ACT Prep Class Helps Students Increase Test Scores

By: Megan Marcum, Contributing Writer

The 2018-2019 Centralia High School seniors who took the ACT surpassed the statewide average of 20.8. The school average for last year came out to be 22.4. 

To prepare students for the ACT, CHS offers a John Baylor ACT Prep course during PASS. This prep course has been offered for the past two years and is taught by Mrs. Katie Patton, CHS history teacher. The class was started to help students boost their ACT scores. ACT Prep takes an average of five weeks to complete. The course includes 12 regular sessions and 4 practice test days. 

The ACT Prep course involves watching one video during class and part of the second one. The videos occur in two sections, and the rest of the second video becomes homework along with the quiz.  Patton said, “After we complete a set of videos, for example, there are three sessions on language, then I give the students a practice test in PASS.” Patton then grades the practice tests and returns them to students as feedback, highlighting where each student needs to improve.  

The ACT Prep course covers the four sections on the test: English, math, science and reading. During class, Patton reviews language rules, basic formulas for math, science tips and reading tips. The course also covers test-taking tips and college prep items. If a student takes the ACT Prep course a second time and receives at least one point higher (on the cumulative score), the school will reimburse that student as a reward for taking the course and improving on the exam. 

Since students take the course willingly, the only expectation Patton has for them is that they respect the other students who are trying to learn and earn a good score on the test. Patton was not surprised by the above average test results that the students earned. She said, “We have intelligent students who care about their education. They know that it takes hard work to get where they want to go and they do it.” 

Patton has high expectations for all of her students; however, she does not set those expectations for the whole group but rather for each individual person. She said, “I expect each student to do their best and give it everything they have.” 

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