ACT Prep Mandatory in 8 Week Increments


A student bubbles in their answers on the ACT.

It’s the end of the third period, and all the students are about to head to flextime. 

“Ding- dong… ding dong”. The school bell rings. It’s the end of the third period, and all the students are about to head to flextime.

“Where are you going”, a friend asks. 

“ACT prep,” a student replies. 

A selected few students from Highlands High School have been signed up for a class/practice at least once a week during their flextime/free time. During the class, they practice an abundance of different challenges, such as study skills, test-taking tips, real ACT practice questions, and the thinking process of why things are correct and incorrect, etc. 

John Darnell, The principal of Highlands High School, revealed the real reason behind the mandatory ACT prep for students under the benchmark. Darnell hopes to help those who chose not to go to college, immediately. Every year he gets emails, phone calls, and letters from past students saying that they are finally going to college. 

“The problem is if you decide to go to college later in life without a “benchmark” ACT score you are required to take remedial English and Math. Your scholarship will not pay for the class as well as it not being visible on your transcript. You see, the programs, classes, tests, tutors, groups, clubs, etc. can cost thousands of dollars. So to have an ACT score that is accepted your senior or junior year not only are you saving time but money.” 

The kids required to go to the ACT prep program, are ultimately decided by the different departments, Math, Science, Reading, and English. All of the departments cover everything from freshman year to senior year, but the categories are different. The Math and Reading departments mainly ask problem questions, the students get a question, students solve it, and the students move on, however, the Science and Reading portions of the ACT have long paragraphs of information and then test your ability to retain it and your willingness to go back and read again. 

You’re probably wondering how the kids get chosen for the mandatory classes. The students with the lowest score (priority students) are put into the ACT prep first and then they fill up with as many students as they can. It is possible for a student to begin to succeed and they will be moved out of the class, making more room for other students.

The school liked to break up the studying into 4 different chunks, one for each category. One “chunk” of time for one of the departments is eight weeks long. The Science Department was first and their “chunk” or term just ended and it has moved on to the English department.