Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Science teacher Paige Lundquist leads her third period Honors Biology class on May 10.
D203 Board of Education approves major changes to science course pathway
Nolan Shen, Arts & Entertainment Editor • May 23, 2024
One of the photos taken by senior Tomi Bounphisai of R41N during this years Centrals Got Talent show.
Senior snaps singing, dancing and prom: “I just enjoy watching their vision come alive”
Selah Lee, Staff Writer • May 22, 2024
Sophomores Lilly Jia (far left) and Audrey Cheng (left) instruct competitors at Clover Math’s elementary and middle school math competition, hosted at Central on April 26. Clover Math is an organization founded by four District 203 juniors.
Student-led math organization hosts competition
C.J. Getting, Operations Managing Editor • May 21, 2024
From left to right, Robert Zoellick, Dr. Catherine Adrian DeRidder, Matt DiCianni and Ben Hutchison pose after becoming Central’s newest Distinguished Alumni at a ceremony on May 3.
Central inducts four new distinguished alumni in 25th annual ceremony
C.J. Getting, Operations Managing Editor • May 20, 2024
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State SAT contract set to expire, leaving questions and uncertainty

The state of Illinois’ contract with the SAT is set to expire June 30, meaning a change of state-required college entrance exams may be coming for the 2024-2025 school year.

Since 2016, all Illinois high school students have been required to take the SAT (administered by the College Board) in order to graduate. For years prior to that, the ACT was the state-mandated test. With the College Board’s contract with the state set to expire in just two months, it is possible that the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) could once again award the contract to the ACT following the company’s $53 million bid. 

“It really depends on how this all works out with the College Board and the ACT,” said Steve Jeretina, Central’s Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction. “The College Board has the opportunity to appeal [the ACT bid]. We’re kind of in a holding pattern until the state decides to pick a path.”

Differences in the two tests may play a role in the direction the state goes. The version of the SAT that is administered in Illinois high schools includes an essay section. This essay section is a required for admission to some colleges, namely the University of California system. While the ACT does include a writing component, it is optional and not as commonly taken as the SAT’s essay. Additionally, a science test offered by the ACT may change how Central and other high schools administer their standardized tests.

“Right now, juniors have to take the SAT and then they have to take the Illinois Science Assessment because there is no science part on the SAT,” Jeretina said. “If we go back to the ACT, do we no longer have to do the Illinois Science Assessment because ACT will include a science component? It’s one of those things that’s a wait and see for us.”

No official announcement has been made by ISBE, the College Board or the ACT so far regarding an official decision. Additionally, there is not a clear or official timeline for this decision to be made. 

“I’d like to think that by the end of May we’ll have a better idea,” Jeretina said. “It’s selfishly for planning purposes. When you take that fall PSAT test, it’s the National Merit qualifying exam as well. Part of me is of the belief that the PSAT/NMSQT would stay put for anyone who’s trying to become a National Merit qualifier. But again, we just don’t know at this point.”

This move comes amid many other changes happening in the world of standardized testing and college admissions. The SAT recently began administering an online version of the exam (taken by Central Juniors on April 10). This version of the exam is one hour shorter than previous versions, and progressively adapts to a student’s answers. Many colleges have also begun to reinstate their standardized test requirements for admission after going test-optional during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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About the Contributor
Nolan Shen
Nolan Shen, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Nolan is a senior, entering his third year on staff. He is excited to be heading the Arts and Entertainment section this year. When not writing for CT, he can be found playing with the Marching Redhawks Drumline, performing in the Naperville Youth Symphony, eating too much McDonald’s, and watching bad sci-fi movies. Next year, he plans on going to college to study political science and hopefully not flunk out.
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