How much is too much?

Math and Science ACT prep book

Whitney Jani ’18

The junior class of 2018 prepares to take the ACT and the SAT this spring, which are both tests that help determine which colleges the students get into. They are arguably the two most important tests a student will take during their high school career. However, an important question must be posed: is there such as thing as too much practice?

From the first steps into Pritzker as freshmen to the end of junior year, students are vigorously prepared to take the ACT, and newly the SAT, with lots and lots of practice tests. This school year alone, juniors have taken the pre ACT, two interims, and two SAT tests.

Is it essential to practice, especially for tests as important as these? Yes, but students may be becoming overexposed to the content and are therefore becoming desensitized to the material. Practicing anything, such as a sport or an instrument, is detrimental to getting better, and the same goes for the ACT. The more we practice, the better we get, but there is a toll that all of that practice takes on students. Sitting through monotonous testing several times a quarter and looking over similar style passages and questions over and over again can become exhausting after so many times of doing it.

Now, students have the opportunity to be drilled with “new” ACT test-taking tips once a week in our Academic Approach classes. Academic Approach is a program that specializes in preparing students for taking the ACT by providing lessons on the content of the test as well as test taking tips. Students also had the opportunity to sign up for extra $25 classes on Fridays after school with Academic Approach. Although Academic Approach classes may seem like a hassle to participate in every week, the good thing about the class is that students only had to pay $25, whereas, many students in other schools may have to pay thousands of dollars. It seems that our day to day lives at Pritzker are surrounded by non-stop ACT and SAT information, and students may be starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by all of the pressure.

Lots of  practice and preparation is just something that Pritzker students are going to have to get use to. Junior Abril Pereznegron stated, “Even though taking these tests may seem like a horrible idea, I like the practice. All this practice makes me have some sort of confidence for the real tests.” Not all of the students view the constant testing as bad, and the practice works for a lot of students.

As junior students preparing to hopefully go to college once students graduate in 2018, we need to make sure that we put in our best effort to make sure we will do well in these important tests. Pritzker wants each student to succeed when they takes these tests, and they only have the best intentions for students. Can the work be grueling at times? Yes. Do students need a break from the vigorous study and prep from these tests? Yes, but once all of the practices and tests are done and after we have tried our best in these tests, we will see that all of our hard work will pay off in the end.

It is best for us to take advantage of all of these practice opportunities, no matter how grueling and tedious that they seem.