The dreaded ACT and SAT tests. The part of high school no one likes to remember.

Waking up at an ungodly hour, (on Saturday of all days), paying money for tutoring sessions, and spending nights preparing for the test that determined whether we went to our dream college. 

But maybe those standardized tests that we obsessed over and prepared for (or not) don’t really mean students are or are not “college-ready.”

According to a new report by the Associated Press, ACT scores took a downward spiral this past year.

The report further goes on to explain the phenomenon of a growing and more diverse group of test-takers, highlighting that many are likely scoring lower overall, but more are also meeting benchmarks used to measure college readiness.

The report however, is contradicting–students’ scores are not as high, but students may still be prepared for college.

The Associated Press reports, last spring high-school seniors averaged a composite score of 21.0. This composite score is slightly down from last years 21.1.

However, 24 percent of ACT-tested students met or surpassed all four of the test’s benchmarks measuring their preparedness for college English, reading,math and science.

The numbers yield to the fact that three in four test takers will likely need remedial help in at least one subject to succeed in college.

Sophomore psychology major Laure Nadal said,

“I took the SAT–my highest was 1600 and my lowest was 1100. I was in remedial math and a reading class to improve my reading skills.

“UTSA did a fantastic job, though, of tutoring and helping me. They are very understanding and nice. They work really hard and do the best they can.”

Junior Anthropology major Jean Chartier prepared more for the SAT than for the ACT.

“I got a 20 on the ACT. I couldn’t care less about that test. I studied really hard for the SAT, took it twice, and ended up with an 1850. I have never been enrolled in remedials.”

The University provides a variety of educational outlets for students to ensure academic success. With aids such as The Writing Center,

 The Tomas Rivera Center, and the Q-Lab, UTSA students have the opportunity to receive the help they need to get college ready.

The Writing Center provides help to students from an English paper or a Chemistry paper.

The Writing Center is located in the HSS but will be moving to a new location in the library.          

The space is larger, with more computers and resources that can better accommodate students. Graduate student and tutor Ryan Reavis said,

 “We have been fighting for this space for a long time. It’s great we finally have more room!”

Senior English major and tutor Jason Martinez went on to explain the purpose of the The Writing Center.

“We want to make it known that we are not just a remedial program. We help anyone who needs help with writing. We don’t want to be perceived as a remedial service, we help students as well as faculty! Everyone can come.”

The Writing Center tutors vist classes to explain services. They also teach workshops that and cover undergraduates,graduates, writing citation styles, and letters of intent, for graduate school and scholarship applications.

The Writing Center currently is located in the HSS (rooms 2.02.22 and 3.03.08) but will be opening a new location in the library soon. The Center is open Monday-Friday, 9a.m.-6p.m.

The Tomas Rivera Center is also another source for academic help. The TRC has tutors that help in any subject. There are even sessions held outside of class from 9a.m.-8p.m, Monday-Thursday.

Pre-nursing junior and tutor Britney Roberts said, “Most students get a lot of help and their grades definitely improve after visiting us. We have specific tutors for every class.”

In addition to the services the TRC already provides, a new programs being offered–alternative remedial math programs. Roberts went on to say,

“We have two developmental math programs called the JumpStart program and Math Bootcamp. Both are more individualized, Roberts said, there’s a lot more one-on-one time. Incoming freshmen attend the math bootcamp, which helps prepare for college algebra. The JumpStart program is for the new calculus exam. It’s a two day program to help students place as high as calculus I.”

No matter your ACT or SAT score, UTSA is equipped with the educational tools for providing academic support for students in need. 

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