Editorial: ACT’s importance to your future

Alexis Carlson ’14



Should standardized tests, such as the ACT, really count as a major factor for the future? The answer is simple yet complicated at the same time and would really depend on how you see it. The North Star Newspaper Staff feels that it should not.
According to www.princetonreview.com, “Created by ACT Inc., The ACT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The idea (in theory, at least) is to provide colleges with one common criterion that can be used to compare all applicants.”
While the ACT is a good test of knowledge for colleges to compare students on their ability to learn, the test itself is more about test-taking skills than anything else. Yes, being a good test taker and having common sense, like the information the ACT tests us on, is valuable in the future but it definitely should not define our path.
Juniors in high school stress out and spend years preparing for one simple test when in reality, they should be spending the time focusing on their GPA and the curriculum.
Someone who is very intelligent and/or holds a 4.0 GPA and has high hopes for their future but who may struggle at test-taking skills is a key person to keep in mind when thinking about the ACT in general. They work their tails off through high school so they can have the future they’ve always dreamed of and one simple little test can pull that right out of their grasp! It isn’t fair.
University of Wyoming President Robert Sternberg said, “It’s not only IQ tests that defeat students, it’s also the SAT and ACT; the college-admissions tests that are—contrary to their developers’ assertions—basically IQ tests in disguise. College applicants should also be asked to demonstrate their creativity, practical intelligence, and even wisdom, qualities which are in shorter supply than cleverness.”
Sternberg is right; getting accepted to college should not be defined by one simple test but rather by a student’s ability to excel at what they do and how they can be successful.
While colleges do look at grades, clubs/involvement and athletics, the ACT is still the main priority in a student’s acceptance. One simple test can make or break it for a single student and that is not right.
The North Star Staff believes that yes, the ACT is necessary, but it should not be a deciding factor in the lives of students for the future.