ACT Test scores across the nation are out and Arkansas high school seniors are seeing some improvement.
Test scores are up from 19 to 20 this year. Teachers say colleges and scholarships are becoming more competitive and students are beginning to understand the need for high scores.
"It's not just about just the test now and getting into college,” said Northside High School Senior Mason Fowler. “It's about 20 years from now trying to pay back student loans."
Fowler credits a two week ACT Prep course in helping boost his test results.
“My score jumped five or six points,” said Fowler.
School districts across the River Valley are joining in on making the classes available to help raise students’ scores.
"One of the things we do as a district, cooperatively with Van Buren, Alma, and Greenwood, is create an ACT program that will run four times a year," said Director of Secondary Education Marty Mahan.
Students we spoke with credit taking the test early in their high school careers and multiple times to improve. He says a lot of the ACT isn’t about the material, but rather how the test works. The more familiar you are with timed exam, the more you’ll know where to focus your attention.
"I think I have four or five more opportunities to take it, and I'm probably going to take every one of them," said Fowler.
He hopes to raise his score 10 points from the first time he took the ACT.
"My goal is 28, 29, and I think that I can do that,” said Fowler. “I don't think that's an unrealistic goal."
The ACT is offered three times each semester. Teachers say it's not uncommon for students to take the test three to four times before graduation.
Arkansas’ 20.3 test score is just under the national average of 21.1, according to the 2012 ACT Report.