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The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

Students weigh in on how to prepare for the ACT

Standardized test often adds stress to school. Here’s a guide for how to approach it.
Elise George
The ACT is a complex test.

The ACT is a stressful part of many students’ high school experience.

While not every student takes this college entrance exam, it can be challenging to prepare for. And a lot can be riding on it. Although some schools no longer require scores from the ACT or the similar SAT, some colleges look closely at the scores and offer admission and scholarships based on how students perform.

The ACT is made up of four sections, consisting of English, math, reading and science. Most students take the ACT during their junior and senior years. Senior Annika Maximov has taken it two times, starting her junior year.

“I didn’t know what to prepare ahead,” Maximov said. “So I kind of just winged it, at least the first time to see what I got.”

After her first time taking the ACT, she used her score to know how to prepare going forward.

“I did the online exam stuff and then got one of the packets and practiced that,” Maximov said. “And then, when I took it the second time over the summer, my scores did improve.”

Many students haven’t taken a large test of this caliber and struggle to study for it.

“I wish that we talked about it in school more,” Maximov said. “Like for kids that don’t have super-involved parents.”

Senior Fatimah Ahmed had the advantage of access to advice and materials from her older siblings to help prepare for the ACT, but even then it was a difficult task

“My experience taking the ACT was grueling. I took it like three times. It took a lot of effort,” Ahmed said. “Because you had to study for it. I think in the end, putting in that effort was worth it.”

The timing of the test was one thing Ahmed worked toward and struggled with perfecting.

“I wish I knew how quickly some of the sections go by,” Ahmed said. “I was told, but I don’t think I processed it until I took my first one.”

Junior Sylvia London, has not taken the ACT but has been preparing. One of her main goals is to keep herself calm.

“I know test-wise, I don’t do as well when I’m stressed,” London said. “Especially on a big test like this.”

Due to the importance and reputation of the test, standardized testing causes stress for many students.

“It kind of is implied that this test can determine your future,” London said. “And that is a big burden to put on a high school student.”

Ahmed along with other students sees flaws in the ACT. She believes that standardized testing is not a good measurement of a student’s intelligence.

“I think it’s dumb to just put a bunch of kids in a room and assume that the smartest ones are going to get the highest scores when there are so many other things that go into taking the ACT,” Ahmed said.

London believes that the cost of the ACT is a problem many students and families face although the state pays for all juniors to take the test one time.

“Kids that don’t have that same financial support from their parents aren’t given the same opportunities and don’t have the chance to register for these types of things,” London said. “It’s not even an option because their family can’t devote that money there, and that’s not fair. There are some aid programs in place but not enough.”

Ahmed said students shouldn’t get discouraged if they don’t do as well as hoped. After taking the test she brings advice for people who haven’t taken it.

“Don’t procrastinate studying, because it really does help,” Ahmed said. “And taking practice tests does help, not only with content but also with the timing.”

As London prepares for the ACT she sticks to this advice that helps ease her mind.

“It can be important, but if you aren’t happy with your score, then there are other options,” London said. “There’s another way to figure it out.”

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About the Contributors
Avery Sloyer
Avery Sloyer, Reporter
I'm a third year reporter and writer on staff. When I'm not writing I enjoy reading, listening to music and spending time with my friends.
Elise George
Elise George, Designer
I'm a second year designer on staff. Along with journalism, I enjoy film, writing, drawing, and baking. This year I look forward to helping create even more designs for the yearbook and newspaper.

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