New effies, new entrance exams

The Terranova test is out, the Iowa is in, but how much has actually changed?


Azariah Cuff

Alexis Miller, ‘24, works on her Latin homework while Shahd Mashali, ‘24, studies her vocab words in the Student Success Center, a place for students to improve their studying skills.

The stress of the entry exam burdens many potential WHHS seventh graders every year. It puts the fate of their future education in the hands of a percentage rate.

According to the Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) Board of Education, the test is changing from the Terranova to Iowa, meaning, this could all become true.

The Terranova Test differed in difficulty for many WHHS students. Many viewed it as easy, but to some, it was the most stressful test they have ever taken. Bella Stier, ‘25, recently took the test as a sixth grader and by experiencing all the test had to offer, she knew where her strong-suits lied.

“The English and math parts were okay but the science part was the hardest for me…there was just a lot of stuff we haven’t covered yet,” Stier said.This has been an issue for as long as the entrance exam has been around. Eager students ready to start a whole new chapter in their life, end up realizing that the test contained more than they bargained for. This results in a high-stress level for all incoming seventh graders and creates the common axiom that seventh grade is generally a tough year for any WHHS student.

It’s being administered right now for all CPS schools… You get to test twice during the school year. Only twice.”

— Assistant Principal Jessica Smitson

“The test was long and hard and I was kind of stressed the whole time…but after that, I felt good about it,’’ Stier said.

According to the CPS Testing and Assessment page, the Iowa test will be based on a percentile scale. Eligibility for the SCPP program requires a composite percentile rank of 140 and a 65 or higher percentile in reading and mathematics.

“It is changing from the Terranova to Iowa for students entering into the 2020-2021 school year,” Assistant Principal Jessica Smitson said, “It’s being administered right now for all CPS schools. You get to test twice during the school year. Only twice.”

Current Walnut Hills High School seventh and eighth grader students will take their respective grade level Iowa Assessments on October 16. The Iowa Assessments have been in use for decades, and should provide students and teachers with a clear picture of what current students’ strengths are.

Smitson stated that incoming students can look up practices online for the Iowa Assessment and to try to strengthen their chances score well and “Rise to the highest.”