The purpose of this pilot project was to provide simple best practice test preparation within a 5-week period to help high school juniors increase their ACT scores on the mandatory statewide March 3, 2015 test. The project design is derived from research showing that familiarity with testing processes and test-taking strategies can increase student scores on the ACT.
Student participants took a practice (baseline) ACT 3-4 weeks before the mandatory test.
Milwaukee Succeeds volunteers then held one 90-minute in/after-school session at each school, attended by 279 students.
For all students who took a baseline test, the average score increased one point from the baseline to the official test.
For those students who participated in a preparation workshop, there was a 1.4 point gain in composite score, and a 2.2 point gain on the English subtest; the workshops were particularly effective for these domains. While we acknowledge both the logistical and data limitations, results suggest that there was merit to the ACT preparation sessions.
Milwaukee Succeeds hopes to engage these schools, and perhaps others, in another round of piloting that includes more rigorous evaluation. From that information, our aim is to create an ACT preparation tool kit that any school can implement to support student improvement on the ACT.
Overall, the goal is student success, and the continued application of best practices is the best way to improve results. We hope, with you as our partners, to make this process as easy and effective as possible.