By Noe Lambert
Junior year is the worst year high school students are forced to experience, and every senior knows what I’m talking about. Just thinking about that year makes me cringe. Heavy class loads, the SAT, the ACT, finding a college, and trying to figure out what you want to do with your life all contribute to the horror that is eleventh grade. Every moment of that year is a disaster with stress that consumes every waking moment. There is not much you can do except try your best and try to maintain sanity, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
The juniors have the ACT test approaching and will be taking it right after spring break ends. As for us seniors, we’re lucky enough to have the day off if our Essential Skills are completed, but it’s our duty to help the juniors out. ACT day may be boring, stressful, and even a waste of time to some people, but the test can be very important when applying for colleges and scholarships. So, here are the do’s and don’ts of taking the ACT.
- Get good sleep the night before and eat a healthy breakfast the morning of. It may sound cliche, but you really can’t be mentally sharp if you’re tired and/or hungry. Also, make sure to bring snacks to school for between tests. This is a VERY long test and you’re not going to make it through the day without something to power you up.
- Answer questions you know first. If you have time, go back and try to complete the question that you were unsure of, great, however, if worst comes to worst, just guess, because at least there’s a chance that you could get the question right.
- Bring the materials you need and be prepared for the test (meaning more than one pencil). Show up on time with what you need and give yourself enough time to get to school so that you don’t feel rushed. It may be easy to brush off this test as unimportant, but it’s to your advantage if you take it seriously and try your best.
- Stress out too much, but also don’t take it as a joke or an obligation. You need to care about the test because it can have many impacts on your life, but it’s also not the end of the world if you don’t do well. Always remember, you can always retake it and these tests aren’t a measurement of your intelligence or worth, so just try your best and be happy with the outcome.
- Don’t bring your phone into the building. I know it’s tempting, but it’s not worth it to have your test canceled. Just leave it powered off in your car if you have one. If not, leave it at home. It’s just a distraction and a liability.
All in all, just show up prepared, try your best, and focus throughout the whole test. I know it’s difficult, but it’s just one day. If every other junior can do it, then so can you. Just know that us seniors will be with you in spirit, and we feel your pain. Keep going strong, juniors, because the year is almost done!
The ACT test day can be incredibly stressful, but make sure to keep a cool head and stay calm. (Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com).