is act sat required

The University Of Chicago Made The ACT/SAT Optional. All Schools Should Follow Suit

The ACT/SAT are just another set of standardized tests that do not prove much in the way of future success.


EVERY high school student has concerned themselves over this at some time (well, many students, at least). The dreaded ACT and its equally ominous rival, the SAT. They both scare students to the point where they can become thought consuming. They both can affect which college you can go to, along with your GPA. For some schools, the ACT/SAT are more of an option now, but this was reserved for smaller schools. However, there has been a change; the University of Chicago, one of America's powerhouses, have also made the switch over to making these two standardized tests optional. This is big; UC is one of America's best universities making the alteration. This was far overdo; the ACT does not provide anywhere near as much value as people may think.

The ACT/SAT are tests essentially required to get into universities. Usually, the biggest schools possess high average ACT scores; Harvard had an ACT range of 32-35, for example. One bad day can drastically decrease the chances of you getting to attend a larger school. Now, I am a believer that undergraduate institutions are contingent on fit, but there are so many great schools that will balk at the suggestion of taking anyone with a below average ACT/SAT score, despite possessing a great GPA and extracurriculars. This can also apply to more impoverished communities as well.

The ACT/SAT require some preparation, preparation which can be more easily acquired in better, more propped up school districts. For kids in the most impoverished districts in the country? Despite being intelligent? This does not help. Now, are there great success stories? Definitely. College applications rely on more than the ACT, but the ACT makes up a significant portion of college applications. It does not help anyone when this single test can help define your entire college future. This is not even addressing how these tests predict little about your future.

These tests have little value in predicting future success. High cumulative scores and low cumulative scores seem to make about half a percentage point of difference in terms of college GPA. There was a higher correlation between high school GPA, rather than the cumulative ACT score. Certain sections of the ACT had more predictive power, such as English and Math, but not overall. How helpful is the ACT or SAT, then? How is it something beneficial to have when most studies have not shown them to predict much in the way of college success.

I hope to see this trend continue in the future. Sure, some standardized tests can be beneficial (the MCAT and LSAT, in particular, are very important), but where is the benefit here? Where there is no need for a test, there should not be one. University of Chicago becomes one of the first heavy hitters of academia to do away with an antiquated measure of college aptitude. I hope they will not be the last, and that students will be given other avenues to prove their value to institutions. A college kid can dream of a world where all this test does is prove you can simply take the test.

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Stop Discourging Future Teachers

One day, you'll be thankful for us.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seems like this is the question we heard from the time we were able to talk. Our answers started out as whatever movie or action figure was popular that year. I personally was going to be Cinderella and shoot spider webs out of my wrists at the same time. The next phase was spent choosing something that we read about in a book or saw in movies. We were aspiring to be actors, skydivers, and astronauts.

After we realized NASA may not necessarily be interested in every eager 10-year-old, we went through the unknown stage. This chapter of life can last a year or for some, forever. I personally did not have a long “unknown" stage. I knew I was going to be a teacher, more specifically I knew I wanted to do elementary or special education. I come from a family of educators, so it was no surprise that at all the Thanksgiving and Christmas functions I had actually figured it out. The excitement of knowing what to do with the rest of my life quickly grew and then began to dwindle just as fast.


"Well, looks like you'll be broke all your life."

“That's a lot of paperwork."

“If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't choose this."

These are just a few replies I have received. The unfortunate part is that many of those responses were from teachers themselves. I get it, you want to warn and prepare us for the road we are about to go down. I understand the stress it can take because I have been around it. The countless hours of grading, preparing, shopping for the classroom, etc. all takes time. I can understand how it would get tiresome and seem redundant. The feeling a teacher has when the principal schedules yet another faculty meeting to talk an hour on what could've been stated in an email… the frustration they experience when a few students seem uncontrollable… the days they feel inadequate and unseen… the sadness they feel when they realize the student with no supplies comes from a broken home… I think it is safe to say that most teachers are some of the toughest, most compassionate and hardworking people in this world.

Someone has to be brave enough to sacrifice their time with their families to spend time with yours. They have to be willing to provide for the kids that go without and have a passion to spread knowledge to those who will one day be leading this country. This is the reason I encourage others to stop telling us not to go for it.

Stop saying we won't make money because we know. Stop saying we will regret it, because if we are making a difference, then we won't. Stop telling us we are wasting our time, when one day we will be touching hearts.

Tell us to be great, and then wish us good luck. Tell us that our passion to help and guide kids will not go unnoticed. Tell us that we are bold for trying, but do not tell us to change our minds.

Teachers light the path for doctors, police officers, firefighters, politicians, nurses, etc. Teachers are pillars of society. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we seek to change a life or two, so encourage us or sit back and watch us go for it anyways.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Huffman

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14 Honest College Things The Class Of 2023 Needs To Know ~Before~ Fall Semester

Sit down, be humble.


To The Class of 2023,

Before you start your college career, please know:

1. Nobody...and I mean nobody gives a shit about your AP Calculus scores.


" I got a 5 in Calc AB AND BC, a 5 in AP Literature, awh but I only got a 4 in AP Chem"

2. THE SAME GOES FOR YOUR SAT/ACT SCORES + nobody will know what you're talking about because they changed the test like 10 times since.


3. College 8 AMs are not the same as your 0 period orchestra class in 12th grade.


4. You're going to get rejected from a lot of clubs and that does not make you a failure.


5. If you do get into your clubs, make sure not to overwhelm or overcommit yourself.

visual representation of what it looks like when you join too many clubs


6. It's OK to realize that you don't want to be pre-med or you want to change majors.


7. There will ALWAYS ALWAYS be someone who's doing better than you at something but that doesn't mean you're behind.


8. "I'm a freshman but sophomore standin-" No, you don't have to clarify that, you'll sound like an asshole.


9. You may get your first ever B-, C+ or even D OR EVEN A W in your life. College is meant to teach you how to cope with failure.


10. Go beyond your comfort zone. Join a theatre club if you're afraid of public speaking. Join an animal rescue club if you're afraid of animals. College is learning more about yourself.


11. Scholarships do exist. APPLY APPLY APPLY.


12. Don't try to brag about all the stuff you did in high school, you'll just sound like a weenie hut jr. scout


13. Understand and be sensitive to the fact that everybody around you has a different experience and story of getting to university.


14. You're going to be exposed to people with different opinions and views, don't fight them. Instead, try to explain your perspective and listen to their reasoning as well.


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