The results of the ACT will determine your future. That’s what students are led to believe. But should they believe it?
By Cheredy Fine
It’s 6:30 in the morning when my loud and annoying alarm wakes me up; today is the day where a four-hour long test will determine my intelligence and my future—the ACT.
It’s 7:00 in the morning, and I’m completely freaking out because I’m fatigued from lack of sleep from the night before, and to top it off, I have a cold where I can’t help but cough uncontrollably. This is the day that determines my future. To try and calm myself down, I decide to make a hearty breakfast to fuel my brain. Still coughing uncontrollably, I am barely able to finish my plate.
It’s 7:20 in the morning and I quickly grab my three sharpened, number two pencils, a graphing calculator, and my water bottle. Time to head to a classroom where I will take a test that determines my future.
It’s 7:45 in the morning where I’m waiting in line along with a bunch of other panic-stricken teenagers to get my personal identification verified and be placed with a group to be led up to a classroom to take a test that will determine my future.
It’s 8:00 in the morning and the instructor is having a hard time going through directions because I’m in the back of the room coughing uncontrollably. If I go down during this test, I’m taking everyone in the room down with me. After all, this is the test that will determine my future.
It’s 9:15 in the morning and I have been requested to move to the very front of the classroom, by the door, so that I can exit the room when a coughing fit occurs. At least the instructor gives me some cough drops that don’t help at all. This is what will determine my future.
It’s 1:00 in the afternoon and I’ve left the classroom disappointed because I have just coughed for four hours straight, during a test that will determine my future. Also, I have made seventeen new enemies who hate me because I coughed for four hours straight during a test that will determine their future.
No one tells you it’s a big deal though until you reach high school – that’s when teachers and parents continuously harp on students to do ACT practice lessons and tests.
Basically, my entire education, starting from the first time I stepped into a classroom at the age of five, has been a long journey into preparing me for the day when I will take the ACT. That’s a lot of years of preparing for a test when I didn’t feel prepared in the least. No one tells you it’s a big deal though until you reach high school – that’s when teachers and parents continuously harp on students to do ACT practice lessons and tests.
Why should this singular test determine my future anyway? How does a two-digit score change who I am or define me as a person? Just because I’m not the best at proper grammar doesn’t meant that I’m incapable of doing the extraordinary, such as discovering a cure for cancer.
Standardized testing is a way to compare the knowledge of students from all over the world because each state and country has its own way of teaching students, and each student has higher knowledge in one area or another. So, how to decipher where one stands academically? Standardized testing is the answer to that.
Does the ACT truly determine my future? After all, it is just a test, and when have I ever let a test make my life decisions for me – never. The only person that can choose where I go in life is myself. I’ll just have to work hard, so that I determine my future.
Photo: Standardized Test Close-Up by Shannan Muskopf on Flickr