Open Letter to Juniors: Your Test Scores Don’t Define You

By Kathryn Cressy

The Crown (Wilmette, Illinois)

So, you’re a junior. You’ve got a lot on your plate. This is the year that colleges look at the most academically. Not only that, but you also have to take dreaded standardized tests. We all can agree that these are the worst. I am sure many of you have been there already. You have looked at every self-help book out there, and some of you have even gotten tutors. After much preparation the time has come, the test day is here. You take the test, and when its done you let out a huge sigh of relief.

When some of you get your scores back, you will be content, but others will feel the opposite—and that is okay! I know these tests are daunting, and are important for the admissions process. However, just remember that these scores are just a number.

Standardized tests judge your performance from one day out of your entire high school career. Not to mention, you are expected to perform under so much pressure. Of course, colleges know this. That’s why they look at other things like GPA and a personal essay. Last year, whenever I felt particularly anxious about the ACT, I would talk to Mr. Betlinski. He would always tell me that tech ACT is only one of five things that colleges look at. At the end of the day, colleges want to see what type of person you are.

Take this advice from someone who took the ACT five times. It isn’t worth your time stressing and over thinking it all. Of course I don’t mean that the ACT isn’t important, because it is. But if in the end you tried your best and did everything you could, you shouldn’t be insecure of that.

Photo Credit: The Crown

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (

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