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The Skyline Horizon

The Student News Site of Skyline High School

The Skyline Horizon

The Student News Site of Skyline High School

The Skyline Horizon

How Juniors at Skyline Prepare for ACT


American College Testing (ACT) is a standardized test used by many colleges for admission. It tests students’ knowledge of English, Reading, Math, and Science. This year at Skyline, Juniors are preparing for the ACT that they have to take on March 26. 

Some ways Skyline Juniors prepare for the ACT include:


ACT Prep Course

Skyline offers an ACT prep course taught by Robin Bucaria and by Troy Norris. “I do Science, English, and Reading. Mr. Norris does Math in the morning,” explained Bucaria, an English teacher at Skyline who was trained by a former Kaplan test prep worker. She thinks the benefit of students taking an ACT is that it helps students know where they are academically. “Sometimes students may have really high grades but not really put materials in their long-term memories, so the ACT shows you what area you may need to learn,” said Bucaria. However, not many Juniors are signing up for ACT prep compared to last year. “This year not as many students are preparing. I think lots of students prepare on their own time for it,” commented Bucaria.

She helps students be prepared by pointing out strategies and showing them to look for tricks and traps. She said, “As the ACT changed, I looked up and created strategies to deal with the new questions. I worked to develop strategies to make that easier.” During each ACT prep course, they work together to look for areas where students are strong and weak. “The best way to practice is to know why you are getting things right and why things are wrong,” said Bucaria. They also do speech drills in order for students to get used to the timing in the real ACT.

Bucaria thinks Skyline offers a great test prep program. “It’s a good opportunity. I didn’t have it when I was in high school.” She thinks ACT prep gives students strategies which help them improve their scores. A Skyline student who took the ACT prep course with Bucaria and Norris said, “The ACT prep that Skyline offered helps me a lot, and I think other students who took the ACT prep will really benefit from it.” Another student added, “I think it’s really good for students who need help with preparing for the ACT.”



Shmoop is an online study site that helps students study and prepare for tests—including the ACT. Any students in the state of Utah have a free account in Shmoop to take diagnosis tests. Bucaria recommends students run ACT practice tests in Shmoop so they will know the questions system. “Shmoop gives you a timing of how many days or how to work out your study time before the test. It also helps develop and reteaches the area of your weakness, that’s something you can do on your own,” said Bucaria.

Many Juniors are taking advantage of their free access to ACT practice tests in Shmoop. “My teacher told me about Shmoop too, I think I will use that to prepare for the ACT,” said a Skyline Junior. Another Junior added, “Shmoop is really easy to use. It helps me a lot.”


Other Study Techniques

One of the most popular study methods is to practice doing ACT practice questions. “I practice doing ACT practice tests for all the sections,” said a Junior. Many students prefer to be in a study group and study with their friends. They think being in a study group and having a good study atmosphere also help. A student said, “Studying for the test with friends is a fun way to prepare for the test.” Another student added, “ In a study group, you can help each other review, it’s fun and not boring.”

Another technique recommended by one Junior is the Pomodoro technique. She explained, “I study for the test for thirty minutes, then take a break for 5 minutes, repeat this a few times, then take a longer break, like twenty-thirty minutes.” She explained that it’s a really good technique because it helps her study without getting distracted, and that she would recommend everyone to try using this technique.

In classes at Skyline, teachers also help students prepare for the ACT by giving them tips and practice tests. “For math, my teacher also tells us what kind of questions will be on the ACT and what we should study. My English teacher… gave us tips like the process of elimination and all the reading tips,” said a Skyline Junior. Another Junior shared that he feels like he keeps “doing better every time I do a new practice test.”

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About the Contributor
Ployanda Mahapong
Ployanda Mahapong, Contributor
Ployanda Mahapong is a Junior at Skyline, and an exchange student from Thailand. She is interested in journalism, and she wants to improve her writing skills while she is on her exchange year. In her free time, she likes listening to music, reading books, and playing instruments; she plays piano, guitar, and ukulele.

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