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College Readiness and You SHERRY WYNN PERDUE, DIRECTOR OAKLAND UNIVERSITY WRITING CENTER 212 KRESGE LIBRARY [email protected] EDU
Traits of a Successful College Student 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Accepts personal responsibility Discovers Self-motivation Masters Self-Management Employs Interdependence Gains Self-awareness Adopts Lifelong learning as your task Develops emotional intelligence Hones self-belief ~Skip Downing, On Course
ACT • WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE?
Preparation Resources Register at ACTStudent. org, where you can learn more about the test and complete the question of the day. Practice using The Real ACT Prep Guide, which you can order online or purchase at Barnes and Noble. Enroll in a preparation course, one that is substantial and taught by experts in subject matter and in standardized testing. Avoid oneafternoon programs or those where all material is taught by one person. If you cannot afford a prep course, Barrons offers a good ACT preparation book. Buy if only if you plan to use it.
Read, and Read Some more! Read diverse types of texts in science, history, literature, and the arts. Do so daily! Understand that the test consists of four different types of texts that are excerpted. Passages don’t start at the beginning and end at the end. As such, you have to develop inferential skills. In other words, authors imply things that you have to learn to decode. Two-thirds of questions focus on your ability to infer rather than to retrieve directly stated information. Before trying to read and work faster, you must improve your reading comprehension. You can do this by asking the following questions as you read annotate: Why did the author write this? How did s/he frame the information to help me understand it? What role does the author’s tone, conveyed by “attitude” words, play in the meaning?
Practice Smart Practice regularly, one passage at a time, rather than in large blocks of time. Practice in the same conditions under which you will take the test. Conduct error analysis. While you don’t always understand why you got a question right, you can learn a great deal from those that you miss. Once you know your weaknesses, you can practice strategically, focusing on difficult content and question types. Become a smart test-taker. Always employ the process of elimination AND rephrase the questions to ensure you understand them.
ACT Scores • WHAT DO THEY MEAN?
Composite ACT Score Nation Michigan 21. 1*, which represents 20. 1, which represents 49% of the nation’s students. *On a 1 -36 scale. 100%* of Michigan’s students. * The ACT is required as part of Michigan’s high school proficiency test. In many other states, a much smaller percentage is tested, which does affect comparisons.
ACT Benchmarks to Look For College Course Subject Area Test Explore Benchmark Plan Benchmark ACT (36) Benchmark English Composition English 13 15 18 (MI=19. 3) Social Sciences Reading 15 17 21 (MI=20) College Algebra Mathematics 17 19 22 (MI=20. 1) Biology Science 20 21 24 (MI=20. 4) *Benchmark Translation: 75% probability of earning a C or higher in a corresponding college course, or 50% chance of earning a B or higher.
COLLEGE READINESS Michigan (% College Ready) National Average (% College Ready) English= 59% vs. 67% Algebra= 36% vs. 46% Social Science Reading=45% vs. 52% Biology= 26% vs. 31% 21% of MI students meet all benchmarks for college readiness, whereas the national average is 25%
Promising Trends to Reinforce Over the last five (5) years, Michigan’s the percentage of students who met all four benchmarks increased from 17% (22% nationally) to 21% (25% nationally). Each year saw an increase. Michigan students who take the common core (4 years of English and 3 years of Math, Science, and Social Studies, all vertically aligned for the skills students need for college) or more performed significantly better in all subjects. Of those, the following percentages reached benchmarks or higher in 2011: English: 62% versus 35% Reading: 46% versus 21% Math: 37% versus 6% Science: 28% versus 15% Students who read regularly and whose curriculum stresses implied knowledge rather than just explicit knowledge perform better.
Advanced Placement • WHAT IS IT? • HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO OTHER PROGRAMS?
Advanced Placement versus Dual Enrollment AP courses provide a challenging but supported curriculum specifically designed for high school students. You do not need to be an all A student to enroll in AP courses, but you must be prepared to work hard. Students who take AP courses, even courses for which they do not earn As and Bs or gain college credit, are more likely to earn a passing grade in the corresponding college class. AP generally provides a stronger foundation upon which a high school student can build. As such, dual enrollment generally should be reserved for those situations where your performance is exemplary and where AP or IB options do not exist. Comparison studies demonstrate that students who attend AB/IB courses leave with a better understanding of the material than those who complete dual enrollment courses.
The Admission’s Essay Answer the question(s) posed. Show reciprocity: What do you expect from the institution and what will you bring to it? Leverage your strengths and examine how you have compensated for/addressed your weaknesses (emergent skills). Consult with an experienced reader before submitting the essay. This person can help with tone, audience awareness, etc.
Sources HTTP: //WWW. ACT. ORG/NEWSROOM/DATA/2011/S TATES/PDF/MICHIGAN. PDF FOR MICHIGAN HTTP: //WWW. ACT. ORG/NEWSROOM/DATA/2012/P DF/PROFILE/MICHIGAN. PDF HTTP: //WWW. ACT. ORG/RESEARCH/POLICYMAKER S/CCCR 11/PDF/CONDITIONOFCOLLEGEANDCAREE RREADINESS 2011. PDF FOR THE NATION