The Top ACT Scorers at Shadow Ridge

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The ACT: The American College Test

Violet Flanagan, Features Editor

ACT season is always a struggle for juniors. Preparing for the test can feel impossible, and students spend hours worrying rather than actually studying. 

But taking the ACT does not have to be a negative experience! Despite the stress of test-taking in general, the ACT is a great tool for students to illustrate their hard work and intelligence, and figure out which subjects they need to work on. 

Overall, I would say that I had a positive experience.”

— Paulane Tulop

This year, 21 students at Shadow Ridge placed in the 90th percentile or above (names and scores are listed below.) A score of a 29 or above is impressive to most colleges, and these students had much to say about their experiences taking the ACT and plenty of advice to offer.

“I prepared by spending all year in an ACT prep course at the school, and a couple weeks before the test I started doing real time practice tests to get the feel for it,” says Mackenzie Cole, junior. 

“One thing I would recommend is to not leave anything blank. Even if you have thirty seconds left, bubble in estimations of each answer. You have a 1/4 or 1/5 shot at getting the right answer if you fill it in vs a 0% shot if you don’t,” Cole recommends.  

It’s important to bubble something in for every single question! (Google Images)

“I didn’t do too much to prepare for the ACT,” says Paulane Tulop, junior. “If anything, I was trying to prepare myself for the math portion since it was the section that I was the least confident in. Although I didn’t particularly focus on the other sections as much as I did with the math, I did do a couple of practice questions just to make sure I was familiar with the layout of the test,” she says.

“Overall, I would say that I had a positive experience. The actual test-taking part itself felt very long, especially since it was the morning and I was just tired. I’m actually surprised and did not expect to do that well, so I’m satisfied with it,” Tulop explains. 

To students who are about to take or retake the test, Tulop had great tips to offer about getting ready for the ACT, or standardized tests in general.

“For one, it is very important to get a good night’s sleep and to eat the morning of the test. Two, it is essential that you get familiar with the layout of the test. Meaning, that you familiarize yourself with the way questions are asked and the type of content you can expect to see,” she says. “Three, utilize whatever resources you have available. A lot of teachers will give out practice sections from tests, and you can even find pdf versions of practice tests or previous tests too. Take advantage of it!”

The ACT doesn’t have to scary, and future juniors should not be dreading it. Although the test itself is long and tedious, with effort and preparation, it’ll be a breeze! And if anything does go wrong, there are always opportunities to retake.