So Test Stressed Out

This school year, all juniors are required to take the ACT test on April 23, 2014. A week before, on April 15 and 16 they will also take the MCA math test. That, as a result, has many juniors stressing. Junior Allie Mayer said, “I’m stressed that I’m not studying enough or just doing the right studying for it.” Junior Kayla Kniefel added, “I might get hungry during the test and my stomach is going to growl.” Senior Keyshla Vera had a difficult time when taking the ACT test. She admits part of it was due to her lack of studying for it. The other reason she believes she did not get a score she liked was because the ACT is a timed test and the stress of having to pace herself made her feel like she did not complete it at her best. Not everyone has a bad experience with the ACT, there are students who did very well. An example of that, is senior Haaken Bungum who scored a 34 on his first and only try. To study he took free online practice ACT tests. Senior Eric Schlicker scored a 35, who said, “It’s a test, so it is horrible, but you have to do it.”

There are many reasons Owatonna High School has decided to switch from standard ACT administration, which usually occurs on Saturdays, to state testing administration of the ACT, in school. One of them being the state legislature determined that MCA tests were no longer going to be the only way students could meet graduation requirements. OHS students will not be required to pass the MCA math test or ACT test, they will just need to take it. Assistant principal Mrs. Nicole Adams said, “At this time the state hasn’t set a cut score which means that there is no minimum score that students need to achieve on the ACT.” Mrs. Adams believes that the stress about whether or not they are going to graduate because of one test should go away. The focus will now be shifted to what students need to improve on and what their areas of strength are.

While it is true that there is no minimum score required to pass, many juniors are still stressing about taking the ACT.  The ACT test score is part of a deciding factor for admittance that colleges look at; therefore, students who have high expectations for college stress a lot about the ACT. Tips to prepare for the test, from, are to take practice tests, get advice from people who have already taken the test and to relax.

To do well on the ACT test, Mrs. Adams encourages juniors to “get a goodnights sleep and put forth their best effort”. Not only juniors need to be thinking about the ACTs because sooner or later sophomore and freshmen will be taking them too. Her advice for underclassmen is to be “diligent, focused and disciplined in their classes.”

OHS juniors absent on April 23, 2014 will need to take the ACT test on May 7, 2014.