Guest Article: Is the ACT a True Test of Knowledge?

Ben Dunham

by Rachel Wheat
by Rachel Wheat

by Rachel Wheat

Juniors arrive in their assigned classrooms, some nervous, and some having no cares in the world. Their future is flashing ahead of them; this test might decide where their life will lead them.

Why has the ACT become such a big thing? And why do we have a timed test telling us whether we are smart enough? Throughout a child’s school career they take an large number of standardized tests, determining if they are above or below the national average.

Who is a testing committee to tell us if we are smart or not? For example, a student who works extremely hard and studies for hours every night gets a 22 on their ACT, while a student who doesn’t put effort into their work and gets a 29. Which one would look better to colleges? Effort? Or intelligence?

“The ACT shouldn’t have such a big impact on the way colleges look at you, because a lot of students don’t do well on it, and they are smarter than it shows,” Tatiana Berquist said.

Although the ACT helps colleges decide who they want to take and makes it easier, it negatively affects many students.

Test Anxiety. Many people have this, it affects peoples’ test taking abilities and can have a negative effect on people’s scores. Test anxiety is unfortunate yet a lot of people seem to have it.

Many people like the fact that the ACT is there as a backup, saying “at least I can score well on the ACT.” However, often times these people do not suffer from test anxiety.

An article on explains that a very large percentage of American students experience test anxiety and this often negatively affects their scores. If this it true then why do we as a country live by them?

Since the No Child Left behind Act standardized testing has been a very prominent part of school systems. People still to this day question if this is accurate reading of knowledge. According to an article on a website called Helium, the ACT test scores are proven to accurately predict about 25 percent of how well students did in college.

The ACT is just another one of those tests causing anxiety around the country to many young people who should be worrying about grades, not tests.