Mooresville High School promotes ACT prep
by Staff Writer
MOORESVILLE – Mooresville High School has begun offering – and in some cases mandating – a preparation course for the ACT college entrance exam to its juniors.
The program, offered by Method Test Prep, includes pre-test materials, a practice test and access to instructional software through the company’s website.
“For the students that want to take advantage of this, this is huge,” Superintendent Mark Edwards said at the Nov. 8 Mooresville Graded School District Board of Education meeting. “In some districts, they have to pay to go to private providers. They don’t have access to the technology we’re providing ... I really believe if our students get motivated, this translates to scholarships (and acceptance to) colleges of their choice.”
The North Carolina Board of Education began requiring high school juniors take the ACT last year. The state also pays the registration fee. Students who wanted to take the test would otherwise have to pay $50.50.
Mooresville High School Principal Michael Royal gave a presentation to the board outlining the new program, which includes mandatory and optional instruction. On the mandatory side, juniors will have five intensive review sessions in the weeks leading up to the ACT, which they will take March 5.
“We have really geared our prep toward the second semester,” Royal said. “Research shows that an ideal timeframe (for test preparation) is leading up six weeks to the ACT, so we’re going to start our intense prep and review starting Jan. 28. ... We will have five test-prep Tuesdays, where we’re going to take a 90-minute block (for ACT prep).”
The first of these will be held Jan. 29. Students will report to their homerooms instead of their first block class and receive a 90-minute, personalized review session, Royal said. The following Tuesday, they will have test prep during their second block, and so on so that students won’t miss any class more than once.
There are multiple ways for students to get additional instruction, as well. Juniors have already taken ACT pretests in each of the four areas of the test; English, math, reading, and science. The results of those tests, plus the results of a practice ACT juniors will take Dec. 5, are used to create custom plans for each student.
“We’ve already looked at the data from the pretests, and we have a plan in place (for each student), that has a week-by-week preparation model.” Royal said.
The preparation model includes instruction via the Method Test Prep website and is optional, but strongly encouraged, Royal said. The school will be able to pull data from the website to monitor students’ progress.
The school will also offer ACT workshops on Saturdays. The workshops will have a “round robin” format, with students rotating through instruction of the four ACT test subjects.
Mooresville High is looking at providing incentives to increase participation for the optional Saturday workshops. The school offered a similar workshop last year, which Royal said attracted 120 students.