As a junior in highschool, I’ve taken my fair share of standardized tests; IOWAs, TERRA NOVAs, the HSPT, OATs, OGTs, the PSAT/NMSQT, and so on and so forth. The countless acronyms always seem to actually stand for one thing; FAILURE. In no way are these tests designed to help anyone accomplish anything significant, other than to ruin students’ confidence about anything they’ve ever learned. But the sad thing is, none of these intelligence-doubters even compares to the ACT.
To me, the ACT is a life-ruining, confidence-diminishing, frustrating, unthought out, overrated, every-other-negative-adjective-ever, standardized monster. Some people think this test can determine your whole future, and those people aren’t completely wrong. The ACT is what decides your college fate. Yes, that is correct; a test is the deciding factor of whether or not you get into college. Colleges do consider other things like GPAs (OH LOOK! Another acronym for failure!!!) and extracurriculars, but your ACT score is what gets you noticed. And after all the horrible things I’ve said about this test, believe it or not, there’s more.
With YOUR WHOLE FUTURE (so some people say) ON THE LINE, you’d think that the test makers would maybe give you a break. No. Not even close. This test is so hard. You can trust that statement because I didn’t use any verbose adjectives to help me get the point across. Plain and simple, this test is REALLY hard. Every grammar worksheet, reading discussion, math lesson, and science experiment you have ever had to endure is basically included on this test. 45 minutes for 75 english questions, 35 minutes for 40 reading questions, 60 minutes for 60 math questions, and 35 minutes for 40 science questions- that’s less than a minute to answer each question. So on top of the questions being difficult, you also have to worry about having enough time. Oh, and there’s more.
There is absolutely nothing accommodating about this test. The only time that the test is offered is at 8 AM on a Saturday morning. Who can possibly be mentally prepared to take a six hour test on a Saturday morning? No one. So not only do you have to wake up at the buttcrack of dawn to take a test you’re most likely going to fail, you have to take this test in unfamiliar surroundings. Not that surroundings have a huge affect on your ability to do well, but it’s just another reason to hate on the ACT.
Just when you thought I was done; there’s more. I have yet to discuss the fee of your failure. For the insensible price of about $100.00, assuming you missed the sign-up deadline and had to pay the late fee (oh yes there’s a late fee), you too, can insure your indubitable sorrow when receiving your scores.
Now, let’s review; the ACT decides your future (according to some), it’s the most difficult test you’ll ever take, it doesn’t want you to sleep, and to get all of these wonderful pleasures that are the ACT, you only have to pay $100.00. I sincerely wish I could tell you that all of this is an exaggeration, but it’s not. You and your peers must suffer this together, so you’re not in it alone.
Julia Von Allmen ’16