Experience and time have shown that a good score in the ACT test ( > 26), requires three factors. These factors stand at the core of our approach.
Administrative Component of the ACT
The administrative component addresses the ‘how’ of the ACT. We focus on time versus workload management during the test by emphasizing ‘quality over quantity’.
Academic Component of the ACT
Learning the intricacies and details of the ACT test is a gradual process. We emphasize that the academic knowledge needed to succeed in the ACT test should parallel the administrative component. Students should learn how to take the test while practicing their academic knowledge, not after. Thus, students learn not only academics, but also how to apply them during the test.
This approach necessarily requires time. We believe students should start practicing the ACT as early as the 10th grade, and continue to practice it throughout their 12th grade. Our experience has shown this approach provides the students with ‘how to apply the what’ in parallel with each other. Incidentally, practice of the ACT should not be comprised of one or two school-administered tests during students’ time in high school. We believe this approach is both expensive (to school districts and state) and inefficient. We emphazise repetative and carefully-graded home-administered and home-proctored ACT practice tests. Properly instructed students are more than able to manage the home practice tests alone, which are also free of cost. This approach provides for significantly more academic success and economic efficiency.
Building Team Work
Our analysis have shown that students who score poorly in the English and Reading sections of the ACT generally score better in the Mathematics and Science sections. We view this as an opportunity rather than a handicap. In our view, the different score qualities in different sections of the ACT represent an unique opportunity for team work. We believe team work in the ACT has long been overlooked because of several factors. However, the ACT test allows for team work and this is a golden opportunity that must be utilized.
We believe a three-tier Team Work approach is ideally-suited to raise ACT scores:
A. Student-To-Student, ‘Sponsor’ Team Work.
Students with poor ACT scores in sections of the test, such as English or Reading, should be teamed up with classmates who have scored significantly better in these respective sections. Incidentally, our ACT Seminars and individual student analysis provide the perfect mechanism for implementing student-to-student teaming. The student coaching the other can be referred to as the ‘sponsor’ student.
B. Intra-School Competitions
ACT competition at school level is an oft missed opportunity. Students can be organized in different ACT groups competing with each other (rather than against) at intramural level. Incidentally, this competitive approach also provides the opportunity to allow students of the same team with better academic skills to help those with less-developed academic skills. Team success is the driving factor and teammates always help each other. This positive side-effect is no different than any other competition, such as football. The ACT test is just as competitive as football (and, in fact, ACT report cards emphasize just this very aspect), yet there is no team-work emphasis for the ACT thus far.
C. Inter-Schools Competitions
Winning groups at school levels should be recognized and placed in further competition with other ACT groups from other schools in the district. Once again, the concept is identical to competition in football. School football teams compete against each other; there is no compelling reason as to why the same should not happen with the ACT.