If you were to search “preparation quotes” on Google, you would be directed to sites with titles like “100 Best Preparation Quotes to Be Ready for Anything”, “35 Inspirational Quotes on Preparation”, or “Top 25 Preparation Quotes (Out of 100)”.  You wouldn’t have to search very long to find a few quotes on the importance of being prepared.  Everyone from Benjamin Franklin to Oprah Winfrey has recognized the importance of being ready for a given situation.  And, most everyone can agree that being prepared for something requires practice and, ideally, experience.  The importance of preparedness is especially important in the lives of students, and Haywood Middle School (HMS) is offering their 8th grade students a chance to experience something that could very well help them in the future.  

On February 12, HMS 8th grade students will have the opportunity to take a practice ACT test that will expose them to the types of questions and texts that they will see when they take the test as high school students.

HMS principal, Michelle Tillman, explained the reasoning behind offering this practice test to HMS students.

“In years past, Duke would do something called the Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) for certain students.  When we reached out to find out if they were going to do it this year, they told us that they had discontinued it,” she explained.  “I had some parents reach out wanting their students to take the ACT, so we decided to do our own in house.”

The Duke TIP was an ACT simulation, but was only offered to certain students.  Michelle and her administration wanted to open the door to all 8th grade students at HMS to be able to take the practice ACT test.  In order to make the test feel authentic, the test will be given on February 12 which is the same day high school students will be taking the actual ACT test at Haywood High School.

“The high school is giving the actual ACT on February 12, so we thought we would do our own version of that on the same day at the middle school for any 8th grade student who wants to take it.  They’ll come here at 8:00 AM, turn in their phones, get their calculators – we’re going to run it like an official test day,” Michelle said.  “We’ll have them test in four separate sections on scantron cards and give them a score report just like they would receive if they took the test.”

After students test, the tests will be scored and students will receive their results.  

“HHS Assistant Principal, Kelsey Nave,  and I are going to get together, and she has an app that can give us a projected ACT score based on how many questions were missed by a student, so the student will know what they would have scored on the ACT had they taken it,” Michelle explained.

The test is free for any HMS 8th grade student who wants to take it and get a head start on preparing for a test they will take in high school.  

“The biggest advantage for HMS 8th grade students taking this practice ACT is that it supports everything we do in the classroom.  You have to read for context clues; you have to summarize texts.  It’s just another way to practice test taking skills,” Michelle said.

Allowing 8th grade students to take a practice ACT is one more way that HMS is preparing their students for future success.