College preparedness underway

Leslie D. Rose @DvilleNewsie

     The Ascension Parish Library in Donaldsonville is offering an ACT practice test session on March 5. Registration began on Feb. 8 and continues through the morning of testing, which begins at 9 a.m. There is no limit to the number of students who may register for testing.

     The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. The practice test was created to help college-bound students prepare for the ACT by giving them a sneak-peek at what types of questions will be asked, while placing them in the type of environment the test will be given.

     The test itself includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours and 30 minutes to complete, including a short break (or just over four hours if you are taking the ACT with writing). Actual testing time is two hours and 55 minutes (plus 40 minutes if you are taking the ACT with writing).

     To help you get prepared for the practice test, we have compiled some FAQs with the help of 

How do I prepare for the test?

The best preparation is taking a solid high school program – courses in English, mathematics, science and social studies – and taking your schoolwork seriously. It's also true that your attitudes, emotions, and physical state may influence your performance. So start preparing early. The night before the test, get plenty of sleep, and the morning of, treat yourself to a well-balanced breakfast and some light mediation or exercise to clear your mind.

Can I use a calculator?

Yes, a permitted calculator may be used on the ACT mathematics test only. The ACT calculator policy is designed to ensure fairness for all examinees, avoid disturbances in the testing room, and protect the security of the test materials. Any four-function, scientific or graphing calculator will be allowed as long as it is modified. provides a list of prohibited calculators.

Note that, the use of the TI-89 is the most common reason students are dismissed from the ACT for prohibited calculator use. Sharing calculators during the test is not permitted, and the test proctor will not provide a calculator. Examinees are responsible for ensuring that their calculator works properly. If their calculator uses batteries, the batteries should be strong enough to last throughout the testing session. Examinees may bring a spare calculator and extra batteries.

How is the ACT scored?

A student's composite ACT score is the average of the student's scaled scores for the four multiple-choice test sections. Example: If a student scored a 24 English, 28 Math, 26 Reading, and 23 Science, his composite ACT score would be (24 + 28 + 26 + 23)/4 = 25.25, which is rounded down to a 25.

     ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the United States. Here are the freshmen admission requirements of some of Donaldsonville area students' most coveted college choices. Note, each school listed also accepts SAT scores. For more information, visit their respective websites.

Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge)

GPA: 3.0

ACT: 22 composite score, with at least 18 English subscore; 19 math subscore

Southern University and A&M College (Baton Rouge)

GPA: 2.0 and require only one developmental

ACT: English Score of 18 or Math Score of 19

Nicholls State University (Thibodaux)    

GPA: 2.0

ACT: 21 composite score or a minimum overall high school GPA of 2.35/4.0; and have no need for a developmental English or math course.

Southeastern Louisiana University (Hammond)

GPA: 2.35

ACT: 21 composite score