For decades, the American College Testing (ACT) is a standardized test used for college admissions. However, in recent months there has been a growing debate about whether the ACT is an accurate reflection of a student’s ability to perform well in college, along with whether a student should take the test due to the growing amount of “test-optional” schools. All juniors, despite the increase in “test-optional” schools, are required to take the ACT in April.The test is important for the college admissions process, along with scholarships.
Many juniors have already signed up for earlier test sessions to get an inference on where they stand currently on the standardized test. In return, students can improve on the areas they need to work on, before the April test date.
Jocelyn Calhoun, junior, is among the students preparing for the ACT. “I took the summer school ACT prep course, and I’m continuing to revisit old topics in subjects like math and science to help me prepare,” Calhoun said.
Many resources are provided for students, including the ACT prep course that is offered during summer school and during the school year. Columbia Public Schools recommended students to take the class as some students have seen their scores improve by three or more points after taking the course.
Another option for students to study is by practicing the content that is tested on the ACT. Paige Niles, junior, said she is practicing the reading section of the test for multiple reasons. “Reading more books help improve my reading skills,” Niles said.
Melissa Smith, English 11 and Women and Literature teacher, said reading more books can help prepare for the test. She also explained other options students can take advantage of while preparing for the test. “Reading is a good way to prepare for the ACT and getting an ACT book and practicing activities in the book could help too,” Smith explained.
The next test date offered is on Dec. 14. Students can sign up starting Nov. 8.