A Dishonest Score

By: Katherine Sweat

The ACT is a required standardized test for any high school senior who wishes to receive their diploma. This test is the basis of college admissions as well as a determining factor for academic scholarships. For me, this is stressful. I’m not a fast paced test taker; I like to take time to process the information I’ve been given. I don’t like how much weight is put on this test, but I still work to improve my scores. That word... work. It seems some people don’t understand the meaning.

Yes, this test frustrates me, but let me tell you what frustrates me more than anything else... cheaters. Now we’ve all done it. It’s so easy to let our eyes wander on that difficult algebra problem or on that history test we didn’t study for. And let’s not forget how we failed to read that book but somehow aced those reading check quizzes. I get it. The consequence of failing is sometimes enough for us to be dishonest and deceitful. But on a test that plays such a significant role in our futures? That’s just lame. Why should a person that’s worked hard to get to a 25 be overshadowed by a person who freeloaded themselves to a 34? Why should the student who kept their eyes on their own test be racked up in student loans while the cheaters get higher scholarships? Where’s the fairness in that? It’s simple. It’s not there. Like I said, I’m not that great of a test taker. I made a 19 my first time, and with work, I made a 23 on my second attempt. I re-take it in December because I need more money to go to the university of my choice.

I’m going to study, take all the practice tests, and read every single ACT prep book I can possibly find. Maybe I’ll get the score I want, or maybe I won’t. Either way, I want my scores to reflect my dedication to the work, not the achievement of the person next to me. To the cheaters, maybe you shouldn’t share how you got that score off the smartest kid in the room; it only reflects poorly on your character.