ACT Boot Camp – An Experience and Reflection


Students listen attentively to the presentation at the ACT Boot Camp.

Makayla Montez

Students gathered on October 19 in the Performing Arts Center for the annual ACT Boot Camp. Designed to help individuals learn skills to help benefit them for upcoming tests, the day involved focusing on the four major parts of the test.  

Participants completed a total of 5 practice tests, 2 English, 1 Math, 1 Science and 1 Reading. Around 90 students attended after paying a fee of $39 for the experience.

The instructor, Bryan Harris, from Austin Texas, taught students “ACT myths.” These included such things as: There are no trick questions on the ACT or on the ACT there is ONLY ONE answer. He even shared that all the directions are the same on each test which saves students time from reading things they don’t need to.

Harris also gave the students 4 time management skills. Among these were: 1. Always put the ending time on the front of the test so you won’t be looking around for a clock and waste time while you should be working on your tests. 2. Bring a watch. 3. Don’t ever put your pencil down while working out problems. (Everyone makes mistakes.) 4. Do one page in the book then transfer your answers to their answer document; it saves time and gives you a flow to follow. Harris also taught the students testing tips specifically for each category of the ACT.

Students have gained 2 points on their tests after completing the camp.  This program is crucial for  students who want to improve testing skills, students who deal with anxiety and any students who want to learn important skills that can be carried over into their regular classes.

Overall the ACT Bootcamp is something each student should partake in if they are wanting to improve their scores.

Like Harris said, “Do something your future self will thank you for because after high school, that’s when all of the young students’ lives truly start.”

Personally, having attended the ACT Boot Camp I would 10 out of 10 recommend taking this course next year to students who are super nervous or want to improve their skills.

Harris walked through each question after we finished our practice test and told us exactly why we got our answers wrong and ways that we could have made better choices. After we did our first pre-test he gave us suggestions, showed us examples, and refreshed old material. He told us to apply those concepts with the test taking skills. Really applying this newly gained knowledge would improve our scores. In fact, as the day wore on, more than half of our scores improved at least 2 points.

Harris was a fun guy and made jokes to make our experience better, He was well-educated and witty. As a father, husband, athlete, student and traveler, his interest in our futures really gave me the motivation to try not only on the ACT, but in every class.

Harris injected fun to a process that many would see as long and tedious. Yet I believe the students who participated in this seminar enjoyed talking with and getting to know the instructor as well as getting a jump start to a brighter future.

All in all if i could, I would attended this seminar again to make an impact on my future. I truly had a great experience.

Students listen attentively to the presentation at the ACT Boot Camp.