East Texas students’ ACT scores drop amid pandemic

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – East Texas high school students are facing a new challenge. ACT scores have dropped, making it harder for them to go to college.

In 2020, ACT testing sites were canceled, leaving students without the opportunity to test or improve their scores. Many universities in East Texas did away with the standardized testing requirements and focused on high school GPA so that students could apply for school.

“Test anxiety is real, so when a student goes in and they take the test and just bomb it, I think it’s a great thing for colleges to look at a portfolio instead of putting 100% in one test,” said Carol Pope, Franchise Owner of Sylvan Learning Center.

Colleges and universities quickly began a plan to help accommodate the problem. UT Tyler responded by not requiring SAT and ACT scores for the fall semester of 2022 for entrance into the university.  

“A lot of universities including us, and UT system schools, did away with the SAT, ACT requirements and focus mainly on GPA,” said David Barron, Vice President of Enrollment Management at UT Tyler.

High school GPA is a broad indicator in a student’s overall success, but what does that mean for the following academic years?

“We haven’t decided for ’23-’24 what the requirements are going to be, but, I think a lot of it is going to determine on how the pandemic plays out and how in person classes play out,” said Barron.

If they are taking college classes while enrolled in high school and they’re successful in those college classes- that’s a good indicator that they’re going to be successful in college as they move forward.”

Students should not wait until senior year. It is best to get started on the studying path the summer between your sophomore and junior year.

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