ACT Ambitions

Despite many colleges not requiring it, South students still plan on taking the ACT in April


Madi Teska

While in her AP U.S. History class, junior Grace Miller uses some free time to study for the upcoming ACT test.

Every state school in Missouri has become test-optional for the 2020-2021 school year, which means applicants for those schools won’t have to submit an ACT score this year.

Despite colleges becoming test-optional, students at South are still planning on taking the ACT this year. Some reasons for taking the test include a variety of benefits such as scholarships and extra boosts in college applications. The ACT and practice ACT, which is all paid for by Parkway, will take place at South on April 13.

Will the ACT be harder for students who will take it under these health guidelines? According to junior Ryan Gertken, there seems to be a bit of uncertainty.

“The biggest difference is that we don’t know what’s gonna happen. It could be entirely virtual or all in person. It’s still up in the air,” Gertken said.

To answer Gertken’s concerns, the guidelines implemented this year for the ACT aren’t anything new. Some basic guidelines and rules mentioned on the official ACT website include a mask mandate and desks be 6-feet apart. The test itself will still be held in-person at the school.

Although students like Gertken seem a bit uncertain about ACT testing this year, other students, like sophomore Anushka Rawat, aren’t very worried about this particular situation.

“I have taken the test before, so I am not too stressed. I know that we will have basic restrictions like masks and social distancing. The only restriction I don’t like is that I won’t be able to talk to people during the break,” Rawat said.  

Since the ACT is a standardized test used for college admissions, students have to come up with various methods and strategies in order to prepare even months prior to the actual test.

Senior Jimmy Morrissey gives an insight into how he prepares for the test.

“I have been using the official ACT prep book as well as other online resources and instruction videos,” said Morrissey. 

Because the ACT is such an important test that high schoolers take, some students may need some guidance on which approach to take.

Junior Madeleine Teska gives her advice to anyone who plans on taking the test. 

“Find out what system works best for you when taking the test so that you can pace yourself and be able to answer all of the questions. And, if you are running out of time, just bubble in random answers,” said Teska.