MSMS hosts Sept. 11 ACT

Students take the ACT over the weekend in hopes of attaining a high score.

Courtesy of ACT

Students take the ACT over the weekend in hopes of attaining a high score.

Madison Echols, Staff Writer

As summer comes to a close, the blistering heat wanes, the leaves begin to turn colors and find their way beneath our feet and a cool breeze starts to fill the air. A new season is upon us — standardized test season.

Standardized tests including the ACT and SAT bring in millions of student test-takers each year, with 1.7 million and 2.2 million students taking each respectively, and our MSMS students are no exception.

The ACT was held this month on Sept. 11, and many MSMS students opted to take the test. Of those students, senior Anthom Ahanonu said he was stressed about the test. 

“Right now, my stress level from 1-10 is at 9 because there’s a lot of programs that I need to improve my ACT scores to qualify for,” Ahanonu said. “If I had to give it a number, I’d say I spend around five hours studying weekly…  It has been like having a balance, just grades and then club activities as well as just ACT studying and really trying to improve my score.” 

Along with personal stress standardized tests bring, both Ahanonu and junior Dia Kher said tests like the ACT and SAT are not fair representations of intellectual ability.

“In my opinion, it [the ACT] doesn’t really test students’ intelligence at all,” Ahanonu said.  “It more so tests the type of student you are when it comes to studying for that test.” 

“I feel that the ACT is a good measurement for how well you can work under pressure, but it doesn’t show off your intelligence or what you actually know,” Kher added.

Still, Ahanonu and Kher said MSMS improved their outlook on the ACT and helped them grow academically. They both agree the atmosphere MSMS creates surrounding the ACT motivated them. 

“At first [before coming to MSMS] I was like, ‘Okay. I can strive for a 26,’ but now it’s changed to where I’m like, okay … you won’t be able to get some of the opportunities or scholarships if you have a score of a 26,” Ahanonu said. “I feel like coming here with other academically gifted students and realizing the different scholarships out there has shown me that the ACT score really matters.”

“I would say that my motivation at MSMS is greater [than ACT motivation at Biloxi] because at Biloxi it was like, ‘Oh, I can put this off and it’s not like I would have to worry about it,’” Kher added. “But at MSMS, you see all of the people around you are doing well, and you don’t want to be left behind so you work harder.”

Despite the ups and downs of the standardized testing process, both students said they have positive views toward their Saturday testing. 

“From pessimistic to optimistic, I would be in the upper quartile towards optimistic,” Kher said.

“I’m optimistic. I’m trying to see the light; I’ve been really working hard to improve my score,” Ahanonu added. “And I’m just really hoping that things go well.”