Introducing ACT-style Units of Study


Preparing students to take the ACT can be a tedious, yet critical, task for high school teachers.  It is necessary, however, to familiarize students with the format and purpose of the assessment, especially the style of questions used. This can mean repetitive drills that make it hard to hold students’ attention.

What is an ACT Unit of Study?

It is useful have another resource to put in front of your classes that achieves the same goals, but provides an engaging hook. For this reason Teengagement® recently released Units of Study with carefully constructed ACT-style questions accompanying the engaging text of unit articles.

These units consist of all the same components as any UOS, with key adjustments: the questions accompanying the High-Interest and the Technical Articles are written in the ACT style, and the lines in the text are numbered as they are in the ACT.


Catfishing ACTThere are many ways to use ACT units. If a particular class is devoted solely to ACT prep, teachers may insert a selected duo of High Interest and Technical Articles based on the particular interests of the students. The two articles, complete with their ACT-style questions, can break the monotony of the drills often necessary as test day approaches.

Another suggestion is to use an entire ACT Unit of Study, based on student interest or a teacher-selected topic like bullying or texting and driving. Depending on time available, this tactic prepares students for the ACT format, but also targets other standards as well, all while keeping students engaged.

AN EXAMPLE: Catfishing, ACT-style

ACT-style units have been completed at the highest Lexile level of all 2013 and 2014 units of study, and will be done for all future units.

As you can see in the Catfishing Unit of Study, the ACT-format of using line numbers in the article is followed. These line numbers are referenced in many of the questions, along with excerpts of the text.

Catfishing ACT Question 1

The text in textboxes is also numbered, and questions are often posed referencing this information, as we see here.

Catfishing ACT Question 5

Also mirroring the ACT, there are 10 questions for each article, and each set of questions reflects as closely as possible the exact format of one of the ACT practice tests or any updates as they are released by ACT, Inc.

Test Prep

Test prep for any assessment, including the ACT, involves a certain amount of drill; however, Teengagment ACT Units of Study can add variety to the mix, all with the goal of giving students the best chance possible at success.

What needs do your students have with regard to testing? What kinds of materials and additional resources help you help your students?

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