Staff hosts ACT prep seminars to help students improve test scores

Attending a session, hosted Tuesdays and Fridays, can help students to prepare for the standardized test

Anna Zwahlen, JagWire reporter/photographer

As the school year brings in the second semester and the start of course selection, sophomores and juniors started considering their long term plan. For many, this means considering standardized testing. 

Fortunately for students, staff has dedicated seminars on Tuesdays and Fridays through February to preparing students to take the ACT. 

Junior Peyton Aucoin has already taken the pre-ACT and would like to improve her score through attending the sessions.

“I did pretty well on the pre-ACT,” stated Aucoin, “but I do want to see how well I can do because I could have done better”

Improving scores is a common sentiment among the student population. Sophomore Carter Tollman describes his motivation for improving his score.

“I have expectations that I feel like I need to meet,” Tollman said.

Whether these expectations are a result of family pressure or long term career plans, the necessity for preparation is obvious among the student body.

In these prep sessions, students can hear tips from staff with expertise in the mathematics, reading, English and science sections of the ACT and practice with small portions of the exam itself. 

Students don’t need to feel intimidated by new content, according to math teacher Chris Borchers. Borchers stated that in his ACT prep sessions he’s “not covering anything brand new.”

“I’m trying to hit on things that [students have] seen before and maybe how it looks differently on the ACT,” Borchers said.

While these kinds of base level sessions are helpful, Tollman illustrates that sometimes school resources such as ACT prep classes and seminars can be too basic. 

“I was thinking about taking [ACT prep]” described Tollman, “but a lot of the time it’s more focused on middle to lower students and I need the higher level stuff.” 

Some students, such as Aucoin, have found external resources to supplement those provided by Mill Valley.

Aucoin shared that she has been “getting booklets” and “studying every other night” in order to make continuous progress on her potential score.

Not everyone feels the need to prepare for all areas of the ACT or attend all of the Mill Valley seminars, according to Tollman.

“If there’s a weak point in your ACT, I would suggest at least go to that one,” Tollman said. 

According to students and staff alike, small, specific preparation is key to improving your score.

Borchers advises that students should “figure out how many [they] have to get correct” to get the score that they want on a given section of the test, “that way, you don’t have to focus on 60 [questions].”

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