Juniors Prepare for Important ACT Testing During Advisory


Donated to the Central Digest

JUNIORS PREPARE FOR IMPORTANT ACT TESTING DURING ADVISORY -- Students raise their hands to answer a few ACT practice problems as teachers explain what the question is asking.

Dakota Wootan, Staff Writer

The ACT is probably one of the most important tests students will ever take in their life. It can make a huge influence on how the rest of one’s life pans out, assuming that person plans on pursuing higher education. The better one’s ACT score, the better chance one has of getting accepted into a prestigious college, and the easier it will be to receive scholarships. With the ever rising price of college tuition these days, most students want to receive as many scholarships as possible.

With that in mind, juniors and other students worried about getting into a good university may need to start looking towards preparing for the ACT. Even if students do not plan to attend a university, a high ACT score will look great on their application to an employer if they are new to the workforce.

Thankfully, at Central High School, there is a program that goes on every Friday during advisory to help prepare juniors for this crucial, yet stressful test ahead of them.

“Test taking strategies and understanding how to navigate the test will be covered [during this program]. The January prep session is focusing on the science portion of the test. The February session will be focused on a different subpart of the test,” revealed Brielle Farrow, the coordinator of the event.

Given how the ACT is designed to try to trick students and throw them off, knowledge of what tricks they use and what to look for will be essential for getting a high score.

“Students don’t need to bring anything to the prep sessions in the library. We will provide the practice materials and a pencil. When juniors are not in a library ACT prep session, they should bring their ACT practice book and a pencil to advisory to work through in their ACT practice test book,” explained Farrow.

This should take a load off of some students’ shoulders who are worried about having to purchase extra materials for the ACT preparation course.

Dr. Lory Heron, the lead science teacher for Hamilton County high schools and an expert on the ACT, chipped in with some extra information. There are several important things that test takers should keep in mind.

“This is not a content test. This is about how well [students] think, and how well they can reason. Even though they might be in the science portion or the math portion, students have to be able to take information and decide what part of that information is important, [and] what part is extraneous or irrelevant, or fluff,” divulged Dr. Heron.

She believes that there are several common obstacles students face that prevent them from getting a high score.

“They only have 35 minutes on the science portion, and they spend too much time trying to read every word. [This means that] they are not eliminating some of the possible readings and choices, or really spending time on what they do know, or could answer correctly,” expressed Dr. Heron. “They don’t want to spend too much time on things that they really can’t get right, and instead should spend all of their time on the information where they know something and can get that right.”

She discusses the importance of the ACT, even for students who don’t plan on going to college.

“I think it’s necessary for everyone to show how they think. It’s one opportunity for students to see if they can reason and use what they’ve been learning in school in order to eliminate possible answers, or focus on something in a subject area, and put what they understand from the reading to work in answering,” conceded Dr. Heron. “I think it’s important for everyone to take the ACT, because we all have to be thinking individuals, we all have to be reasoning individuals, we have to use process skills, and that’s what the ACT is focusing on.”

Dr. Heron also had a few words of encouragement for Central High School students.

“Everyone can do this. Just practice your thinking skills, make sure you are going online to ACT.org, take practice tests, talk it out, write while you read, make sure other people understand what you are thinking, and listen to your friends,” she advised. “Don’t study alone. It’s important. And it is a reflection on Central High School, because these scores become public knowledge, so the better the students can do, the better their schools can do.”

Please visit ACT.org to get more information about the ACT and to view work-through practice tests at home to prepare. It may not hurt to look around for other resources online to help you with your ACT journey. Teachers and administration look forward to seeing their students show off all of their hard work and knowledge.