Schoolwide Strategy That Works

You’re in school leadership, and you want to go from seeing the ACT as a challenge and liability to having a plan that sets your students up for success. In this video, I’m going to show you three things that many schools do to be successful on the ACT. I don’t care if you are an urban school, rural, suburban, public, or private. If you do these things you will see more students hitting benchmarks, getting into college, and getting scholarships with their ACT test scores.

The first thing is make sure your students get a chance to take a retired practice test early in their junior year. TorchPrep partners, we take care of this for every school that works with us because it’s so important to get students that experience, but if you don’t work with TorchPrep, there are ways to do this on your own. You can order these ACT tests on your own, but I want to give you a few pointers as you consider this.

There are a lot of test imitations out there, and there’s only a few places to get legitimate retired practice test, and it’s so important that you get that legitimate one. You don’t want spring or summer of your students’ junior year to be the first time they’re seeing a legitimate ACT in an ACT setting. Get them that experience in a controlled, safe environment. It’s one of the first steps to getting a winning ACT strategy for your school.

The second thing to do to create a winning ACT strategy for your school is start incorporating ACT content in the classroom. Your teachers are content specialists. That’s what they’re trained to do. That’s what they love to do, and they’re great at it, but it’s important that students understand how to look at that content through an ACT national test filter. There are a lot of simple ways to do that. One of the best ways to grab ACT questions, start incorporating them into bell-ringers, quizzes, assessments, things like that, so students start getting that experience. Another great thing to do is grab vocabulary directly from the ACT test. Start putting that in your assessments, in your lesson plans, and things like that so students start getting acquainted with that vocabulary.

But one of the best things that your teachers can do is start giving timed assessments. I’m telling you, from years of experience training hundreds of students in the ACT, timing is the most serious obstacle for most students in getting their peak ACT score. Start giving timed assessments throughout the year so students become acquainted with that test taking skill.

Now, the third thing to do to build a winning ACT strategy is make sure you do some kind of skill or strategy-oriented training for your students. Like I said, content’s a huge component of the ACT, but another huge component of the ACT is just skills and strategy, things like do your students know how to navigate the test, do they know how to skip questions, do they know how to guess, are they able to find patterns in correct answer choices, do they know how to eliminate wrong answer choices? The ACT is a unique test, and there are very specific success skills that are associated with it.

You can build a plan internally, or partners that work with TorchPrep, we build this with you, but one thing I would say is do these trainings pretty close to the big national test that the students are taking. Remember, this is very skill and strategy-oriented. It’s kind of like you wouldn’t learn a golf swing and wait three months to go try it out. The same way, you wouldn’t learn these skills and strategies for the ACT and wait a long time to incorporate them. You’re going to be doing that content incorporation in the classroom throughout the year, but then you’re going to do some skills and some strategy training right before the test.

Those are my three things. Make sure that you get a retired test in your students’ hands, and many of you do that with TorchPrep, and that’s great. Two, make sure you incorporate ACT content in the classroom. Three, make sure you do some kind of specific strategy or skill training for your students.

If you do these things, you will have a winning ACT strategy, and you will go from seeing the ACT as a liability to start seeing it as an asset for your school and your students.

Resources:

TorchPrep School Partnerships – https://www.torchprep.com/school-partnerships/

Free printable ACT practice test – https://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/Preparing-for-the-ACT.pdf

Make sure to check out the rest of our post to find even more ways to beat the ACT and reach your goals in the pursuit of college.