Cherokee Nation Foundation holds virtual ACT prep boot camp
Kim Blaise, MasteryPrep instructor, talks to students via an Oct. 16 virtual ACT Prep Boot Camp put on by the Cherokee Nation Foundation. More than 20 high school sophomores, juniors and seniors participated in the boot camp. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation Foundation offered a free, virtual ACT prep boot camp on Oct. 16 to Native American students planning to take the national exam in December and in the spring.
More than 20 high school sophomores, juniors and seniors participated in the boot camp.
MasteryPrep, an organization dedicated to building students’ confidence on test day by providing essential test-taking strategies and skills, led the event.
“We’re thankful for quality partners like MasteryPrep, who share our passion for education and help extend vital programs to our students. The ACT Boot Camp is perfect for students just getting started with the ACT as well as those looking to perfect their score,” CNF Executive Director Janice Randall said.
Fort Gibson High School junior and CN citizen Garrett Abel said he participated in the boot camp to boost his scoring after taking a pre-ACT test.
Instructors Kim Blaise and Llaina Rash presented from Orlando, Florida, to take participants through a four-hour boot camp with an introduction to the ACT, coverage of the four main subject areas, scoring, timing and administering practice tests to help students identify strengths and weaknesses.
For example, during the English section, participants took a practice test and were timed for eight minutes, as they would be during an actual test.
“It really helped me a lot,” Abel said. “It kind of taught me to work around the test. They taught ways that we can find out the tricks and eliminate certain choices. That way we can get to the actual problem solving.”
Blaise then took the participants through strategies on answering all questions in each section in the time given. She talked to them about the process of elimination, which will help a student answer a question quickly and move on to the next.
“Use what you know to get the answers,” Blaise said.
She also taught the same strategy for the math portion.
“If you have a math problem you don’t know how to solve, look in the answers for commonalities and use the process of elimination,” she said.
In the reading portion, Blaise told students to look for key words in the passages they will read that will help them know what to look for in the answers.
Students asked questions and participated in the conversation through a group chat.
CN citizen Julia Greco, a junior at Hudson High School in Ohio, said the boot camp was better than the one she took part in at her school and the instructors were “enthusiastic.”
“The boot camp is very educational, and it’s a good use of time to learn more about the format of the test and overall it can help you gain more confidence in preparation for taking the test,” Greco said. “I did take a boot camp at my school but I like this one better. They were very to the point and concise about the information they were telling us. But they were also enthusiastic about it, which makes me feel better about the test. I also did well on the practice tests, which helped me gain confidence.”
The virtual boot camp was created due to COVID-19 preventing an in-person event.
“Throughout the past few months we’ve been able to gain valuable insight and experience adapting our programming to virtual platforms,” Jennifer Sandoval, CNF program coordinator, said. “We had a great turnout for this opportunity and we were able to record and share the session for students who weren’t able to participate. We’re learning a lot about learning right now, and we’re committed to staying engaged with these students and helping them achieve their academic goals.”