On Saturday, September 8 Students begin to walk in to FHN’s lobby. Some begin to talk in soft tones, laughing and joking as they would normally. Others stand silently, merely observing their surroundings. Their are twenty minutes before the test. Although tables are set out to begin checking in, their are no lines and no one sitting with binders of list.
More and more students trickle into the open room. Talking increases in volume from group to group. Although many students ignore the subject, some begin to discuss their goals and preparations of the ACTs. Numbers are discussed and goals are set, followed by enthusiasm or wary groans. Each with an overtone of great importance.
“A lot of colleges are going to where a large portion of their decision to admit you is based on ACT,” FHN guidance councilor Rachel Faulkner said. “A 28 could get you scholarship money while a 21 is not likely to”
The room begins to become jammed. A teacher speaks above the crowd asking all to have IDs and papers ready to begin checking in. Students begin their decent into different rooms. They are once again asked to show identification before taking their seats in their given classrooms. Test booklets are handed it out and rules are read off. Names are written on pages and dots are filled. Names, addresses, booklet numbers and editions are all filled into a tan bubble sheet. After the process is done students are told to flip into to their section and begin.
Bubbles are filled, time limits were given, essays were written, and bubbles were filled. Teachers in each room give five minute warnings before the end of each section. Two hours pass and students are released from each room to have a break. Some bring out food to eat in between the first and second half. Others just gather and talk of sections left incomplete or questions misunderstood. Some students begin to question how well school had prepared them for the ACTs.
“It fails to (measure intelligence),” Senior Brittany Meyer said. “Some people haven’t learned this stuff”
fifteen minutes are up and students are ushered back to their assigned rooms to begin again. Teachers wait to have everyone in class before giving the next list of directions. Only two of four sections are complete and after two hours of testing, must begin again. The room is almost completely silent.
” It’s just how much (stress) it puts on,” Junior Cory Stock said. “Your ACT score ends up deciding your future.”
A final order to stop is given by teachers through out the school. Silent students fill out a survey on the back of the packet asking if the test givers asked for identification and what kind of calculator they used. After each packet and grading sheet is individually collected, students are dismissed to leave. small packs from each classroom leaving in waves through the entrance of FHN.