Personal Experience with the ACT

At my high school, many of the students would not go out of their way to take tests like the SAT or ACT because they were not required to graduate. So, my school decided to give every student an opportunity to take the ACT for free during one school day. I had already taken the SAT prior to taking the ACT so I assumed I had a fair idea of what to expect.  However, I was not expecting the time to be so much more constricted than the SAT. Therefore, I personally liked the SAT better because it allowed myself more time to think through my answers in the reading section as well as more time to go over my work in the math section. What I did not like about the SAT, such as the restricted range of intelligence testing were some of the same reasons I did not like about the ACT as well.

I do not think my high school and college could apply my test score from the ACT in an intelligent way because I was not able to show my knowledge or understanding to my capability with the timing constraint. Personally, I did not have any experience with taking either standardized test during the pandemic, nor did I hear anything about how they would be administered or modified.


Public vs. private schooling

My name is Haley Davis and I am from Greenville, North Carolina. I am currently a junior studying Special Education at Tusculum University. My early education background was in a private school setting. I later switched before my last year of middle school into a public-school setting. My first experience with standardized testing was the end of the year exams which we would take as a class every year.

The teachers I had in private school were not nearly as concerned for standardized testing than my teachers in public school. So, I never quite realized the importance of them until I switched schools. Standardized tests to me were just elongated tests that would take the majority of the day at the end of the school year. I never had pressure to make a certain score, so I did not stress about them. I assumed they were a way to show what I needed to work on for the next year of what a teacher my want to work on with the next year’s class more.

Having the opportunity to experience both public and private school really shaped me to learn about education as a whole and how education could differentiate with style. Private school teachers were not as worried about standardized testing because they were not judged as educators by them. If public school teachers received bad test scores as a class, then their funding and in some cases, job could be at stake. The most surprising part about this conclusion was that in private school I had a more classical style of teaching while public school was a more progressive style. Altogether, what I can conclude from my experience with standardized testing is even if pressure is put on making good scores on these tests, the amount of learning will not increase or become more beneficial to students.