Santa Ana Pathways Magazine Sept./Oct. 2017

P ATH W AYS

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S A N TA A N A U N I F I E D S C H OO L D I S T R I C T

Free Test Preparation Contributes to Perfect ACT Score For Segerstrom High School Student

Kevin Nguyen, a student at Segerstrom High School, had been doing what so many others do in the spring of their junior year - starting to feel the stresses of college. The visits, applications, and testing can all feel a little overwhelming so any help you can get is appreciated. When Nguyen heard that Segerstrom was offering free ACT preparation

when applying to colleges.

that would be amazing.”

His diligence and persistence in attending workshop classes and studying generated a positive, and perhaps unexpected, return - a perfect composite score of 36. “I would have never imagined getting a 36,” says Nguygen. “I felt really happy when I got the letter in the mail and opened it. I could not believe my eyes.” Nationally, only 2,235 of the 2.1 million ACT test takers in the 2016 graduating class earned a 36. Segerstrom Principal Duncan McCulloch oversees a college-focused curriculum for students that starts on day one. All 9th and 10th graders can take, at no-cost, Aspire, a pre-ACT test that helps students discover areas they will need to work on before taking the ACT. As their school career advances, so do the opportunities for ACT preparation. Free ACT preparation through Elite Tutoring Services is offered to any junior or senior who wishes to get a little help. Nguyen knows firsthand how impactful that preparation can be. “Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity,” he said. “I know it probably cost a lot of money, but if you could do it for juniors this year, too,

For the past two years, Segerstrom has made the ACT test available to all juniors and seniors, free of charge.

He estimates that the free test preparation saved his family about $1,000. The true value of the workshop though, found in what he will receive in potential scholarships and through a continued education, has yet to be calculated. The school also hosts the test taking and schedules it on a school day so that access is not a barrier to students. For his part, Nguyen is looking forward to finishing his last year of studies at Segerstrom and planning for the future. He wants to apply to UC Berkeley and major in engineering. He does not yet have an ultimate career goal but is excited to see where the future leads him. This year, Segerstrom again gave seniors the opportunity to take the ACT test on October 3, 2017. Juniors will take it April 18, 2018.

Kevin Nguyen

workshops, he eagerly signed up. He attended the twice- weekly, after school practice sessions over the course of a couple months leading up to the official test date. The 215 questionACT is a curriculum-based achievement test that measures what students have learned in school. Test scores are part of the admission, course placement and financial aid considerations by nearly all four-year colleges and universities in the United States. Nguyen knew that scoring well on the ACT college readiness exam could give him a competitive advantage

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