It’s Time For Another ACT!

Julia Eilert , Writer

The ACT, short for American College Testing, is a standardized test that measures math, science, reading, and grammar skills. It also offers an essay section that is recommended for students entering a field that is heavily focused on writing. It is suggested that juniors and seniors take the ACT at least three times, or until they’re satisfied with their score. Only the highest scores are kept!

   The next ACT testing date will be April 9th, 2016. Leading up to this, some schools are offering a preparatory class regarding ACT tips and study reviews. McPherson High School’s ACT Prep Program offers before and after school practice sessions with teachers, and three evening workshops with a guest speaker, all for 60 dollars. Students must register themselves for the ACT online at, and pay the testing fee, before March 4th. Registering after the 4th adds a 25 dollar late fee. The ACT, of course, can be taken without a prep. class, but you can never know too much about what you’re trying to pass!

   The ACT is used as a sort of benchmark for colleges. The highest you can score on this test is a 36, but if you get 30 or above in any section, there’s a spot on the 30 Board that’s waiting for your name! The SAT is very similar to the ACT, but the ACT has a science section while the ACT does not. Colleges do still allow you to send an SAT score in though. Schools do their best to encourage enthusiasm regarding these tests, but four hours of testing, on a weekend nonetheless, is a lot for anyone.

   However, ACT scores can play a big role in scholarships and college acceptance. Paired with a good GPA that shows hard work, a good ACT score is nearly unbeatable. This isn’t to say that it’s hopeless if you can’t get the score you want. If you have well-developed test-taking skills, you’ll be fine on this standardized test. If your test skills are shaky, a prep. class can give you the practice you need to get on solid ground.

   It’s easy to stress about such a big test, but with a little practice and dedication, you’ll be alright. Take advantage of prep classes, come prepared, and you can’t say you didn’t do your best!