure everybody has it under their belt and can focus on the next steps in their senior year. [The voucher] helps with transportation and access,” explained Poolesville Resource Counselor, Mr. David Gysberts.