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Is the ACT Going Away? Hint: No.

In recent years, I've had a lot of people say to me (and comment on Facebook) that the ACT is going away; colleges are finding new ways to admit students that don't depend upon ACT scores or SAT scores. Things like GPA, class rank, number of clubs involved in, etc. will now hold sway.

The problem, of course, is that in a sea of hundreds of thousands of admissions, there has to be some kind of objective measure to compare students. For a while there, many colleges (maybe hundreds) dropped objective measures altogether. However, according to data provided by Opportunity Insights, it seems like things are reverting back to the norm of using the ACT and the SAT as a means to determine admissions status.

The thing that I want to focus in on is their "Finding #2", particularly this sentence: "high school GPA does little to predict academic success in college." Essentially, the greatest predictor of academic success in college, these studies found, are ACT and SAT scores. In fact (and this blew me away actually), students with a GPA of 4.0 at the high school level average about a 3.55 GPA in college, but students with a GPA of 3.1 at the high school level average about a 3.48 GPA in college. How is that possible?

That's a big question that I'm sure many people are writing a PhD thesis on right about now, but it boils down to this: in many schools, getting an A or B is not that difficult for the average student. Obviously a lot of that depends on the teacher, the school, the student's circumstances, etc., but it is a general truth.

However, I do believe a lot of hardworking students who have received a good education are leaving a lot on the table when it comes to the ACT no matter their GPA

. Although the test makers would like to pretend that all is equal, those that prepare do the best! I have seen it hundreds of times (literally): prepare well, do better. Isn't that how it is with everything in life? The ACT is difficult, but predictable, so let's use what we know to prepare well and expand those post-high school opportunities.


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