CHROMEBOOK, check, PHOTO ID, check, #2 PENCIL, check

The ACT and Pre-ACT mean a break from normal classes but a bring a new morning checklist


Hillary Currier

Boxes of #2 pencils in the main office mean that it is standardized testing season.

By Anna Mimnaugh, Staff writer

Tomorrow all grades except seniors will not have their typical classes and will be testing instead. Freshmen and sophomores will be taking the Pre-ACT on paper. Different from past years, juniors will be taking the ACT on their Chromebooks. Juniors, must bring fully charged Chromebooks with them to the test. In addition, everyone taking either of the tests should remember to bring their photo ID cards. While other grades are testing, seniors will get the day off. 

     The ACT is a standardized, multiple choice test used for college admissions that covers four areas: English, math, reading, and science. The test also offers an optional writing portion, which is recommended. Both the Pre-ACT and the ACT are timed. 

     Student services secretary Ismael Geronimo reminds students that the Pre-ACT and ACT are “not that different from a normal test”, so don’t stress and “do your best.” He also says that if you don’t know the answer, it is best to guess rather than not answer at all. He adds that there are “no disadvantages to taking the tests.” “They don’t affect your grade or your GPA.” 

     The Pre-ACT is similar to the ACT. It is used to familiarize students with the ACT so they feel more prepared when the time comes to take the ACT their junior year. The ACT is the actual test where your scores will be recorded and can be sent to colleges, if you choose to take that path. 

     The scores of the Pre-ACT and ACT provide a self-inventory section that gives students feedback for the future to help learn about themselves and their strengths. Scores and the self-inventory section help students qualify for certain scholarships, determine future high school courses and provide insight on how a student will do on the ACT, career paths, and college readiness. 

     Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, most 4-year colleges used the SAT and/or the ACT as a part of their admissions process and requirements and as a tool for merit scholarships. It has become a trend for colleges to not require the ACT because of COVID-19, but it can still be important to take the test. Colleges may still look at students’ scores for money and/or scholarships towards college. The highest score a person can get is a 36 while a 21 is the average. 

     A long time teacher at Tigard, Carol Rutschman, “Mojo,” remembers when the ACT/SAT exams were taken by students on designated Saturday’s throughout the school year. But about 10 years ago, Tigard High (along with some other high schools) began taking a school day to administer the ACT exam for free. 

     “This allowed students who might not consider taking the test or be able to afford taking the $88 exam, the opportunity to take the test,” Mojo said. She encourages her students to try their best, adding “consider it practice, because you can take it again.”