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By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

Trousdale County students will join all other public high school students in the class of 2018 in getting the opportunity to retake the ACT this fall.

In a press release last week, Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced that the state would expand its ACT Senior Retake Day to all Tennessee public high school students in the class of 2018, totaling nearly 70,000 students.

In addition, the department is making it easier for public school seniors to retake the ACT this fall by offering this second opportunity during the school day in students’ own schools.

Unlike in the past, students do not need to sign up to retake the test – it will automatically be provided. School districts can to choose the testing date that is best for students and causes the least disruption for those not taking the exam. Districts may offer the retake on Oct. 3, Oct. 17, or on both days.

In 2017, 33 students at Trousdale County High School retook the ACT, according to Director of Schools Clint Satterfield.

“The issue that we experienced last year was that the Retake opportunity was held at an off-campus testing site and we were out of school for fall break at the same time. We believe the combination of both hurt our participation rates,” Satterfield said.

“This year we will be holding the ACT Senior Retake on Oct. 17 and it will be administered on site at the high school. We expect many more participants this fall.”

October 2016 was the first time Tennessee offered public high school seniors the chance to retake the ACT for free, but it was only available to students who had previously taken the ACT as juniors and who were able to take it on a weekend testing date at a testing center. Of those who participated in the 2016 retake, nearly 40 percent increased their overall score.

“Tennessee is once again a national leader in education as the first state to offer an ACT retake opportunity to all public school seniors,” McQueen said in the press statement. “By expanding our retake day, we send a strong signal that our state is committed to further increasing access, especially among students who stand to benefit the most from this opportunity.”

According to information provided by the state, in the first year of the state offering a free ACT Retake Day, an additional 1,300 students earned a composite score of 21 or above on the ACT, providing them access to $21 million in additional HOPE scholarship funds.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.