ACT Prep Classes: Get Those Scores Up!

By Natalie Salazar & Alicia Santa Cruz

Pueblo High School has added three ACT Prep classes as an elective to better prepare about 100 juniors for the ACT in April.

With the help of Ms. Mary Anne Kelly, Mr. Johnathan McLeod and Mr. Rana Medhi, juniors taking ACT for the first time in a few months will utilize their test-taking strategies and apply their academic preparation.

“I hope this class is a successful program for our Pueblo students,” said Dr. Rosario Hutchings.

She has organized a meticulous schedule for the ACT Prep teachers, who will be boosting students’ skills in three categories: reading, English (grammar) and mathematics.

Medhi, one of the ACT-Prep teachers, hopes to make a positive impact with his students’ test scores.

“I wholeheartedly want students to value the ACT and to help boost students’ confidence when taking a test,” said Medhi. “If it were up to me, I’d start this program when students were freshmen and give them a two-year head start on the ACT.”

Is The ASVAB Worth Taking?

An Opinion By Emely Villanueva

Earlier this month, Pueblo High School seniors took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB). Some may ask what the ASVAB is and why students are required to take it. The ASVAB, although administered by the military, is a test that measures students’ strengths and weaknesses for potential future success in verbal, math, science, and technical, and spatial domains.

The ASVAB, first introduced in 1968 and adopted by all branches of the military in 1976, is used to rank the best categories for occupational and academic success in the military. This, however, does not mean that students are signing up to be in the military. The ASVAB can help with placing students in the different military branches. Here at Pueblo High School, College and Career Center director Dr. Avila is hoping that the test will help seniors further expand their career exploration. The better students’ ASVAB results are, the broader students’ career options become available.

The ASVAB is currently offered at 14,000 schools and Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) nationwide. The test is offered, developed, and maintained by the Defense Department. The ASVAB has two scores. One score determines if students are eligible to join the military; students will need to score 31 to enlist; the second score, “a line score”, determines a student’s job eligibility in 10 different categories. The ASVAB also helps students with their test-taking skills by using critical thinking skills and common test skills of answering every question as they have a 25% chance of getting the answer correct.

The ASVAB helps seniors explore not only career options but also steers them in a direction they didn’t know they could have. Many Pueblo students are often lost after graduating high school. They feel lost in the sense that they feel a college or university is not an option for them. The ASVAB, however, opens new options for them as now they feel a new path has opened. Joining the military can give students a sense of belonging and accomplishing a goal for themselves and their country after completing high school.

Although, many students find it “stupid” or “useless” to take the ASVAB, requiring seniors to take the test should not make them feel that it is a punishment. Instead, students should keep an open mind about ASVAB because it offers students another opportunity for test taking skills. It opens opportunities to students considering the military and preparing these students for this path with their ASVAB results. Pueblo wants to open newer opportunities to students in career opportunities and military options.

In fact, many countries require their students to serve from one to four years, and they all require some version of a military test to place them in the corresponding branch of government. Here in the United States, the ASVAB helps students realize their strengths and weaknesses which helps them within their futures. The ASVAB also helps Pueblo’s overall “grade”; currently, Pueblo earned a “B” for the first time in its history, so students should feel the need to take the test as a duty to give back to their community.

If students are interested in taking the ASVAB, and if they missed the original testing date, there will be other opportunities to take the test in the spring. Please support your Pueblo community and yourself by taking the ASVAB. Students should see Mr. Avila or their counselor for more information.

Juniors, Seniors: ACT Test Dates Approaching Quickly!

By Kyle Elhard and Sasha Villa

Completing college applications can be a fairly difficult process for our seniors, whether it involves the actual application process or passing entrance exams. Also, juniors should be preparing for college since they will be seniors in less five months.

Mr. Antonio Garcia, also known simply as “Tony” by most seniors, is one of Pueblo’s career counselors and is promoting ACT workshops for the remainder of the semester.

Seniors will be able to retake the ACT on April 14; most colleges accept students with a score of 20 and higher. If seniors scored lower than this, they are very encouraged to retake the test next month.

Juniors can take the test for the first time on April 3.

Both seniors and juniors are encouraged to enroll in an ACT Prep Workshop here at Pueblo on March 14 and March 28 from 2:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. in the College and Career Center.

“The [ACT] workshops help students to understand the structure of tests,” said Garcia, “as well as the importance of them.” He added, “It’s not that students aren’t ready for the ACT workshops, it’s that they’re not prepared.”

Junior Candy Rodriguez is one of hundreds in her Class of ’19 who will be taking the ACT test on April 3rd.

“I’m very much looking forward to the test,” Rodriguez said. “I’ll be preparing for this test over spring break so that I can achieve a maximum score. I really want to score at least 20 on my first try.”

Seniors, Good Luck On The ACT!

Felicity Aguilar El Guerrero Pueblo 2015

By Felicity Aguilar

This is that time of the year that many seniors start to realize that graduation is only seven months away, and with a new quarter underway, it’s time to start swallowing that reality pill. Many seniors are preparing and planning for a collegiate future, but to do this, they will first have to take the ACT.

Students must achieve a score of 22-36 on the ACT to receive a scholarship in and/or out of state.

TUSD pays for all juniors to take the ACT in April, and there are opportunities to take the ACT retakes throughout the school year. A student has numerous opportunities to obtain their desired score.

“You’re ignorant for not being serious about the test, because even I wasn’t, now I know how important that test was and how it could’ve helped me,” said senior Alejandro Arguellez.

Arguellez came to Pueblo to follow his dream: to play basketball. He has dreams of playing for UCLA and joining the NBA. However, he will first need to take the ACT, which he plans to do tomorrow, Oct. 24.

“I knew that I needed to prepare for the test because I learned a long time ago that not preparing is preparing for failure,” Arguellez said.

Another senior, Kia Guedes, has been studying for the ACT, which she will also take this Saturday, October 24. She plans to score high because she has prepared for this test. For the remainder of this school year, she will maintain her high GPA and continue to work diligently to earn a scholarship to the University of Arizona.

Pueblo Sal Varela Kia Guedes ACT Testing Preparation
Sal Varela and Kia Guedes prepare for ACT Test


“I’m not nervous,” Guedes said. “I’ve taken the pre-ACT, and I’ve been preparing for the real test since the first day of this school year.” She paused and added, “I think that three months of preparing for the ACT is more than enough time. I just need to go in tomorrow and take this test seriously opposed to junior year when I first took it.”

Salvador Varela, a senior who will be graduating with the Class of 2016, is also planning to take the ACT this Saturday. Varela has been preparing since the beginning of the summer and admits that he is a little nervous. His plans are to attend Pima Community College; he then plans to transfer to the U of A.

“I feel pretty confident about this test, because a lot is expected,” said Varela. “It’s nice to know that I can retake this test if I bomb it tomorrow, but I’m feeling fairly confident about this test.”

For more information on taking the ACT, students can see Mr. Ruben Romero in the College and Career Center; you can email him or contact him at (520) 225-4542.