When that final bell of the school year rings, studying is the last thing on many students’ minds as they head into summer vacation. But nearly 80 students recently spent three days at William Carey University studying, taking tests, and learning tips to improve their ACT scores.
ACT scores are a vital part of the enrollment criteria at colleges and universities and are also used when determining scholarship eligibility. “The value of the ACT is that it is the only test that puts money in your family’s pocket,” said Laurel School District Superintendent Dr. Chuck Benigno, who was one of the guest speakers during the camp.
Students took a pre-test at the beginning of camp to determine which subjects they needed help with. The remainder of the camp was spent in sessions on each subject area (English, reading, science and math) and learning test-taking strategies. At the conclusion of camp, the students took a post-test to see if their scores improved. The students showed an average increase of three points, with the average test score increasing from 16 on the pre-test to 19 on the post-test. The goal is to help students reach a score of 21. In 2014, the national average ACT score was 21; the average Mississippi score was 19.
“I learned a lot of good test-taking strategies, not just for the ACT but for other tests. The strategies make the test seem so much easier than before,” one student wrote on the camp evaluation. Other students said the camp helped them learn how to read graphs, how to stay focused, and how to manage their time when taking the test.
Forty-nine students attended the camp at the Hattiesburg campus June 1-3, and 30 attended the Tradition campus camp held June 6-9. WCU offers the camp each summer and generally tries to schedule the camp the week before the national exam so students can go take the test while the information is fresh in their minds. There is no cost for the students to participate in the camp.
For more information, contact the William Carey University School of Education at 601-318-6600.