John Baylor Test Prep: Effective or Not?

Staff Editorial

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This spring, MN juniors participated in three weeks of John Baylor ACT test prep sessions during a daily Mustang Time. Two Intro-to-Journalism students present their thoughts on the course’s effectiveness in preparing students.

As Juniors march their way toward the end of this school year, one thing looms ominously in the distance: the dreaded ACT. Everyone has to take it. No one wants to. It entails over three and a half hours of complete concentration and battling over each question. Every point could move you one step closer to a degree with minimal debt or one step further away. But then John Baylor steps from the shadows bearing his three week online prep course to share with all. Suddenly, the test doesn’t seem so intimidating.
Some people have said that taking the time to show the prep course during school is a waste of time, because students choose not to participate. However, it is always important for students to have access to the tools they need to succeed, even if some choose to disregard what they are given.
If it were true that the majority of students learn nothing from the course, then it would not make sense that, according to their website, “John Baylor Prep’s online classes increase an entire high school’s ACT average score 1-2 points.”
High Schoolers around the country are taking this course seriously and are receiving serious results. For all the students that are nervous about applying for college or are unhappy with their score, having access to a prep course like this could make a huge difference in their score and their confidence.
As students stride away from junior year and into their future, they can look back on the ACT with fond memories of “Bubble Time” and a great score for their college applications. – Junior Jenny Thompson

“Hammar the Grammar! Alright Scholars!” These are phrases that all sophomores and juniors heard at MN when it implemented a new ACT prep program. It ‘teaches’ all four categories of the test, but there are many areas in the prep that appear to be a way to ‘cheat’ the test rather than actually take it.

An example being his first grammar rule of the English section: “Chose the shortest answer unless the shortest answer is horrible.” This will not get a person far, if at all. Furthermore, John Baylor says, “If you get 3 out of 4 answers right in the first 50 questions, you can straight line the rest and still get a 20.” The test takers won’t know how many are correct in that section therefore, doing this method could bring a score down.
The average for sophomore Pre ACT scores was a 20.56. John Baylor’s goal isfor a 20, so we already have reached what the goal was. There needs to be a rigorous course that would increase that by 4 to 5 more points. The basic prep won’t get those score up.
If the school want to see a change in scores, they should have a semester long required class junior year that just focuses on the ACT. Doing an online program for three weeks doesn’t help at all.
MPS administration should get advice from students on what they feel would work and not what the administration thinks. A semester class should come and John can prep his way somewhere else. – Sophomore Jacob Price

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John Baylor Test Prep: Effective or Not?