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Thomas Broderick

How to Make the Most of Your ACT Prep Class

I know what you’re thinking. No, no…it’s all right. You can be honest with me. How do you really feel about taking an ACT prep class?

A little bit like this?
act prep class -magoosh
Or maybe this?
act prep class -Magoosh
We’ll just say you’re not thrilled at the prospect. Having taught ACT prep class for two years to high school juniors, I understand that you would rather spend your time doing something else…probably anything else. But hey, I also know how you can use this important time to your advantage, and earn a score that truly reflects your abilities.

That being said, get out those No. 2 pencils, because we have a lot to cover in today’s lesson!

What do you want to get out of your ACT prep class?

If you can answer this question, you’re on your way to making the most of your ACT prep class. Even former students who told me “I just want to do good enough so my parents never make me take it again,” were more engaged with my lessons than those who simply shrugged and replied, “Beats me.”

Of course, as a former teacher, I would hope that you would set a goal to do ‘well’ on the ACT. What’s ‘well’? That depends on your plans after high school. Do you need a certain score to get into the college of your dreams? A scholarship? Having these goals in mind will boost your motivation to take advantage of every lesson.

Treat it like the best paying job you’ll ever have.


act prep course

Archival footage of the author teaching ACT prep class.

I taught ACT prep class in Tennessee, where the HOPE scholarship guarantees over $24,000 in college scholarships to high school students who score a 21 or above on the ACT. On the first day of class I told my students that if they treated this class like a job, they would be paying themselves over $500 an hour.

Though your state might not offer a version of the HOPE, many college merit scholarships use ACT scores as a determining factor. Do the Math with the colleges you’re interested in to see just how much you could be paying yourself for good work in ACT prep class.

Ask questions!

Though you’ll definitely get a mental boost by thinking of ACT prep class like a high-paying job, it’s still a class. It can be a very hard class if you don’t know anything about the ACT or how to take standardized tests. There may still be a lot you don’t understand, so don’t feel embarrassed about asking questions. Everyone around you is there for one reason: doing better on the ACT.

Keep your chin up, ACT prep scholars. It’ll pay off in the end!


About Thomas Broderick

Thomas spent four years teaching high school English, social studies, and ACT preparation in Middle Tennessee. Now living in Northern California, he is excited to share his knowledge and experience with Magoosh's readers. In his spare time Thomas enjoys writing short fiction and hiking in the Sonoma foothills.

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