The ACT is well known as “the worst” here at Marian.
The desire to score high on the standardized test by the American College Test- ing Program, or ACT, may cause students to wake up early and spend their Saturday mornings in a Test Prep class. But how effective is an ACT score in an actual college application? Research has shown that neglecting extracurricular involvement could prove fatal. Here are the general three most important pieces to consider when applying for college.
1. The Test Score
It is true that the standardized tests are an important and necessary part of a complete college application and colleges do recognize the work that you put into your scores.
According to Jacob Carter from Creighton admissions, “…we recognize that not all students are going to excel or even participate in all of the various categories. So, as long as we feel students are academically qualified and would be a good fit here at Creighton, we are still likely to accept them.” Having a good score can be helpful for earning scholarships, but it is not the only thing you can be given a scholarship for.
2. The Extracurriculars
Colleges have been known to turn down students with perfect scores. A common reason is due to lack of involvement. Colleges are looking for a well-rounded person when they are going through applications which means extracurriculars.
Dan Feldhacker, Admissions Counselor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said, “Those factors play equally weighted roles in the decision as the review committee is looking to see if the student can be successful at UNL.”
Extracurricular activities can show a college that the student works hard and is still able to stay focused. While having a great test score is impressive, displaying other qualities, like leadership, is equally important.
3. The Personal Essay
The personal essay is crucial because it is the college’s first impression of the applicant. According to Ms. Megan Piernicky, English teacher, the most important thing to keep in mind while writing the essay is to make the essay reflect the development and the unique things that distinguish the applicant from the rest. By writing the “perfect essay” the applicant begins to sound like everyone else and therefore becomes uninteresting.
Waking up for an early study session in preparation for the ACT may be beneficial, but deciding to sleep in won’t stop you from getting into college. Although college application is a stressful subject for most Marian students, starting to prepare early will lessen the anxiety potentially changing “the worst” into something manageable.