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Saturday, July 26, 2014

ACT college and career readiness standards Mathematics Part 1

I have found that I am rarely surprised by the ACT scores, in mathematics, that my students achieve. "A" students generally score better than most other students, but even these students do not score to their potential on the ACT.  I'm sure that nerves and distractions play a part, but I also believe that many students over-estimate their comprehension and ability with using some of the mathematical skills which they've "learned".  I'm hoping through a series of blog postings that I can encourage some self-assessment among my students

ACT has prepared a document in which they give score ranges and the skills which they associate with students who can accomplish those skills.  I plan on making a series of blog postings to share with my students, especially the Juniors, to help them better understand what they need to get the scores they believe they deserve.

If you look at the matrix, you will find that the skills required for higher scores are far more involved.

The average math ACT score in our school is in the second range. This implies that many of our students, including some of the honors students, can solve "routine" one and two step problems, but once rate, taxes or averages are required the problems become too difficult.  (20-23)  Solving problems which require planning or converting measurements (24-27) should be well within the skill set of a high school math student.  (especially given that ACT problems are written so that one does not require a calculator to solve them).

 The answer with the asterisk is the correct answer.  Take a moment and work out each one and be sure you understand why the asterisk'ed answer is correct.

If you are one of my students, reading this blog posting as part of our Summer Review Challenge, then I would like you to take a piece of notebook paper and write (or find) 2 examples which would fit into each of the lowest 3 ranges of scores.  (so that is how many problems altogether?)  Take a picture of them, or scan them and please email them to the email address I send in the previous remind101 messages.