THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - More Georgia students than ever are preparing for and taking the ACT. "The ACT is a college entrance exam similar to the SAT. There's a lot of states west of the Mississippi that use the ACT, the SAT is a little more common in states like Georgia," said Thomas County Central High School principal Joe Sharp.
But at TCCHS, the more prevalent this alternate exam becomes, the more the students excel at it. "Its just another benchmark for us to make sure that all of our students are ready for college level work when they graduate from high school," said Superintendent Dr. Jean Quigg.
The school credits their improvement to an increased focus on how to take standardized tests. "We have done a lot of work lately with test preparation. We have a class called college success and basically that's what it does. It helps those students prepare to take entrance exams, gives them coaching to think like the test," said Asst. Principal Laine Reichert.
High school seniors in Georgia's three largest subgroups - Caucasian, African-American and Hispanic, actually outscored their peers across the nation. "All of our subgroups are showing improvement. Our african-american students, our hispanic students, our students with disabilities as well as our economically disadvantaged students are all showing improvement," said Sharp.
Administrators say they expect high school scores to improve statewide in the coming years. "I think the Georgia Performance Standards which replaced the Quality Core Curriculum has helped us increase the rigor in all of our courses," said Quigg.
With the addition of several new advanced placement classes, Thomas County Central hopes they'll see an even greater improvement next year.
The exam is scored on a scale from 0 to 36. Thomas County Central improved nearly 2 points to an average score of 20.9 . In our area, Terrell County High School also made the most improved list.