Dr. Gary Moss led me and other workshop participants through many strategies for teachers and students to prepare for the ACT. The “Teachers as ACT Coaches” workshop was very worthwhile, as I left with an abundance of resources to help prepare my students and some new strategies to add to my repertoire and to pass along to students.
The Science ACT test is made up of six or seven passages with five to seven questions each. Students have thirty-five minutes to answer the forty questions given to them. Pacing is key. The new information I learned was specifically how to pace yourself according your score goal. In general, skimming the information and picking out the key points, rather than taking time to read the entire passage is the best way to approach any of the passages. There are three types of passages that are included, each may be approached with different targeted strategies. For data representation, interpolation is a key skill, as is reading the graphs and making note of variables and trends. The research summaries passage presents more reading, but identifying the key points and the similarities and differences between the experiments is the best approach. The conflicting viewpoints passage is the most overwhelming and difficult for students, it is also the last passage. This passage type usually does not include graphs or tables and should be approached as a reading passage would be. Again, students should be determining the similarities and differences between the experiments (“viewpoints”) presented. These more targeted and strategic approaches were something I had not been exposed to before and I hope the tips I have passed along to those taking the ACT will be helpful.
Post by | Danielle Hankins | High School Science
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