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College-entrance exam deadlines near

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

The exams will not end with the school year for hundreds of rising high school seniors, who are making plans to take college-entrance exams this summer.

Likely, more than half of the 260 juniors at Woodland High School in Stockbridge will take college-entrance exams this summer, according to the school's lead counselor, Johnice McRae.

Students are encouraged to take the exams during the spring of their junior year to allow time to re-take them to improve scores before college-application deadlines.

Earning high scores on college exams takes preparation, McRae said.

"It starts with the classroom and doing the things that the teacher has assigned to them," she said. "There are also credible books out there to help prepare them."

Beginning next school year, Woodland will begin offering an SAT prep course for students. Students, however, should begin preparing for the exams as early as possible.

"I think they should start whenever they start reading, writing, and doing the arithmetic," McRae said. "The earlier you start, the better prepared you'll be; preparation is essential."

Students about to take the exam can start preparing by taking the available online practice exams, or simply by studying vocabulary words on a daily basis.

"I would recommend they start with some of the vocabulary words that may be on the SAT and work on five or 10 of those words a day," McRae said.

Students, who have not registered to take the May ACT or SAT exams, may still register for June exam dates.

The June 14 ACT date is popular with high school juniors, according to ACT spokesman Ed Colby. "Many of them take the ACT at the end of 11th grade to see how they fare, knowing they can always re-take it the following year," Colby said. "Based on the information they receive in their score report, students can study to boost academic weaknesses before taking the test again as seniors."

Students who take the ACT more than once, may choose which set of scores to send to college.

As with College Board's SAT, ACT offers an optional writing test. Students should check the admission requirements of the colleges they are considering before registering for the ACT, as many colleges do not require students to submit a writing score.

For the June 14 ACT exam date, students must register online or have their paper registrations postmarked by the end of the day May 9.

The late registration fee is an additional $19 for postmarked registrations through May 23. The registration fee is $30 for the traditional ACT exam or $44.50 for the ACT Plus Writing.

The exam will be held locally at Mount Zion High School in Jonesboro and Lovejoy High School in Lovejoy.

Local exam sites for the June 7 SAT are: Solid Rock Academy in Riverdale, Woodward Academy in College Park, and Stockbridge High School in Stockbridge.

The regular registration deadline for the upcoming SAT exam is May 6 with a late registration deadline of May 15, which would incur a $22 fee in addition to the $43 regular registration fee.

Students may obtain registration packets for both the SAT and ACT from their high school guidance counselors.

For information about exam-fee waivers, refunds, online preparation, and exam-taking tips, visit the College Board's SAT or the ACT web sites.

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On the net:

ACT: www.actstudent.org

College Board's SAT: www.collegeboard.com