It's all about location


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SAT/ACT preference map

Morgan Anderson, Writer, photographer

According to The Princeton Review, the ACT is an exam that most high school students take to determine their acceptance to college. It tests you in english, math, reading and science, and is usually taken by the student late junior or early senior year.

Most universities with take either the SAT or ACT, but the SAT is usually preferred. In fact universities like NYU, The University of Texas and Arizona State University don’t require the ACT for admission. Does that mean that people opt out of it since since it is becoming more of an option?

Here’s what some people who may not are have already decided not to take the SAT said:

Eric Acosta, 12, decided not to take the test since the colleges he is applying to didn’t require them.

McKamey Elliot, 11, said “I am not taking the ACT because I would rather take the SAT. The ACT doesn’t seem as important.”

However many have decided that they will end up taking the test.

Jaden Bustos, 11, “I want to take the ACT because its a requirement for the school I want to go to. If it wasn’t a requirement, I wouldn’t take it because it would just me another thing to be worried about.”

Hadlee Gray, 11, “I have heard that the SAT is just as difficult, but I really haven’t heard much. I also haven’t heard of any programs that can help me.”

Counselor Julie Petrus said the ACT is important depending on what state you are in.

“The number of students taking the ACT versus the SAT is not so much students choosing not to take it as it is the direction of the company that owns the test. Texas has always been a “College Board or SAT” state, where there are other states that are more ACT,” Petrus said, “Oklahoma and the mid-states to name a few. This could be due to simple history -this is what we have always done- or marketing.”

Petrus said trends within the company, ACT or College Board, probably put more efforts into growing their programs in the states where they already have a foothold, thus making it a stronger hold.

“I don’t think ACT would spend a lot of advertising resources in New York, which is solid SAT. Turning an entire state would be costly, and they are going to get more business where their name is already established,” she said.

The preference of the ACT or SAT by state should be weighted by students as they decide on which test to take.

Is this trend new? As a soon-to-be college student myself, I am at a point where I have to start making decisions about what tests I need to take and study for. If you aren’t required to take the test, why would you pay the money or spend the time studying for something that doesn’t pertain to you?

It’s just a waste of time for some already stressed students. Others that do decide to take it probably are going to a college that requires you to take it, especially if you are leaning toward a math or science major. Some universities, like Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee give out scholarships based on your ACT scores.

This encourages students to study for the test and makes them realize that maybe it’s more important than it seems. In the end, I think it is up to personal opinion and college requirements if you decide to take the test.

For now, the ACT can be an extremely important factor in college entrance, but who knows, maybe the tables will turn and the ACT will become something that few colleges require.