MHS student shares school push to improve ACT scores

By Taryn Joyce, Minden High student

Minden High School has established an ACT Intervention program to help students improve their ACT and WorkKeys scores.

The ACT and the ACT WorkKeys are the two tests that can aid a student in their selected high school pathway.  The ACT is for the TOPS University Diploma Pathway and is a standardized test used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions.  ACT WorkKeys is an assessment where the scores are based on job profiles that help employers select, hire, train, develop and retain a high-performance workforce.  The ACT can increase the chances of a student getting into college if their score is high enough. It can also provide TOPS, which is a program that helps pay for college tuition costs. On average, TOPS can pay for 42% of one’s tuition. The WorkKeys test increases the chance for a person with little experience to get hired and may even lead to higher pay.

Dr. Rebecca Wilson, Minden High principal, and the MHS staff took the initiative to create a program to help students improve scores on both of these tests.  A plan was formulated to ensure that every student who attends Minden High School would have a chance to boost their scores.  

An ACT Intervention Google Classroom was created, and all the students that attend MHS were added.  Daily messages are posted as well as instructional videos and other resources. Students also have access to an Edgenuity course for either the current ACT test portion or for the current WorkKeys test portion. The administration is requiring each student to spend at least 20 minutes studying ACT material.  

Teachers are also helping with the utilization of this program. Mr. John Dillon is tutoring students on the English portion of the ACT.  He’s highly qualified to teach test strategies as he has over 10 years of experience in private tutoring of the ACT.  Mr. Dillon teaches students on the English portion by creating videos and posting them daily in the ACT Intervention Google Classroom.  These videos talk about the different types of questions, how to recognize them, and how to choose the right answers to them.  He shows example questions from various ACT practice tests to show the students how to recognize the questions and answers.  With these instructional videos, Mr. Dillon claims that students will experience “guaranteed score improvement” if they watch and listen to the videos.  If this program were to continue, Mr. Dillon said that he would like to see more recent test copies and more practice for students. 

In conclusion, Dr. Wilson and her staff believe that the students at MHS can do more, and will do more; so they gave them the opportunity to do so.  Only the scores will tell how successful the program will be, but it’s looking great so far.  The students are grateful for this opportunity to boost their confidence when it comes to taking the ACT test or the ACT WorkKeys.