ACT: Act now to prepare for the future

Published 9:04 am Saturday, December 29, 2018

By  Laura Marreel

Dean of Students

She was a junior in high school the first time she took the ACT test.  She scored a 27, which was good enough to get into the college she chose, and made her eligible for many scholarships.  However, the top scholarship at UW-River Falls, the Chancellor’s Scholarship, which awarded one incoming freshman a full ride (tuition and fees for all 4 years), required a higher ACT score.  Her parents encouraged her to do some ACT prep, and when she retook the test at the beginning of her senior year, her score jumped up to 29.

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That score, combined with her involvement, leadership, and grades, helped this young lady earn the UW-River Falls Chancellor’s Scholarship, saving her well over $20,000 in tuition costs.

We all know that studying for school tests will increase the chances of success.  Why would students go into a huge cumulative test like the ACT, which could open so many doors to the future, without studying?  Starting Jan. 2, Pacelli will be offering optional ACT Prep sessions at Pacelli to help high school students (all Austin area 9th-12th grade students are invited to participate) get ready for their ACT test and improve their scores.

What is the ACT?

The ACT is the leading US college admissions test that measures what you learn in high school to determine your academic readiness for college.  It is given seven times per year.  Our local testing site is Riverland Community College. The ACT contains multiple-choice tests in four areas: English, mathematics, reading and science.  ACT’s writing test is optional and will not affect your composite score, but is required by many universities. Why is the ACT important?

The ACT is very important to universities because admissions officers use it to judge academic preparedness for college, and to compare students from around the country.  ACT scores are one of the ways to qualify for The Hormel Foundation Austin Assurance Scholarship.  ACT scores can also determine eligibility for higher level scholarships at many universities.

How can your child maximize their score?

Participating in Pacelli’s ACT Prep sessions will get students familiar with the structure, format, content, and question styles of the test.  They will be able to identify their weaknesses and set goals to improve scores.  Students will learn valuable test taking strategies, and specific content they will find on the ACT.  Finally, students will practice with previous ACT tests to target the skills they need on test day.

 Each session is unique, so register for one, two, or all three to prepare for the ACT

Three unique sessions of ACT Prep will be offered.  Session I: Wednesdays, 7-8 p.m. Jan.2 – Feb.6; Session II: Sundays, 7-8 p.m. Feb. 24 – April 7; Session III: 7-8 p.m. Mondays, April 29 – June 3.  Each session has a fee of $75.

Pacelli ACT Prep sessions are open to any 9th – 12th grade student in the Austin area. Help your child put themselves in the best position to maximize their ACT score, get accepted into college, and win more scholarships!  Information and registration forms can be obtained at the Pacelli school office.

If you are interested in learning more about Pacelli Catholic Schools, please visit our website at or email or call 507-437-3278 anytime during regular school hours.