After taking the ACT twice and getting ready for my third go in April, I’ve started to pay more attention to my classmates and how much stress and focus goes into it. We wait for that fateful day when we find out the score that determines our entire future. This mindset, however, is skewed. This thought process is the byproduct of standardized testing and while your ACT score still determines a lot about your acceptance into college, the notion that a high ACT score is more important than anything else in high school is common misconception.
I’ve had a multitude of close friends refuse to even talk about the ACT after taking it in fear of embarrassment. In a matter of seconds, they can go from having a great day to having a terrible day because of one number. They essentially flash forward to their supposed failure of a life and how little success they will have. While this may be due to some personal standards or societal expectations, high school students put too much faith in their ACT score to provide, or hinder, their future success.
While colleges do use your ACT score as a huge factor for your admittance, this doesn’t determine how successful you will be at whatever college you will attend. There was a study done by Bates College professor William C. Hiss over 33 test-optional colleges that found that those who didn’t submit test scores had an average GPA that was only .05 percent lower than the average GPA of those who did submit, hardly a significant margin. This supports the fact that high school students need to realize that hard work and a will to get schoolwork done and done well is more important in a college career than any standardized test score.
However, do not diminish the importance of the ACT, just don’t solely rely on it to achieve your goals. The point is, while I do still advise other students to study and do their best and work for their goal on the ACT to apply to their number one college, a couple of numbers do not determine your whole future. If you get lower than what you wanted, try and get a better score next time, but always keep in mind that there’s so much more to you and your future than standardized testing.