Hawaii News Public schools prepare for first run of college prep exams By Nanea Kalani / firstname.lastname@example.org April 22, 2013 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Some 50,000 intermediate and high school students at public schools statewide will start taking a four-hour college-prep test beginning Tuesday. The ACT College and Career Readiness test previously was voluntary for high school juniors, but the Department of Education says expanding the testing to all students in grades eight to 11 will provide better data on students’ academic progress. The DOE said the school system, for the first time, will be able to "comprehensively collect and examine college and career readiness data in reading, mathematics, science and English." The move also aligns with the DOE’s strategic plan, which calls for specific measurable targets for student achievement. The annual ACT testing is expected to help ensure all students graduate ready to succeed in college or careers, the DOE said. The state awarded an $882,000 contract to ACT Inc. for the company’s assessment package, programs and services for the 2012-13 school year. For 11th-graders the ACT consists of four tests in English, math, reading and science, and an optional writing test. ACT test scores are accepted by all major U.S. colleges, and students can select several schools where they want their scores sent. Tenth-graders will take the ACT Plan exam, which is designed to measure current academic development in English, math, reading and science. And students in eighth and ninth grades will take the ACT Explore test, which is designed to help students begin to explore career options. On Tuesday, Campbell High School will be administering the tests to the largest number of students: about 2,100 high-schoolers. Alisa Bender, assistant principal at Campbell High, said the school has been preparing for weeks to ensure the testing goes smoothly. "There’s been a lot of prep work, everything from changing our bell schedule, bus schedule and lunch schedule to rearranging teachers and students in classrooms so that the required testing environment is met," she said. "This is all brand new for many of our students, but the great thing is this will be really helpful in getting our students into college because they don’t have to pay for any of this testing," Bender said. "And for us, we’ll get data back that we can use to help our students and our school." ——— On the Net: » For free practice tests and more information, visit www.act.org/aap/hawaii. Previous Story Newswatch Next Story Special-needs kids' smiles light up teacher's 'Play Days'