ACT Test Preparation for High School Students

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Thousands of high school juniors around the state are hitting the books hard to start this semester to prepare for their upcoming ACT test.

The state mandated test date for North Dakota students is Tuesday, March 20th, and Emily Medalen spent the afternoon at St. Mary’s High School to talk to some students and their teachers about how they’re getting ready for the big test.

This can be a stressful time for students, because they’re starting to worry about college –
So I got some tips on how to get the most out of studying for the ACT.
“The most important thing is to start sooner rather than later,” says Jill Vollmers, Counselor, St. Mary’s Central High School.

Jill Vollmers is the counselor at St. Mary’s high, and dedicates a big part of this time every year to making sure high schoolers are ready for the ACT. 

“The pressures of the ACT test are quite high now. Many colleges will give scholarships based on their ACT scores,” says Vollmer.

The ACT is a curriculum and standards-based test that assesses students’ academic readiness for college. 
Vollmers says students often feel quite a bit of pressure in the weeks leading up to the exam. “By the time they’re a senior, they get a little more stressed out because there are the certain requirements of the college they’ve set their mind to.”

To get the North Dakota academic scholarship, students need a 3.0 GPA and a 24 on the ACT.

“Obviously I’m worried because a lot of my future depends on what the score of it is,” says Gabriel Anderson, Junior.

Juniors at St. Mary’s have been preparing since last year when they took pre-ACTs.

“Definitely take advantage of the practice tests that they offer, because that helps you get a feel for how the test functions,” says Kylie Haas, Junior at St. Mary’s.
“Utilize your school resources to find out what other options the schools have,” says Vollmers.
“Take advantage of the Pre-ACTs… they help a lot,” says Gabriel Anderson, Junior.
“This year it definitely helped knowing what was coming,” says Alex Schaefbauer, Junior.

One junior I spoke with has gone the extra mile to get ready for her ACT, and she says she’s already seen the benefits.
“I have an ACT prep book that I’ve been looking through- to kind of get used to how to take the test and to be prepared for what’s on the test,” says Haas.

There were mixed reviews from the students on how much studying will help with the test-
 but they all say they’re going to put in some effort beforehand to try to reach that 24.

“I haven’t studied yet, but I’m definitely going to start,” says Colton Scheetz, Junior.
“Just reading a little more, really. There’s not really any way to prepare for that,” says Schaefbauer.
“There’s obviously going to be a little bit of nerves, but I feel like I’m better prepared than if I were to just walk into it cold,” says Haas.

You can take the ACT up to 12 times, so that gives a little extra peace of mind to those who get that test anxiety.
The state mandated test for students in North Dakota is Tuesday, March 20th.

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