Ella Colquhoun, Staff Writer

A global pandemic was not what I expected to occur during the end of my junior and now  senior year. The coronavirus has completely changed everything about life for every single person. For many high school students, it’s created many challenges regarding the ACT and college admissions.

Taking a standardized test for your college admissions has always been a stressful and important aspect of junior and senior year. This very test could determine how your entire future plays out. With the pandemic cancelling just about every public event and activity, the ACT was just another one of the many cancellations. However, this is something that’s crucial for students. Without the ability to take the ACT, there were so many unknowns for high school seniors. With this being a necessary test to get into colleges and receive scholarships, what would happen?

In a survey, over 50% of students were signed up to take to ACT between the months of March and August. Of those students, almost all of them reported that their ACT was cancelled. Many students were planning on taking the ACT for the first time during these months. Because each month was cancelled, many seniors didn’t have the opportunity to take the test. Every month, students were signing up in hopes that the test would happen. But each time, it was cancelled. Senior Julia Ripp said, ¨I think the ACT has put a huge stress on all of the seniors this year. It was hard to navigate whether we should spend time and money into studying for it because we never knew if it was going to be cancelled or not.¨

One of the most frustrating parts about this was that the ACT organization provided very few test centers and spots, even though there were so many students who needed to take the test, many weren’t able to get a spot to take the test. For many students and families that was very discouraging because they still havent had the chance to take the test. The ACT as an organization provided little help or assistance. The article, “Difficult Day for the ACT” shares a mother’s view on the situation. She said, “1. Your website has not worked for at least three days; 2. Your customer service number leaves people on hold for two hours then hangs up; 3. You promise someone will elevate our issue and nothing gets resolved.” 

In addition to not being able to sign up for a testing date, the people from ACT have not been helpful in assisting students and parents. In a survey, almost 80% of students have experienced some difficulty or frustration with the ACT company and/or the test itself.

For seniors heading into college, one of the most important things that universities look at when considering you is a standardized test score. What you receive on the ACT will determine which college you end up going to. Because so many seniors haven’t had the opportunity to take the ACT, there is fear and uncertainty about what will happen when it comes to getting accepted into certain colleges. While many universities have gone test optional- meaning they don’t require a test to get in- many colleges still require it to receive any financial aid. This proves to be a disadvantage for many, who were hoping to receive scholarships with their ACT score. One senior from WWS said, ¨It’s rough figuring out which colleges want what when before it was the same across the board.¨

Overall, the cancellation of the ACT has provided so many challenges and uncertainties for seniors in high school. Many seniors have not yet had the opportunity, and are still unsure of what this means when it comes to applying to colleges or taking it in the future.