ACT Pep Talk


Annie Rinne

I know how we all like to act like this test doesn’t exist, but hard reality is hitting for the juniors especially. The ACT (American College Test) is the test every student has to take in order for them to continue their academic career after high school. Usually students are told to take this test their junior year so that the colleges have time to receive and assess the scores; also, if you don’t do well the first time, you’ll probably want to retake it as many times as you can.

The ACT consists of four parts: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. The highest score you can get is a 36. The ACT states that their national average for the test is about 21. However, most of the students I know score higher than that. That being said, because you go to Shawnee Mission West and are taught by amazing teachers, the odds are in your favor to score above over half of the entire nation.

I am a senior at Shawnee Mission West and I have taken the ACT more than I would have liked, which is a great, yet very expensive, thing to do. This also means I have a lot of knowledge about the test and have tried just about every technique to get a better score on it. Just to be upfront and clear, cramming information into your head before the test will not help you at all. Hopefully your teachers have taught you everything you need to know already. I would highly recommend studying techniques on taking the actual test, such as reading an article faster, looking for keywords in questions, and even learning how to read graphs better for the science portion. Being able to take the test better will give you the best score.

Don’t stress so much because this is a test that is meant to figure out how much you know. It isn’t as painful as everyone likes to make it seem; you can do it. I agree that colleges and teachers put a little too much pressure on this test but I promise that if you become a stronger test taker and get a good 8 hours of sleep the night before, you will score higher than half the nation.