ACES club students ace test taking and build academic skills


ACES participants – Courtesy of Jennifer Pierce

Allie Bragassi, Staff Reporter

Sitting at a desk taking a test isn’t most people’s idea of a sport, but members of ACES feel that it is a great opportunity to improve their test-taking skills in a competitive setting.

ACES is a club at Carl Sandburg High School that offers students the opportunity to practice and improve their academic skills and knowledge while competing against other schools.

Students in ACES take tests in a variety of subjects, including biology, chemistry, physics, math, computer science, engineering graphics, and English. These tests are all multiple choice, with each test focusing on different topics.  As the school year progresses, the club members compete against other schools in a variety of subjects. 

ACES has been around for 40 years, and has undergone a few name changes. The club began when it was sponsored by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and was called WYSE (Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering). The club was discontinued for a while before Eastern Illinois restarted it and renamed it JETS (Junior Engineering Technology Science). Eventually the club came to the name it has today, ACES (Academic Challenge Engineering Science). Now, here at Sandburg, there are approximately 65 members, and the club meets about two times a month.

The competitions in ACES function similarly to some sports. There are JV and Varsity teams that begin by competing against other schools and make their way up to sectionals and state. The members of ACES that do not compete against other schools work to improve their individual test-taking skills.

Ms. Pierce, the head sponsor of ACES, said, “I think we have an opportunity to make a positive impact on students using their intelligence to compete against each other.” 

Jocelyn Chan, a sophomore member of ACES, said that one of the amazing parts of the club is that everyone in the club is friendly and has a great time. She recommends that anyone interested in any type of science should join ACES next year.