DMS students recognized for testing at college level

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 13, 2005

Five Demopolis Middle School students have been singled out for statewide recognition as part of Duke University’s Talent Identification Program.

The Talent Identification Program, or TIP, allows academically advanced students to take the ACT Assessment college entrance exam during their seventh-grade year. Students whose scores rank in the top quarter of all TIP participants are invited to a special State Recognition ceremony honoring their achievements.

Of DMS’s 20 TIP participants this year, five earned an invite to this year’s ceremony, to be held at the University of Alabama May 21: Ashley Neuhauser, Charles McGee, Drew Kratzer, Rem Keen, and Lee Reeves.

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“These are significant achievements,” reads a statement from the TIP, “because the TIP pool itself is highly selective and the scores are ones that many high school students aspire to achieve.”

The students each agreed that while they were glad to take the test, they were surprised when their scores came back.

“I was surprised. I didn’t know that I was that smart!” Neuhauser said with a laugh.

“I thought there was the potential for a good score,” Kratzer said, “but I didn’t think I’d done that well.”

To qualify for state recognition, the students had to score well in at least one of the ACT’s four subjects. The necessary scores were a 20 (out of 36) in Math; a 20 in English; a 21 in Reading Comprehension; or a 21 in Science.

The students agreed that Reading was the easiest of the subjects, and Math the hardest.

Any of the qualifying scores would place the student among the typical scores for a college-bound senior. For instance, the highest composite score amongst the five, McGee’s 21, would be sufficient for admission to either the University of Alabama or Auburn University.

Despite their test-taking ability, the students admitted that one of the keys to a high score was, probably, some good guessing.

“I guessed ‘C’ a lot,” Neuhauser said with a laugh. “That’s usually the best answer.”

The students said they didn’t know if they were going to attend the ceremony in Tuscaloosa yet or not. In addition to the state recognition honor, the high scores may also make the students eligible for various programs, many offered by universities such as Duke, for high academic achievers.