ACT Workshops

About Our Prep Workshops

EMPHASIS ON CONTENT AND STRATEGY

Because strict college enrollment and stiff competition for scholarship funds have made performance on the PSAT, SAT and ACT even more important than in past years, HPHS provides a comprehensive approach to prepare students taking these tests.   Measuring reading, writing, and mathematical reasoning abilities, the PSAT, SAT and ACT provide colleges with a comparison of academic preparation and abilities of students applying for admission.

Regular attendance and promptness will greatly influence the effectiveness of the workshop for each student.  Students must arrive on time and bring their materials to class, and be motivated and willing to set aside the study time required outside of class in order to get the maximum benefit from these workshops.  Materials are included in the cost of tuition, and provided on the first day of class.  Text supplied for the ACT workshop is The Real ACT Study Guide.   All assigned work for the class will be from this text.

 


WHY and WHEN should students take the ACT?

 

Most colleges require a standardized admissions test for entrance.  The ACT is given six times annually, and most students take it at least twice—preferably at the end of the junior year and/or in the fall of the senior year.  The link to register for the ACT test is available on the Counseling Office website.   Choose “Preparing For College” then click on “ACT General Information”.

 

ENGLISH/READING/SCIENCE questions test students’ abilities to perform the following skills:

  • Understand and analyze reading selections
  • Understand the use of tables, charts, and other graphic elements to communicate information within reading selections
  • Recognize relationships between parts of a sentence
  • Organize paragraphs
  • Judge the habits of good writing
  • Write an essay

 

MATHEMATICS questions test students’ abilities to solve problems involving:

  • Numbers and operations
  • Algebra and functions
  • Plane geometry
  • Coordinate geometry
  • Intermediate algebra
  • Trigonometry

 


 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ACT

 

Q: How is the ACT different from the SAT?

A:  While the SAT is an aptitude test (a test designed to assess a student’s thinking by presenting them with small sections and penalizing wrong answers), the  ACT is an achievement test (a test designed to assess what a student has learned). The ACT is composed of four sections—English, Math, Reading, and Science—and one optional writing section rather than 10 sections.

 

Q:  Is the SAT preferred by colleges over the ACT?

A:  Colleges have not identified one test as being superior over the other. Students are better off testing with both instruments to determine which suits their way of thinking better. Over the years, the two assessments have become widely accepted by all colleges.

 

Q:  Should I register for the optional writing section?

A:  The writing section of the ACT has become required more and more often since it was implemented. Therefore, it is smart to register to take it and have the essay section completed just in case a school to which the student wishes to apply requires the essay.

 

Q:  How much will these workshops really help?

A:  Advantages of completing these programs include:

  • The “Practice Factor” – Preparation encourages familiarity with the ACT so that students know what type of questions to expect and specific test-taking techniques to utilize.
  • The “Comfort Factor” – Preparation can increase the comfort level of students thus reducing the anxiety often experienced during testing.
  • Most importantly, the “Skill-Building Factor” – Preparation can develop and/or reinforce specific skills needed for the test.
    • ENGLISH/READING/SCIENCE – Teaches most important grammar skills, essay writing, and reading comprehension of functional and textual passages.
    • MATHEMATICS – Measures the ability to solve arithmetic problems, algebra problems, geometry problems, and trigonometry problems.

Because of students’ busy schedules, they often think that taking a test-preparation course prior to their test is not an option. Rather, we advise that they take the class either immediately before their anticipated test date, or earlier, whichever better suits their schedules.

 

Q:  If I decide to take a prep course, when should I do so?

 A: The most popular times to take the ACT are in April and June. Therefore, most people register for courses just prior to those dates.

 

Q: How can I obtain references and recommendations for this class?

A: We encourage students to talk directly with the instructors and ask the opinions of students who have formerly taken a preparation class for the most objective opinions.


 

ACT Fall Workshop Dates

English/Reading/Writing/Science: November 16, 28, 30, December 5 & 7      4:00 - 6:00 PM

Mathematics: November 17, 29, December 1, 6 & 8       4:00 - 6:00 PM

The registration deadline for this workshop is one week before the session begins.   Class size is limited, and enrollment will be honored on a first come, first served basis.  All sessions must have at least 7 students registered; otherwise, students and parents will be notified of cancellation.  Each workshop is $300.  Make checks payable to HPHS, and submit to Nancy Snoddy in the Counseling Office.

CLICK HERE FOR FALL REGISTRATION FORM



ACT Spring Workshop Dates 

English/Reading/Writing/Science: March 22, 27, 29, April 3 & 5      4:00 - 6:00 PM 

Mathematics: March 23, 28, 30, April 4 & 6         4:00 - 6:00 PM

The registration deadline for this workshop is one week before the session begins.   Class size is limited, and enrollment will be honored on a first come, first served basis.  All sessions must have at least 7 students registered; otherwise, students and parents will be notified of cancellation.  Each workshop is $300.  Make checks payable to HPHS, and submit to Nancy Snoddy in the Counseling Office.

CLICK HERE FOR SPRING REGISTRATION FORM



ACT Summer Workshop Dates

English/Reading/Writing/Science: April 12, 17, 19, 24, & 26  4:00 - 6:00 PM

Mathematics: April 13, 18, 20, 25, & 27   4:00 - 6:00 PM

The registration deadline for the workshop is one week before the session begins. Class size is limited and enrollment will be honored on a first

come, first served basis. All sessions must have at least 7 students registered; otherwise, students and parents will be notified of cancellation.

Each workshop is $300. Make checks payable to HPHS and submit to Nancy Snoddy in the Counseling Office.                         

CLICK HERE FOR SUMMER REGISTRATION FORM

 


About The Instructors

Math Instructor: Dr. Melynda Wright is a veteran high school mathematics teacher of 23 years. She has taught every level of students from 7th grade math through Multivariable Calculus. She currently teaches AP Calculus BC at Highland Park High School and is the chairperson of the mathematics department at HPHS. She has served as an editor and writes ACT and GRE items for Cambridge Publishing and is a mathematics trainer for Laying the Foundation, a nonprofit teacher training company for Pre-AP and AP teachers. She was selected to participate in the College Board’s Annual AP Reading in Calculus where she evaluated and scored the free-response sections of the AP Calculus exams. She is also a certified Talented and Gifted instructor. Dr. Wright holds a Bachelor’s in mathematics from St. Edwards University, and Master’s and Doctoral degrees in education from Texas State University and Texas A&M-Commerce, respectively.

English Instructor:  Mrs. Valerie Davenport has taught English in grades 6-12 for the past 17 years, and currently teaches both Advanced Placement and Standard levels of English III at Highland Park High School.  She is a trainer for Abydos Learning International, a teacher training company specializing in research-based literacy instruction.   Mrs. Davenport is the author of a professional book for teachers that will be released in the spring of 2015.  She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English Literature from Abilene Christian University, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Lamar University.