Stop asking me for ACT advice

Jack Towne, Staff Reporter

Getting a high ACT score is absolutely a great thing. It opens up countless doors, makes numerous scholarships available to you, and reaffirms that maybe your 12 years of schooling was actually worth something. However, there is perhaps one minor, but irritating drawback.

I couldn’t tell you how many times people have either asked me for ACT advice or, only half-jokingly, asked me to take their ACT. The latter, first of all, is all but impossible and the people asking know that. But asking for advice, at least from me, is equally fruitless, and I want to make clear why.

I don’t know how to tell you that when things are grammatically incorrect, they just sound wrong to me. The English section on the ACT just makes sense to me. I think it’s probably due to me reading so much. So, since I learned everything I know from books, why are you looking at me? Read more, and you’ll get a better Reading and English score.

Another thing: No, I did not study extensively for the ACT. I did the John Baylor Prep offered here at school, and nothing else. I did not sit in my room for months before the test, reading practice passages and doing 10 math problems a day. I did what I was made to do in my classes, and nothing more. I really have nothing for you.

If I were to give you one piece of advice it would be this: Do exactly as I did. Take a heavy workload of AP and Honors classes. Read. A lot. And do the John Baylor Prep. All of these will prepare you to do well. Constantly practice reading and writing and solving problems at a high level, and I guarantee you’ll be happy with your score.

Most of all, I advise you to not worry about it too much. People get worked up in a frenzy too much over these stupid tests. They aren’t the be all end all of college admissions. You can go to a great college at a discounted price without getting a 36 on the ACT. There’s even growing evidence that these standardized tests are a terrible indication of intelligence or academic achievement – I think most could figure that out for themselves – and are often biased towards certain groups doing better than others.

So stop bugging me, and stop worrying about it. If you do everything right, work hard in school, maybe read a little, get a good night’s sleep before the test, maybe bring a granola bar and a bottle of water, you’ll do just fine. I have no doubt about it.