The ACT makes too much of an impact

Sidney Johnson, Sports and A&E

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

After attending school for awhile you get into a routine. You go to school, do homework, and eventually have a test over the topics you learn about. Taking tests is now a common expectation. You’ve aced some tests and you’ve bombed some, no big deal. Imagine taking a test that may determine the rest of your life.
For those of you who don’t know or are too young for this test to be relevant to you, the ACT, or American College Test is a nationwide standardized test scored on a scale from 0 to 36. There are four sections, english, math, reading, and science, and you are tasked to finish each section with limited amount of time. The ACT takes about four hours to complete and you are permitted to take it up to 12 times. Each college has a different minimum for an ACT score, which is usually compared to your GPA.
The average ACT score at Jefferson City High School is 21.4. This average score barely qualifies for acceptance into most universities in Missouri. The ACT should not have such an impact on whether a college accepts or declines an application. Some students suffer from test anxiety or simply lack testing skills. Test anxiety is a psychologically proven abnormality. The fear of failure overtakes the mind of the student and it is challenging to focus even if he or she has prepared for the test. Even with a high GPA, a low score on the ACT can negatively impact your chances of being accepted into a college.
Hannah Sluyter is a student at JCHS is dealing with this very issue. Sluyter feels as if the test is unfair after all the hard work she has put in.
“I feel that if you have a high work ethic and your GPA shows it then the ACT shouldn’t determine which college you can attend,” Sluyter said, “If you are willing to work hard for four hours and keep your GPA up, a four hour test should not have the upper hand.”
The entire ACT is timed. On some portions of the ACT there are more questions than there are minutes given. Every test taker evaluates information differently and at different speeds. There are ways you could apply to take the test with no time constraints, but not everyone qualifies. Another disadvantage of the test is the subjects you are tested over. A student could be advanced in 3 out of the 4 sections, but testing low on one section can bring the composite score down significantly.
Some students and professors believe that testing is the only way to display your comprehension over a subject. Other arguments claim that classes and other resources on the test taking strategy are available. Yes, resources are available, however, there is no guarantee it will help every student. Since the test is timed those that have a high score are applauded for their ability to perform under pressure.
Even with resources and tutors, some people will always be at a disadvantage when unable to perform well on tests or not being proficient in one subject. The ACT is an unfair test and should not be such a concern when applying to colleges. The real work is shown in your GPA and your dedication to school. The ACT should not determine your future.