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Dear Abby: Fearing Failure


I'm scared that if I don't do well on my ACT, that I'm not going to get into college and my dreams will be crushed! I need help! How can I better prepare for my ACT and honestly, does it matter all that much?   -Fearing Failure


Fearing Failure,

The ACT can be scary, I won’t lie, but the cool thing about this test is that your college admissions do not depend on it. The ACT is a national college admissions test that has four main subject areas; english, mathematics, reading and science. Writing is also a portion of the test, but some colleges don’t require it anymore, although I still suggest you take it because some colleges might still want it. The ACT is accepted by most, if not all, schools in the United States. There are only six tests throughout a school year, so you will  have to do some careful planning as to when you want to take the test. I always suggest that everyone takes the test in December, seeing as it is one of the first of the year. I have a few tips for taking the ACT, as I have now taken it multiple times. I have been told for several years to go in the first time doing no studying, this way you can assure that you are getting a solid baseline of your knowledge. It will also give you the information as to what you should study more. There are multiple techniques for studying; ACT prep books helped out in tremendous ways, and there are tutors that specialize in preparing for the test. The SAT is another common national standardized test that colleges consider. This test is a little longer, time and question wise. There are slight differences between the tests, but overall they both check the knowledge a student has and their overall test taking skills. This is a tactic that many students use, but for others it doesn’t suit them. This decision is up to a student and their family.

Like I said earlier, your college admissions do not depend on your ACT score. There are several different components to admissions besides your test scores; grades in a college prep class, strength(rigor) of senior year curriculum,  grades, extracurriculars, essays and or writing examples, and the interests the students have are just some of the things taken into account when a decision is made. So I’ll say it again, there is no need to stress over the test; it plays a part, but not everything rides on it. Hopefully, you have been a successful student throughout high school and have been pushing yourself when it comes to receiving credit. I hope this helped relieve some of the stress you’re feeling over the ACT.



Abby Krause

Abby Krause

December, 2015