- Big Lake Schools
Assessment Day Information
Dear junior class and their parents!
For the past few years, Big Lake High School has had a dedicated “Assessment Day” to offer students an opportunity to take part in one of the college and career placement exams. We are proud of the many opportunities our students have here at BLHS through our REAL program, Project Lead The Way, Work Experience, PSEO, College-In-The Classroom (CIC), and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Having a dedicated Assessment Day reinforces our commitment for all students to have a pathway to their next chapter. This week we met with the junior class to present the following information, as they start to think about life after high school. We highly encourage, but do not require, students to take at least one of these exams to help guide their post high school decision-making. Although these tests are not offered until this spring, students need to start thinking about it now!
March 8th - Test date for ACT, ASVAB and ACCUPLACER
March 29th - ACT make-up test date
- All of these exams are administered online using your school issued Chromebook.
Why take the ACT?
The ACT is a college entrance exam that tests students on their understanding of English, math, reading, science, and writing. Students will also be able to select up to four colleges to receive their ACT score at no cost. Even if students are unsure about going to college, this test may still be worth the time to take. All students will receive a personalized ACT report that provides valuable information about their post-high school readiness, as well as career pathways that fit their interests and skills. Big Lake Public Schools is offering to pay half the expense of the ACT, making the total cost for each student $42.50; the state of Minnesota is covering the total cost of the ACT for students who are eligible for free/reduced lunch. Any student who may need a financial scholarship to pay for the ACT, please see Mrs. Charboneau-Folch. The ACT is a timed test and usually takes about 4.5 hours to complete.
SPED/504 Students: If students are currently on an IEP or 504 plan, they may be eligible to be approved for ACT accommodations, such as extended time or testing in a small group. Please see your student’s case manager if there are questions about applying for ACT accommodations.
What is the ASVAB:
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a multiple choice test, administered by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command, used to determine qualification for enlistment in the United States' armed forces. It is often offered to U.S. high school students when they are in the 10th, 11th and 12th grade, though anyone eligible for enlistment may take it. Any student who is considering a career in the military should sign up to take the ASVAB. However, the ASVAB will provide useful college and career pathway information regardless if students are interested in the military. Students will have a special session with the ASVAB proctor to understand their score and gain access to the ASVAB online resources. There is no cost to take this exam. The ASVAB is not timed and generally takes about 2-3 hours to complete.
What is the Accuplacer?
All ACCUPLACER tests use a multiple-choice format and will test your English and math skills. Students looking to take college credit bearing high school courses may need a placement score to qualify if there is no ACT score. Therefore, this test will also be available for sophomores looking to register for certain high school courses their junior or senior year. ACCUPLACER uses the latest computer-adaptive technology, which means the questions students see are based on their skill level. Student responses to each question determines the difficulty level of the next question, so it’s important to give each question as much thought as possible before selecting the answer. The ACCUPLACER test is not a pass/fail test; it measures students’ academic skills to help recommend or place students into specific high school courses that earn college credit. There is no cost to take this exam. There is also no time limit on the tests, so students can focus on doing their best to demonstrate their skills.
Test Prep Resources – Free online practice ACT & ASVAB questions are available in students’ Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS) account. To log into the MCIS account, go to the MCIS website with the username: first.last23 and the password is Blake00000# (the student ID # - may need to use 0 before the student’s ID number to make five digits). Once logged in, the ACT/ASVAB prep can be found under the “My Portfolio” tab and then select “Test Prep”. Students can also go to these respective websites for additional information:
We have ACT practice booklets available in the Counseling Office. Using the ACT practice booklet is a great asset to become familiar with the test. Students, remember to time yourself on each section! Lastly, Big Lake Community Education will be offering an ACT Preparatory Course students can sign up for. More information regarding this course and fee will be available soon on their website.
To Sign Up for the Exams
For students who wish to take the ASVAB or ACCUPLACER, please complete this Google form through your school Google account. Because the ACT requires payment, students will sign up for the ACT using your Affinity account. Students will need to go to Affinity online and click on “ACT” under the Activity Registration & Class Fees tab. Then you will add the ACT test to your cart. If students qualify for free/reduced lunch, when checking out, your cart should automatically go to $0. Once you are checked out, you will be registered for the test. If you cannot access the online payment system, a check may be issued to BLHS and given to the main office.
We are asking students to sign up for their exam by January 3, 2022.
If you have any questions regarding these exams, please contact Mrs. Charboneau-Folch. We will send out on a later date more detailed test information to those students who sign up.