Wednesday, May 9, 2012


The ACT has been around for many years. My mom, my dad and many more of my family members have taken it. However, even though the material being taught in school has changed, the ACT has not.

The ACT is an assessment that is basically required within the Midwest in order to get into college. My grandpa (an ex-Dean of Admissions) has told me that in the past, your ACT score was what got you into college; your ACT score was the main thing they looked at. Yes, they considered your grades and GPA, but your score on the ACT was what ultimately got you into a school. Now however, colleges have transformed in a multitude of ways. They look at your GPA and grades/classes you took in high school to decide if they want you, rather than just looking at your ACT scores. This is important because although many may be like me: smart, but an awful standardized test taker.

When I first started college searching, I became very nervous when I saw the ACT information. I have never been one to do well on standardized tests (such as ITBS or ITEDS in Iowa), but I have always been an outstanding student. I feel as though the ACT does not accurately test your knowledge. There is information on the test that is not always taught, or will be taught, but you haven’t taken it yet. What frustrates me the most is when they put information on there that you are “supposed to know” even though it won’t be taught until the end of your senior year. Typically, you should be taking the ACT as a junior, so you can start applying to schools in early fall. When you don’t learn this information until the end of your high school career, why are they testing it before you’ve gotten there? It just doesn’t seem fair to me.

I am glad colleges have begun to realize that the ACT is not an accurate calculation of one’s intelligence. The type of person they are in high school, their classes, as well as their GPA are much more important and say much more about how a person is as a student, which is ultimately what the school should want. I am in the top ten out of four hundred kids in my class, but I am only average on the ACT. Now that I realize schools are starting to look past the scores of that one test, I am much more comfortable with the whole college application process.

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