Pros And Cons Of The American College Test

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In 1959, the “scary, narrow time-waster” was born, otherwise known as the A-C-T (West; Mathews). The American College Test was created in Iowa City, Iowa. The ACT, originally for the Midwest schools, soon spread throughout the country, now becoming almost interchangeable with the SAT (Syverson). The popular two hour and fifty five minute college entrance test was developed to measure a student’s achievement in high school and how well he or she would perform in college (Phillippi). Nowadays, the ACT has evolved, placing more importance on admission into college, even more than a student’s grades or feats that were accomplished in high school (West). Is this truly a valid assessment for a high school student wanting to enroll into a…show more content…
Colleges and Universities have determined that students who do well on the tests have the ability to succeed in college. These tests, however, are indicators only of a student's ability to do college work; they cannot measure perseverance and interest in learning,” said West, the writer of the Encyclopedia of Education (West). This quote can help understand some of the arguments for and against the American College Test. For example, an argument for the ACT states that the test prepares a student for college because of the good test taking skills that are developed when practicing for the test (“Arguments for and…”). All of this is mentioned above, but so is some arguments against the ACT. For example, it is said that “standardized test impede the assessment of a very important skill,” which is out-of-the-box-thinking. People who are against the American College Test say that out-of-the-box-thinking is more valued in college and life after college than a score between 1 to 36 (“Arguments for and …”; West). According to Hess, “The human mind is simply so complex and so multifaceted and fluid, that trying to find a single measurement tool that will be reliable across the enormous populations of American students is simply a tip up a blind alley. I would never say the SATs and ACTs have no predictive value for anybody; they have predictive value for some people. We just don’t find them reliable cross populations (Sheffer).” Hess is right, the results of these tests vary, but poor test takers are the ones that suffer the most

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