The ACT and you...
I teach what is essentially a confidence class on Monday nights; it's called "ACT Prep." Now, you may be wondering why I call it confidence class. Well, when it comes to taking the ACT, part of the battle is being confident you will be successful. Not that you'll throw it out-of-the-park and rock the test kind of confidence, but the confidence to go in there, give it your best, and know you'll do your best work.
So we spend quite a bit of time the first two classes learning about the test. The format, the directions, the expectations, how the questions are broken down, what percentage of each type of question to expect, how to read the questions well, how long each passage should take, how the score is calculated, etc.
Then, we dive in and practice with a timer set. An important component of doing well on the ACT is knowing how to utilize the time limits wisely. Students try to simulate the timing of one passage, then we talk about the answers. We review allegory, allusion, alliteration, hyperbole, metaphor, and simile. We talk about the ACT's expectation of a "best" versus "correct" answer. We talk about semi-colons and why they're so much cooler than colons. We talk and talk about the test.
And, in the end, the most important thing students can take away is that the test is not defining their intellect -- it's just a number to help make decisions. We look up the average ACT of college freshmen at schools (Luther is a 24!) and look at minimum scores to avoid remedial classes at the local community college. We talk about why taking the ACT twice is okay, but only if you do something different to prepare (I took it twice and go the same score because I didn't change anything!).
Overall, though, the mission is to help students realize the ACT isn't something to be afraid of. If they use their resources and prepare, the ACT can be a great tool to help start their college career on the right foot by avoiding remedial classes and sometimes earning a bit more merit aid.
Find more information about the slice of life blogging challenge by Two Writing Teachers at this link.
Kari Straube is working on her second slice of life challenge in 2017. She spends her days with freshmen in rural Iowa & loves helping them grow. Her English teacher husband encourages her book hoarding habits & people do not like helping them move. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The views on this blog are mine alone and do not reflect those of my employer or anyone else.
Kari teaches English I to 9th graders (!) and other electives in rural Iowa. Her husband is also an English teacher, and their friends have sworn to never help them move again because "even libraries don't have that many books."