5 Building Blocks for a Successful and Inclusive School-Based ACT Prep Plan for 2019

Published on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 by

ACT Chalk Talk #18


At MasteryPrep, our only focus is helping students succeed and score college-ready on the ACT. If many of your students come from low-income families, or if they are first-generation college students, then it’s likely that the only ACT prep they have access to is coming from your school. Here are the five elements to a successful, inclusive school-based ACT prep program that can work for all of your students, no matter their background. 

1: Professional Development

Student results starts with educator development. Has your team been trained on how to improve student outcomes on the ACT? Have they been coached on best practices for helping underperforming students with college readiness? Professional development is the essential starting point for all successful ACT prep programs.

2: Assessment

The ACT tests an overwhelming number of college readiness standards that tie to state standards ranging all the way back to elementary school. If your teachers aren’t armed with data and analysis on what skills to work on, it’s unlikely that prep will produce results. Give your students a practice test and perform a detailed analysis to learn where your students will most benefit from support. 

3: Curriculum

Underperforming students don’t need just a review of the content tested. They need help mastering the skills part and parcel to college readiness. This takes planning and resources, and it can be overwhelming for educators to try to evolve such a program while juggling their other duties. Equip teachers with the tools they need for success by providing a proven, mastery-based curriculum including comprehensive lesson plans and student materials. Integrate the curriculum into core classes, homeroom, RTI, or give it as a stand-alone ACT prep elective in the master schedule. 

4: Bell Ringers

There is no need to limit college readiness preparation to a single class. Certain academic skills are essential to a good outcome on the ACT. Use classroom bell ringers (warm-ups) to reinforce those concepts day in, day out. It’s possible to help your students get better scores for just five minutes a day. 

5: Workshops

Most students can’t afford commercial test prep, but with an on-campus workshop during the school day, you can bring the test prep to them. An ACT prep workshop can level the playing field by familiarizing your students with essential time management and test-taking strategies.