Conquering the ACT

by Ariel Reynolds on Dec 01, 2015

in Our KIPPsters

This year, one of our key academic initiatives is increasing our focus on the ACT, and giving our high school students more opportunities to attempt the ACT before their actual test date. More than almost any other single number, the ACT is a gateway to college, to competitive majors, and to scholarships for our students. For us to reach our goal of having more and more of our students each year score above a 23 on the ACT – a score that will allow them to enter competitive Texas universities – we know our students need more support.

Nervous. No strategy. Unprepared.

These negative feelings used to overwhelm the graduating class of 2017 until they began preparing for the ACT at KIPP Northeast College Preparatory.

Leah, Michelle, Randall, and Johnny are four juniors that are now confident, strategic, and prepared for the ACT. Here are their stories.


Leah began preparing for the ACT in the 10th grade by working through the Princeton Review and taking a class focused on math.

“My least favorite ACT subject was science but then we went through the strategies for this section and now it is my favorite,” Leah explained.

At KIPP, Leah noticed how prevalent the push for college was. She loved that it wasn’t all talk at KIPP, but that she was truly being prepared. Motivated by her college visits, Leah hopes to pursue engineering at either Texas A&M or Rice University.


Randall, with an outgoing personality and strong math score, knows he still has to overcome a tendency to be lazy when studying for and taking the ACT.

“I know I have options,” Randall said. “I love math, science, engineering- civil and biochemical. So I know I have options, and I am excited about that.”   

Randall cares about college because he sees the long-term affect it will have on his life. Desiring to pursue veterinarian medicine, Randall wants a career that will make him money to provide for his family…after he buys some things for himself first, of course.


Michelle has always had a high GPA. Her motivation to do well on the ACT is all about scholarships.

“I was nervous knowing all my work came down to a test,” Michelle explained. “I knew there was a score I needed to fulfill my dreams.”

Michelle works hard outside of the classroom as well as inside. KIPP pushes Michelle to continue to grow so that her dream of attending a prestigious college can be a reality.


Johnny sees need for improvement on his ACT score. Although he improved his English score from a 19 to 26, Johnny knows his other subject areas need to improve also.  

“KIPP has prepared us for the ACT and college more than any other school,” Johnny explained. “I feel ready.”

Johnny has set his sights on UCLA but his major changes almost as often as he changes clothes. One day he thinks robotic engineering and then another he changes his mind to marine biology.

We are proud of our students who are pushing themselves. We know the ACT is long and rigorous but knowing it makes a difference in KIPPsters lives makes all the preparation worth it.