Is the ACT a good way to judge students’ knowledge?

The ACT is not a good representation of a student's abilities.

Allison Stocker, Contributor

Colleges from all around the United States have adopted the practice of requiring an ACT/SAT score upon acceptance to their school. However, a few schools have begun to drop this requirement. George Washington University in Washington, D.C. is an example of a major school that has dropped the requirement that new students must submit an ACT or SAT score for admissions.

The ACT is a big deal at Prior Lake High School in Savage, Minnesota. Many of the students here stress over the standardized test and believe that if they do not get a high score, they will not be accepted into the college of their dreams. 

Bailey Niemann, a senior at Prior Lake High School, states that she spent hours studying for this test that covers things she has learned over the past four years in high school. She also invested in a tutoring book and a tutor to help her achieve her goal of attaining a good ACT score.

Bailey believes that standardized testing should not be a way of determining the intelligence and knowledge that a student possesses. She thinks that colleges should instead look at the student’s problem solving skills, their way of working through math problems, their class ranking, and their high school grades.

Students in high school are pressured, stressed, and pushed to do well on the ACT. According to Ms. Gaffney, the score you receive on the ACT is 50% influenced by the skills you’ve inherited from your parents and that many times, your score is a close reflection of the score your parents received. These standardized tests have many weakness in determining a student’s knowledge.

Other experts believe the ACT shows how much you can memorize and doesn’t reflect knowledge, problem solving skills or ability to create a presentation.

The ACT has 4 required sections and each is timed. Students who have test anxiety have a hard time taking the ACT because of the lack of time to think through the questions and because of the extreme pressure to do well.

This test does not reflect how much knowledge or intelligence a person has. In the future, this test shouldn’t be such a large factor in determining the future or whether or not you get into a college.