The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

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The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.

FHNtoday.com

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ACT Makes Huge Impacts on Students’ Futures

The ACT is one of the many standardized tests that students will take in their lifetime. Students are typically required to take this test in order to get into college. The ACT tests students on subjects such as English, mathematics, reading, and science. Each section of the test is timed, lasting usually around 35 minutes per subject.Page 16

“I think the test is a good guide, but I don’t think it should be the final decision of whether a student gets into a college or not,” AP American Government teacher William Crow said.

The ACT is one of the most widely used tests for college placement because of the variety of subjects it covers.

“I don’t believe standardized tests show how smart a student is because one of those tests is an aptitude test,” Crow said. “It’s supposed to show you how well you might do in college. The ACT, now that its changed, does a better job of testing knowledge, but I don’t think it should be the main reason why kids get in college.”

Generally, a standardized test has multiple subjects that a student gets tested on, ranging from 40-75 questions per subject. Most subjects test information from classes taken in middle school up to classes taken a student’s senior year of high school.

“Because they’re trying to gain so much information in a short amount of time, a student is not really able to express their knowledge or their depth of knowledge of a specific subject, and these tests are broad,” Crow said.

The ACT has an optional writing portion that is required by some colleges. The test contains of one writing prompt that states an issue, and students describe two points of view involving that issue. The essay tests a student’s skills that were emphasized in high school English classes.

“Along with a test, colleges should maybe have an interview of a specific subject that the students interested in by a member of that department,” Crow said.

There are many classes offered to prepare students for standardized tests such as the ACT and the SAT, and many students take practice tests before taking the actual test. Many students take the test their junior year of high school, however, some students take these tests as early as middle school.

“Tests stress me out,” sophomore Audrey Baker said. “I study for hours the night before every test. I’m already stressed because I’m under a lot of pressure to get an A, but when you add the fact that I don’t get any relaxation time the night before tests, I’m just a stressed out mess.”

Many colleges use standardized test scores to make admission decisions. Typically, if a student’s ACT score is high, then their GPA can be lower without it having a negative impact. Colleges also use the test results to help place students into the correct courses. Some scholarship and loan agencies use scores from these tests to identify qualified candidates.

“I think America’s put too much emphasis on testing, and testing is a snapshot in time of a student’s abilities,” Crow said.

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