ACT Prep Class: A Success!


Emma Walrath, Headline News Editor

For the past nine weeks, I have been in an ACT English section prep class and it has rated a level of confidence in me about this test that I feel I would have never gotten on my own. The ACT is split into 4 mandatory sections: reading, writing, math, and science. The class was so important because it focused on English and Writing, which is half of the test.

The class had only nine students because of the requirements needed to be eligible – such as having a 6th period elective and to be in between meeting and exceeding the standard on standardized testing. That class came about because of the huge impact the ACT can have on high schoolers’ chances at scholarships and on college emissions, especially in state schools.

To prepare we used a cite called IXL which is an online learning platform that gives you small quizzes based on different standards according to your grade level. When taking the quiz or game program you’re given a “smart score”, which is supposedly created from the amount of questions you get right and the time you take on each one. However, I don’t believe that the score has anything to do with time, I think it is only about the level of difficulty for each question. For example, if you’re constantly getting hard questions right it will go up, but if you then get an easy one wrong, it will suddenly drop much quicker than it was rising. This was pretty frustrating.

The “smart score’ was the worst thing about the class, sometimes it would be so easy and other times incredibly hard to get the perfect score. However, this did create a pretty good feeling of accomplishment when your score hit the mastery point, 100, and you gained a virtual gold medal. Even though these gold medals would have been worthless (other than the new skill that could be used on the ACT) if it weren’t for the reward at the end Mrs. Hughes set up, a cookie party, once the class had 180 gold medals.

I am aware that this may seem dumb, but that class was really long sometimes and that stupid smart score was so frustrating, so this cookie party was something to look forward to.

Plus this class really did have a positive impact on my scores, I went up 9 points in reading and 6 in writing. Haley Valdez, a Junior who took the class with me said, “I know so much more about the ACT than a lot of the students who didn’t take the class. There is a lot of information and strategies that I know that I definitely would have gotten otherwise.”

I have no idea if there is going to be a class like this next year, but if you’re given the option, I would definitely recommend it.