Stats show SAT and ACT scores are down for incoming freshman - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Stats show SAT and ACT scores are down for incoming freshman

Statistics from college board in 2011 showed that students tested poorly on ACT and SAT exams.

Officials said some of these scores were the lowest in 40 years.

Colleges and universities across the nation want to help incoming freshman with low test scores by putting in a summer program that will help them succeed.

Samantha Hancock is working on getting her degree to be a Physical Therapy Assistant. She's taking courses now at Wallace State Community College, but because her college entrance exam scores were low, she's having to take transitional courses, which have nothing to do with her major.

Hancock said,"It's like a step below college, but it's not high school. It kind of just prepares you for what your main courses are going to be like."

Wallace State school officials plan to offer a new program that will help incoming freshman who have low test scores. It's called the GAP program or the Get Ahead Plan. It's a six week course students can take over the summer. Director Cindy Mallard said the program will help speed up the time students can get in college level courses.

"We want to help our students be successful and one of the indications that keeps them from being successful is that they have up to a year of developmental courses before they actually get into college level," said Mallard.

Kristi Nyquist, director of the talent search program, tutors students on how to pass the exam. According to the College Board, the mean SAT reading score for the high school class of 2011 fell 3 points from 2010's mean to 497, making it the lowest reading score since 1972. Officials said math and writing scores were also down.

Nyquist said there's a formula to taking the test.

"Knowing about the format is a really good thing," said Nyquist. "It's different from their school test, it's timed, it's longer, so I think they just have to realize that."

Alabama A&M University offers a similar program called the TRIO program. UAH doesn't have a course, but does have support services for incoming freshman.

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