As I prepared our Online ACT Course, the idea of teaching Reading online felt daunting. After all, in all of the years I’ve taught students how to read effectively on SAT and ACT, one gem of wisdom has always rung true: everyone reads in his/her own personal style.
It’s a very individual activity, after all—while we learn to read together in school, we almost exclusively read by ourselves. How can a teacher (or a tutor) swoop in and give advice from on high about how you should be reading?
As it turned out, the ACT Reading course was a lot less daunting—and a lot more fun—than I expected.
The first idea I had to abandon was that we should teach students ONE way to read. That just isn’t how it’s going to work—you have to leave room for students’ individual styles.
Instead of guiding students down a narrow path to success, I decided to highlight the priorities that all students should maintain, regardless of method. Using a passage’s structure to your advantage, for example. Keeping tabs on where the details are located within a passage, whether you learn/memorize them the first time around or not. Knowing that the style of the passage—from Humanities to Natural Science—can help you determine how to read it most effectively. These are strategies and techniques that all students should employ in order to be successful on ACT Reading.
The main challenge that a lot of students face on ACT Reading is speed. On their first try, maybe one student in 10 will finish the section in time. The way to get through the test faster is not simply to rush through it, but to work efficiently. Essentially, you want to work through this section right the first time. You also don’t want to sit and second-guess your answers, but that’s something we’ll cover within the course.
Anyway, I’m really happy with how the Reading course turned out. It’s got a lot of insight to offer students to help them get through the test in the smartest possible way. Take a peek and see if you agree, OK?