The ACT has dominated the lives of high school students for decades. The score a student receives on the test ultimately decides their future. A single point can dictate whether a student gets accepted into their dream school or receives extra thousands in scholarship money. With over two hundred questions and a three hour clock, stress is an understatement for the impact the test has on students.
Many students, educators, and parents criticize the ACT for the multiple subjects it test in an unreasonably short time period. Students are expected to study and retain vaguely outlined concepts in English, Math, Reading, and Science. Then, they must spit out the info at 8am on a Saturday. Recently, it was announced that things are changing. ACT officials reported that they will allow students to superscore—a composite score consisting of a student’s best scores in each subject of test.
Some colleges such as Centre, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania have already independently allowed superscoring. The ACT’s plan to allow students to take sections separately, instead of a collective four part test, which is what is relief for students. As a school whose entire junior class is required to take the test, controversy followed the news.
Many of the underclassmen, who will be the first class to test under the new circumstances, were more than happy. “I think it’s good because it allows students to show their strengths on each test individually without the pressure of four sections,” says Ella Bratcher, sophomore.
In contrast, some worry about the impact it will have upon the overall percentiles, “It seems nice that everyone’s score can go up, but after a few years the score will be inflated making it more difficult to get academic scholarships,” says Dylan Mather, sophomore.
A great deal of upperclassmen are frustrated with the change “I think it is unfair, because they are going to have an advantage to get into college even if we had the same work effort. If they were going to make this decision they should have adjusted the incoming classes entrance exam,” says Gracie Roberts, senior.