Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance at PA

Providence preparing students for the ACT, most importantly, its Juniors.

By Gabrielle Benacka, PAW Writer

​              As the school year picks up, more responsibility falls upon the Juniors,  specifically the ACT/SAT tests. At Providence Academy there are certain expectations for the college entrance exams that you can feel looming in the halls. Can PA Juniors live up to these standards? Mr. Brian Estrada, one of the college counselors at Providence, seems to think so. “We want students to recognize that they do have lots of testing experience already and their PA coursework has indeed prepared them well, but it is important to put some effort into reflecting on the format of the exams, how the questions are written, and, most importantly, to put in some practice.  The College Center has lots of test prep books and other free resources – sometimes they are little used,” says Mr. Estrada.

​            While the ACT and other college entrance exams are important, they are not the only thing that matters to a college. “Test results can, alongside high school GPA, help colleges statistically predict first-year college performance.  That said, every college representative will always emphasize that grades earned in challenging high school courses matter much more than college entrance test results,” Mr. Estrada continued.

​            This goes to show that as Juniors are gearing up for the ACT, they should keep in mind that Providence’s coursework has not only prepared them to succeed on the ACT, but in college as well. Colleges are looking more closely at how rigorous a student’s classes in high school are, as that can help predict their chances of performing well at their institution. Because of Providence’s challenging courses, Juniors taking the ACT perform higher than others in Minnesota and even those nationwide. “The 25th to 75th percentile range on the ACT composite score for recent PA graduating classes is 25 to 30.  The Minnesota state average is 22.9.  The PA average score is close to the 90th percentile for all ACT results nationwide,” says Estrada. These results show how efficient PA really is with its college prep classes.

​            As a Junior myself and having already taken the ACT, PA’s classes have prepared me for each topic—English, Math, Science, Reading and Writing—in some way. Yes, the responsibility and the stress of doing well on the ACT still stands, but with PA’s challenging classes behind me, everything turned out well. It is encouraged, as Mr. Estrada mentioned before, to take advantage of the resources our College Center has. Whether that’s taking the practice ACT at Providence on November 1 or grabbing a test prep book, PA makes a point of helping their students out. Certainly classes taken at Providence will have helped prepare its Juniors, and all of its students to come, for the ACT.