ACT: Senior V.S. Junior View


Trinity J Johnson, Staff Writer - The Mustang Messenger

    The ACT is a standardized test that is used for college admissions. This test is generally taken during a student’s Junior year. It’s separated into 4 sections: math, reading, english, and science. Each section is scored differently, and they each have a ´benchmark´. Benchmarks are the minimum score you can make to be considered college ready. Current Senior, Hannah Looper, took the ACT last year. To prepare for the ACT, Looper says, ¨I really tried on the CERT test because usually CERT is harder than the actual ACT, so if you do well on the CERT then you feel more prepared for the real thing.¨ 

    Looper says that she didn’t take any ACT prep courses, but thinks it could have been beneficial. Going into the ACT, Looper states, ¨I didn’t want to do it. Actually I quite frankly put A for most of my…just rows of A.¨ ¨If I wanted to try harder, I could have gotten a higher score, but I was kinda just shooting for benchmarks, or close to benchmarks.¨ Looper feels just shooting for benchmarks isn’t the best strategy for anyone. ¨Everyone should strive to shoot for benchmarks because it helps open opportunities in the future, but it doesn’t always work out that way.¨ Looper feels people should probably prepare more for the ACT, but her plan is to go to West Kentucky Community Technical College and they don’t require a high ACT score. 

    Over the summer, Looper considered taking the ACT again, but she decided she didn’t want to. Like most people recommend, Looper says ¨You want to rest the night before. You don’t want to start cramping stuff in your brain because you’ll be really really tired, and they only give you like a ten minute break, and that’s your only opportunity to eat and drink water. You have to bring a snack, it’s not like K-PREP. They don’t give you peppermints.¨ 

    Looper explains that McCracken is really good at offering ACT prep to upcoming testers. ¨They have teachers from each subject help with the ACT prep so you get a well rounded experience and feel prepared.¨ Even though she didn’t take these courses, she definitely recommends taking advantage of your resources. If Looper were to go through the whole process again, she says that she would probably change her strategies. ¨I feel like I really didn’t focus on the strategies that they gave me to use, I just wanted to get it over with.¨ This year, our current juniors were given access to a website called Cantrell and Waller. Our seniors weren’t given this resource, but if they were, Looper claims she would have used it. Looper shares, Some seniors I know paid for expensive ACT prep classes.¨ She claims it was probably worth it, but it’s not accessible to everyone. 

    Current Junior, Addy Drake, is going to be taking the ACT March 7th, as well as every other Junior. Addy has never taken the test before but she has gone to some ACT prep classes. ¨I went to ACT prep for math. A Senior told me it would be, it would help me.¨ Drake claims she is nervous. ¨It’s just super long, and it’s gonna take the whole day.¨ Even though this is her first time testing, if she doesn’t do too hot, she’s going to use the other free tests McCracken has available to her advantage. 

    Drake discusses how the ACT testing this year will be on the computer. ¨There’s always a difference between a test on a piece of paper and a computer, and I think that paper is less stressful, because I can gather my thoughts, and write down on the paper- because I’m a planner. You can’t really do that on a computer. You kind of just have to scroll and look at it. You lose your train of thought because you’re constantly looking at a screen. 

   Addy explains that the night before the test, she will watch her CERT correction videos. CERT and ACT are very similar tests. ¨I’ve been looking at ACT booklets online.¨ While she has not used Cantrell and Waller, other juniors have used it to prepare for previously scheduled ACT tests.