The End Result
November 17, 2017
Some believe these tests determine their whole future. For others they are just another test like every other one high school students take. The ACT/SAT’s were created in order to evaluate how prepared students are for attending college. Each state originally decided which test they would administer in their high schools, with Colorado previously choosing the ACT. However, effective in the spring of 2018, the state will be changing over to offering the SAT, which if you decide to take it at your high school, is free of charge(CollegeBoard.org).
This puts enormous amounts of pressure on students to score well in order to be accepted to their dream school. How accurate is one test at measuring what you have learned over the past twelve years? Carlie Schafer, a senior at Fruita believes that, “ These tests don’t represent any skills that you need in the outside world and don’t do justice to my academic career.”
However, there is reassurance in knowing that you have the opportunity to retake either test as many times as possible until you achieve the desired score.
Preparation plays a key role in performing at your best and easing your mind because you know you have seen the material that will be tested before hand. It comes in many forms whether that be taking practice tests online, attending a prep course, or studying from a textbook. Another aspect of preparation senior Tanner Shields considered important was, “ to get a good night’s sleep before test day, eat a healthy breakfast, and come with all the supplies that your administrators recommend”. The less you have to worry and stress about the better.
Many advisors say to improve your chances of obtaining a better score is to take both the SAT and ACT. The test’s format differ enough that you may do better on one in comparison to the other as the time allotted for the SAT is longer because of the writing involved and the ACT has a science portion that is tested. Shields personally, “ liked the SAT better because I felt the ACT had a time crunch, and I wasn’t able to finish the sections on time.”
In contrast to what worked for Tanner, I had better success taking the ACT as the questions made more sense and I scored five points better as a result. This is an example of how different each student’s brain functions and what one comprehends can be completely different than what another does.
Most colleges make it mandatory to have scores from one of these tests along with taking into consideration GPA and extracurricular endeavors. Therefore, these tests are not going to be the only factor in colleges accepting or declining your applications. I made sure my resume had volunteer hours in the community, participation in clubs, and some type of team activity whether that be through a sport, band or dance, to show college evaluators I am a well-rounded individual. Having a positive attitude when approaching the way our authorities choose to evaluate us and taking measures to practice will ensure success in attempting to tame the beast standing between you and the rest of your life.
Picture credit: AAHS Guidance Page