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ACT’s Shift To Digital Unwelcome for Most RAHS Scholars


On March 19th, 2024, Juniors at RAHS completed the ACT, which is an exam that students will need for college applications. This year, big changes have been made to the ACT, causing confusion amongst students and teachers. Testing Coordinator Shaween Lawrence said, “The biggest change is that we are doing it online instead of on paper. The other big change is that we are not doing the writing this year.”

Some students have mixed feelings about the ACT being online. Junior Emma Vang said, “I think it would be easier on paper when you can physically write out problems and solve them, especially for math problems.”

Junior Ameer Azeez, also in agreement, said, “I think it’s easier on paper to see the questions, as you can flip through them easily.”

Junior Anthony Black agrees for a different purpose; he said, “It would be easier to mark up the science and reading passages if it were on paper; however, I like that the English and math sections will be online because it will be easier to flag and review.”

Some students, however, have strong feelings against this change. Junior Marit Haugen said, “I don’t like that it’s online, it’s harder to pay attention to tests on a screen, especially with questions that are split screen with reading and comprehension.”

While students are opposing this change, some find this change reasonable. Junior Beatrice Holterhaus said, “I feel like it definitely makes sense given how huge technology is in education right now, but I always prefer paper tests because it’s like a physical thing in front of me, also all the features on online tests are confusing.”

Other students agree the paper ACT test was easier. Junior Anna Parker said, “the last time I took it I thought it went better and it was on paper.”

Senior Naveena Srinivasan, who took the ACT last year, reflected on the benefits and drawbacks of the high-stakes exam.  She said she is “not a huge fan of standardized testing… But it was nice that we got the opportunity to actually take the test at school for free.”

When it comes to iPad vs Paper ACT, Srinivasan said, “I did like that it was on paper. Personally for testing, I prefer paper just because I feel I might get headaches or just tired of looking at screens. I also just feel more confident writing on paper and I think if we’re going to keep standardized testing we should keep it on paper.”

If students are looking for more materials to study for ACT preparation, there are resources on https://www.act.org. This website offers many options for studying, it ranges from online courses, to self paced courses, tutoring, and a preparation guide.

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Melia Conrath
Melia Conrath, Junior Editor
Hi everyone! My name is Melia Conrath I’m a Junior. I am a Junior Editor and I like writing about sports and features. In my free time I like to ski, watch movies and spend time with my family.

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