The ACT: predictor of success or bureaucratic failure?


Corran Cottrell, Journalist

The ACT and standardized testing in general have been questioned recently for if they are out of touch with students. Here at Davis the ACT is dreaded every time it comes around, with students complaining about the long time it takes and the number assigned to them when they complete it.

This all raises the questions: Is the ACT worth it?, is their any alternative to the ACT?, should we remove the ACT?, and finally does the ACT predict success?

In an attempt to answer this question I have asked teachers and students what they think of the often hated exam.

on the student side many resent the use of the ACT in schools.

“The ACT has become a waste of time and effort”

said by a student who hated the ACT

This follows a recent wave of questions on whether the ACT has any use at all in this modern society.

opponents of the ACT claim that it can be replaced by other means and that it has no effect on how successful people are in their careers. This is usually because the ACT tests things that do not relate at all to a students career.

For example if a student would like to go into medicine in the future they would most likely not need to be proficient in the majority of the subjects that are tested on the ACT.

Their are much more useful ways, or so the argument goes, to determine a students academic ability.

We should replace the ACT with “GPA and experience in clubs, we don’t need a test to determine a student’s worth”

Said a student at Davis High concerned about the ACT’s merits.

These days more colleges are refusing to accept ACT results, among these are Utah Valley University, Southern Utah University, and in the works is Utah State University.

However some teachers disagree with students assessment of the ACT.

“Yes its an accurate insight to a students knowledge base, a fair assessment of what a student knows”

Said a history teacher at Davis High.

The ACT is the culmination of all that a student learns and can test whether they will be able to learn effectively at college, or so the argument goes

Pulling a complete 180 on the students idea, the history teacher suggests that the ACT is a good predictor of success

“The ACT is the most accurate prediction of a student’s success”

said the history teacher at Davis.

And so the debate still rages on, but what do you think about the ACT. Is it outdated or is it useful for colleges to use.

One thing is for certain though, that the ACT will continue to effect us within our school years and possibly our children’s school years.

The history teacher has one last message for students worried about the ACT and school in general.

“When students start to focus on the information learned in schools rather than grades they will learn that knowledge is the benefit for their life rather than a grade point average.”