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ACT Scores: Why Do I Care?

act scores

Taking a Test

Students who took their American College Testing (ACT) on October 23 can find out how they will did by checking the ACT Score Information site.  Students can also forward the scores to colleges and scholarship agencies.

As the mother of an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old, I’m not yet thinking about the ACT, but I do have standardized testing on my mind. Coincidentally, yesterday, my 3rd grader came home from school and announced, “I took a big test today, a real test. I had to fill in circles with a pencil.”

She seemed quite proud that she had entered the academic big league, but my husband and I were wary of the introduction of standardized tests. I always did well in school, but I always panicked on standardized tests.

Besides, my husband and I encourage our daughters to do the sort of creative thinking that doesn’t get measured by standardized tests. That said, of course, we want our girls to do well on these tests so they can get into middle school, high school, and college (here in New York City, you actually have to apply to middle school  so the tests really do matter!)

Luckily, my husband, a former Princeton Review teacher, aces standardized tests and was able to teach our 8-year-old the basic principal behind beating the test. It’s all about probability. Even if you don’t know the answer, there’s a good chance you can eliminate the wrong answers. The more wrong answers you eliminate, the likelier your chance of getting the right answer.

In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to rely on standardized testing at all. But in this world, where the test scores matter, I’d rather teach my kids how to beat the system.

What do you think? Should you coach kids on how to excel at standardized tests?

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photo: flickr/ peruisay

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