The snow day freezes ACT


Lidia Herrera and Mary Ohlrich enjoy the snow outside of Sequoyah. The Feb. 8 ACT was canceled mid-test due to inclement weather conditions.

The ACT is one of the daunting standardized tests that students might face during their high school career. Students spend months mastering the material in class and some even devote time outside of school to studying for the notorious test.  

Unfortunately for seniors Mary Ohlrich and Lidia Herrera, and junior Martha Isley, on Feb. 8, 2020, any preparation fell to the wayside as the test was rescheduled mid-session due to inclement weather conditions. 

Because of increasingly hazardous road conditions that Saturday morning, the Feb. 8 administration of the ACT had to be canceled. Isley cites safety as the primary reason for the test’s cancellation.  

“We were all told that the test was canceled because the snow was coming down too hard, and it was safer for us to leave at that point during the test instead of finishing it out and waiting for the snow to get even worse,” Isley said.  

Herrera was worried about the roads to the point of distraction.  

“Instead of actually focusing on the test, I was worried about how I was going to get home safely,” Herrera said. “I [worried] because I [didn’t] know what to expect driving in snow as that was my first time.” 

For some students, the cancellation only posed a minor inconvenience. Ohlrich suffered no major alterations to her schedule following the debacle.  

“It didn’t really affect anything,” Ohlrich said. 

Other students were not so nonchalant. For Isley, who spent eight weeks in a tutoring program meant to perfectly coincide with the Feb. 8 test date, the news was very disappointing.  

“This was very hard to hear because I had prepared so much, and then [I] just had to stop in the middle of [the test],” Isley said. 

According to the ACT’s website, tests canceled due to unforeseen circumstances can be rescheduled free of charge as long as arrangements are made prior to the registration deadline of the student’s preferred test date. That means students should not have to take a monetary hit due to the rescheduling. However, this does not eliminate the frustration brought on by the situation. 

Isley wishes the situation was handled differently.  

“I know other schools like Milton finished out the test, so ideally I wish that the test had continued,” Isley said. 

Herrera thinks the situation could have been entirely avoided by checking the forecast early that morning.  

“I wish that they could have canceled the test in the morning. This would have caused less stress for parents and students,” Herrera said. 

For Ohlrich, the hassle of preparing for the early-morning Saturday test was aggravating in and of itself.  

“There was nothing [they] could have done, but I wish they would have canceled it before, so I didn’t have to wake up early on a Saturday for nothing,” Ohlrich said.  

The rescheduled test is set to take place at Sequoyah on March 7. Despite the hassle, Isley remains optimistic.  

“I try to look at it as a blessing in disguise because I could possibly do better on the next one,” Isley said.