Stepping Forward and Changing Future ACT Scores

Morgan Harbolt, Creative Editor

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ACTing on scores going down.

ACT scores are going down and this is how to stop it.

Since 2017 the ACT scores have went down. Students seem to no longer care about hitting benchmarks. The drive to achieve and succeed has changed.

Students nowadays are expected to do much more than their parents did when they were in high school. With the AP classes, JCTC and career pathways offered in high school, things are a lot different. College is a thing that schools and parents stress a lot on kids.

Bullitt East has worked hard to prepare their students for when they graduate. Back in late 90’s, East was not the school it is now. Students weren’t pushed to challenge themselves in school and it resulted in a lot of other problems, like behavior issues. Since then the school has come a long way. AP classes started to be taught and overtime there are now 13 AP classes offered here, along with JCTC opportunities.

Ever since then the schools ACT scores and behavior has gone up positively. The graduating class of 2005 and 2010 were big landmarks for East. Those classes really shaped the “We Are Charger Nation” moto. They made school a good place to be and really increased the school spirit. Then the graduating classes of 2016 and 2017 were very strong classes academically. So with the combination over the years of being academically and school spiritually strong Charger nation was a distinguished school two years in a row.

After that 2017 class however, things started changing.

ACT scores have gone down since 2018. In 2016 the average composite score was a 21. In 2017 it went down to 20.4, and in 2018 it went down again to 19.8. This year the average is currently standing at a 19.2, but some juniors still have not taken it yet. So there is an obvious consistent drop throughout the years.

Why is that? For one, graduation requirements have changed. Students no longer have to hit benchmark on reading, english and math to graduate. Now students only have to meet math and english, or math and reading, not all three. Also, instead of being college ready, students can just be career ready. I think that a lot of kids who know they aren’t going to college just become career ready and then when it comes time to take the ACT they don’t care to try their best. Students are okay with settling with being career ready. Counselor Crystal Barr said, “You have some kids who are very very serious about it and some kids who really don’t care, because they say ‘I’m not going to college. This test doesn’t really matter to me.’”

Now I know that college isn’t for everyone. But if a kid puts off college because of economic problems then they aren’t putting themselves out there for more opportunities. Or if a student doesn’t think they’re smart enough to make it to college, then they’re wrong. I think a lot of kids have in their minds right away that they just aren’t going to college without even trying to. Ever since we have changed the requirements to graduate, students don’t care as much to do their best on the ACT, therefore they never realize their full potential. I think a lot of students could get much better scores on the ACT and actually get into colleges they want if they would just realize their potential.

I think a lot of kids also don’t realize how important it is to study for the ACT. I did a poll on the Livewire twitter asking students if they study for the ACT or not. Out of 85 students, only 34% of them study for the ACT. I think a lot of students don’t think studying for the ACT will do them any good. They see it as a waste of their time. Now senior, Gracie Smith tried out a program called Torch Prep last summer. Smith said, “My composite ACT score stayed the same, but my individual scores increased tremendously. I did really bad on one section so that’s why my score didn’t change. But my other three sections I came up 5+ points. It helped my super-score which helped my scholarship search.” The Torch Prep program has different classes and sessions to help students improve their ACT score. The specific one that Smith took is where you go to Sullivan University for two weekends from 8am-4pm.

Recently we offered ACT [prep classes at Bullitt East, where the class is solely based around helping students do better on ACT based questions. I think this has been very helpful to students, but there is still an importance in studying outside of those classes.

So, students, studying for the ACT is actually very important. And if you don’t think you can get into college, think again. Don’t settle for the easy way out, challenge yourself, give 110% and ace the ACT.

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