Special Testing Programs
There are numerous tests administered by organizations other than the high schools for special purposes such as college admission, scholarships, placement, and vocational guidance. Therefore, it is necessary that students begin planning early. The choice of college will determine which tests are needed. Information about these tests may be obtained in the school counseling department. Students are encouraged to discuss their individual needs with a school counselor.
PSAT/NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLASTIC QUALIFYING TEST (PSAT/NMSQT) This test is an elective test administered to sophomores and juniors during the fall semester. It provides practice for the SAT I and, for juniors, initiates the selection process for National Merit Scholarship winners. A registration fee is required.
AMERICAN COLLEGE TESTING PROGRAM (ACT) Most four-year Midwestern colleges for admission, placement, and scholarships use the ACT. This test is most often taken during the spring (April) of the junior year but can be taken at the beginning (September) of the senior year. Registration materials are available in the school counseling department.
COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION BOARD (SAT I AND SAT II) Some colleges and some national scholarships require the SAT I – reasoning test and/or SAT II – subject tests. These tests are mainly for senior although some juniors may wish to take them in the spring or summer. Students should consult their school counselor for testing dates and centers. Registration materials are available in the school counseling department.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT These tests are used by some colleges to allow students advanced standing, advanced credit or both before they actually enroll as freshmen at that college. Fort Dodge Senior High offers several advanced placement courses. Students are strongly advised to check the policy of their prospective college regarding advanced credit or placement before taking these tests.
COLLEGE LEVEL EXAMINATION PROGRAM (CLEP) These tests are specific to a given subject. Some colleges award credit based upon the CLEP score students achieved. Students should work closely with their prospective college to be certain credit can be earned. CLEP tests are given at Iowa Central. Contact your school counselor for more information.
ACCUPLACER and ALEKS
Before enrolling in courses at Iowa Central, all first-time, full-time students; all part-time students taking math, English, reading; and/or any students whose program requires it must present assessment scores (from the last 3 years), Iowa Central requires ALEKS®, COMPASS, ACT, ACCUPLACER®, SAT, or Iowa Assessments (junior year) scores so it can guide students to appropriate coursework and to eventual academic success.
The ALEKS Assessment is Iowa Central’s math placement assessment. If students have not taken any prior math placement assessments, they can take the ALEKS Assessment at any of the Iowa Central centers, free-of-charge. The computerized ALEKS Assessment is not timed and provides a built-in calculator that can be used for some of the problems. The average time for the ALEKS Assessment is 90 minutes. Once you have completed the first assessment, you will have access to an online Prep and Learning Module where you can work through a series of problems specific to your proficient/deficient math subject areas.
The ACCUPLACER® Assessments are Iowa Central’s reading and writing (English) placement assessments. The computerized ACCUPLACER® Reading Comprehension is an untimed test comprised of 20 questions and measures your ability to understand what you read, to identify main ideas, and to make inferences. You need to distinguish between direct statements and secondary or supporting ideas.
The computerized ACCUPLACER® WritePlacer® assessment is 60-minutes in length and will require an examinee to compose a 300-600 word, typed essay. The WritePlacer® test measures your ability to write effectively, which is critical to academic success. Your writing sample will be scored on the basis of how effectively it communicates a whole message to the readers for the stated purpose. Your score is based on your ability to express, organize and support your opinions and ideas, not the position you take on the essay topic.