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Drury University Recognizes High-Scoring Seventh Graders

A group of seventh graders in Southwest Missouri achieved test scores that are better than many high school students. KSMU's Benjamin Fry reports on how an area college is honoring these students.

Nearly everyone who's been in college can recall the feeling of taking the ACT or SAT.

It could have been the most stressful test of your high school career.

But some like to get a head start on these prep exams much earlier than that.

Today was a day of recognition for those who excelled at these tests as middle schoolers.

More than 300 seventh graders from across the state packed Weiser Gymnasium at Drury University to be honored at the 28th annual Missouri Recognition Ceremony.

13 year old Genevieve Allen and two of her classmates from Harrison Middle School were invited to the festivities.

"Well, it kind of paves a path for the future and opens up a lot of opportunities," Allen said.

Lenae Lazzelle is the Gifted Liaison to Drury. She spoke of the benefits of taking these tests early.

"Getting into school is based on these scores and so if you can start early in seventh grade and really see where your strengths lie and what weaknesses you need to work on to get those scores up there really helps them mature in those areas," Lazzelle said.

To be eligible for the ceremony, students must get a 21 in at least one of the four areas of the ACT or score above a 500 on the SAT.

The highest achievers in these categories will earn scholarships to summer programs at places like Duke University.

"They take the actual ACT as all sophomores, junior, seniors do in high school, and these are the scores they get based on that as like 12 year olds," Lazzelle said.

And the fact that these preteens excel at the same level as their elders is something to be proud of.

For KSMU news, I'm Benjamin Fry.

Out of the 21,000 seventh graders honored nation-wide this year, more than 1100 were from Missouri.