Current High School Juniors Will Take ACT, State Says

January 11, 2016
Photo: ACT assessment test (AP Photo)
Colorado 11th graders will take the ACT Assessment test this year. 

The decision comes after weeks of uncertainty. Before the holiday break, a selection committee chose a new college entrance exam, the SAT. Protests from parents and superintendents caused officials to rethink the decision for current 11th graders.

"Given the high stakes nature of these assessments for our students– college admissions, scholarships, placement – we believed it was in their best interest this year to continue to take the ACT," said the Colorado Department of Education’s Joyce Zurcowski.

One group of high schoolers will have a new test this year -- 10th graders will take the P-SAT. It takes only three hours to complete, compared to the 11 hours of PARCC tests they took last year.

And next year, those students will take the SAT as 11th graders, which state officials say better reflects the state’s new academic standards.

Since 2001, Colorado has required every high school junior take the ACT as their 11th grade college entrance exam. The SAT focuses on critical thinking and analytical reasoning, and officials say, is more aligned to tough, new academic standards.