ACT bringing up one last bout of text anxiety

By: Malcolm Musoni

As a high school student going into the summer after senior year, the ACT was something that I should have done last year as a junior, but due to me procrastinating and not realizing the urgency and importance, I took the test for the first time last month and will be taking it again next month.

One of my major reasons for withholding on taking it was the amount of pressure that is put on the test. For starters you are paying for the test and you want to do well on it the first time so you don’t have to pay again. Secondly it’s a four-hour standardized test. This is the first standardized test that counts for many high school students. All throughout your schooling years since elementary school you take a standardized test officiated by the state, but the test doesn’t matter or affect you. It’s purpose is to get a sense of your school as a whole to see if the students are learning and more so if the teachers are doing their jobs.

So you go through your high school years not really trying or taking it seriously whenever you’re presented with a standardized test, and suddenly you have to change how you’ve done things for the past eight or so years for the purpose of getting into the college of your choice.

The American College Testing Company defines the ACT as a test that determines if high school students are ready for college by requiring them to at least achieve minimum ACT test scores in the four core areas, but there are so many examples of people who did excellent on the ACT but went to college and found out that they really weren’t ready out of the gate for a four-year college. The ACT doesn’t predict college performance effectiveness but how fast you can take a really important test.

There’s so much that plays into an ACT score that is so much more than just did you study for the test or did you not study. Some people are just naturally better test takers than others. Some need information before like the process of doing homework to be able to score decently on testing. I’m the type of person where I need to be engaged in class and do homework to do well on a test. When it came to taking the ACT, I didn’t give myself the opportunity to study. I decided that I was going to just wing it and see how that went and then take it again in June if I thought I could do better with some studying or just after seeing the test for the first time and being aware of the material.

Many schools across the country have ACT prep courses that you can take if you pay a certain amount of money. If you can’t afford that, then you can go on sites like Amazon and buy ACT prep books. You can also check out test prep books from the high school library if you don’t want to shell out money for them.

At the end of the day, we all learn and take tests differently. It’s crazy to think that for years knowing this simple fact we have continued to give potential college students this test and measured them against each other with the average score being 24, but if we take away the ACT, what is the alternative? What is the way to determine if high school students are ready for college, or is that predictor even needed in this day and age?

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