West pilots online ACT

On Tuesday Nov. 19, West High held a free online ACT practice test.


Alex Carlon

A student’s desk sits ready for the ACT, equipped with a pencil, calculator and water bottle.

On Nov. 19th, approximately 200 students participated in a free online practice exam administered by ACT. Though scores will not be reportable to colleges, many students used the test as an opportunity to practice for the actual exam.

Students arrived around 8:30 am and were assigned rooms by last name. After all students were accounted for, ACT administrators had students begin logging into the system, but with some difficulty. Many students had technical difficulties with ACT system errors, low battery percentages and Chromebook updates. These difficulties delayed the administration of the test, but were quickly solved.

Once technical malfunctions were corrected, the administrators continued with procedure and students began testing. New features included a timer that turned a different color and gave a warning once there were five minutes remaining.

Around 11:20 a.m., the fire alarm went off, sending students and ACT staff into confusion since many were in the middle of testing. Due to the confusion, some stayed in their classrooms and continued testing, while most trekked outside and were sent back in before everyone was out.

Once the interruptions ended, students continued testing with a 10 minute break after the math test. After the break, students continued testing with science, reading and the essay. Testing ended at varying times, but most were finished within the hours of 1-2 pm.

Lilian Montilla ’21 believes that the new online test is better than a paper form.

“I think [the online test] is good,” she said. “I definitely type a lot faster than I write, so it’s beneficial.”