Thank you letter for an ACT of kindness

Allie Hickenbotham, copy editor

Emma Bjorkman

This piece is entirely satirical*


Dear Everett Lindquist,

I would like to say thank you. Thank you for inventing the exhilarating, memorable test known as the American College Testing Program (ACT). Thank you so much for this wonderful, joyous occasion we students have the privilege of enduring. I must say, the ACT is probably the most enjoyable aspect of high school. I just adore beginning my Saturday morning once every few months at school at 7:30 a.m. to take the test, because Monday through Friday just wasn’t enough. Thank you for offering students the pleasure of sitting still in rock-hard chairs, hunched over with our hands cramping for over three hours while we enthusiastically bubble in the answers to questions about math we haven’t seen since eighth grade. Also, thanks a million for not allowing us to bring snacks or a drink to the test. I’m never hungry anyway. Maybe consider turning down the heat a little as well, it’s way too hot in the gym. I’m thankful for the extensive 10 minute break in between the math and reading sections; how generous of you. I had just enough time to spit out my tasteless gum and say hello to one friend before I had to rush back into my seat. We obviously have too much time to waste. And thanks a ton for not making the test too difficult. I love a good challenge; especially those incredibly wordy science problems about the volume of heptane and how it burns in an engine. I’m thankful the ACT displays my academic knowledge accurately because I’m just amazing at taking timed standardized tests. I’m also delighted it’s the sole defining factor of my acceptance into certain colleges and receiving merit scholarships. Frantically bubbling in answers correctly is a skill I’m going to need later in life, right? Thanks a million for boosting my self-esteem when I receive my score. When I expect to receive a 36 and instead get a 19, I’m perfectly okay with that. Not at all disappointed. I appreciate you making the test cheap ($40, $60 with the writing) so I can take it an infinite amount of times and still have my score stay the same. Thank goodness we are offered tutoring from people who don’t overprice at all and motivate us by saying “a 13 isn’t that bad” or “even though you left 20 questions blank on the math section, you can still get a 30.” I’m thankful for the practice tests that you claim are much harder than the real test, even though they are exactly the same. So congratulations to those few people who get a perfect score on the ACT. I never understood what all the fuss was about a 36. I mean, really, how hard is it to fill in every answer correctly? Again, thanks friend. I don’t know what my life would be like without the ACT. Probably dreadful.


Allie Hickenbotham