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Parish students prepare for ACT

ROD GUAJARDO/The Natchez Democrat — Vidalia High School 11th grader Laura Perilloux works to complete a math practice exam Friday afternoon during an ACT prep seminar at the Concordia Parish School Board administration building. The workshops reviews test taking methods and specific strategies for each part of the test.

VIDALIA — More than 100 students from all three high schools in Concordia Parish learned how to master the ACT this week.

Both veteran and rookie test takers brought fresh No. 2 pencils and their thinking caps to a five-hour seminar, which reviews test-taking methods and specific strategies for each part of the test.

The workshops, sponsored by the ZAPS Learning Company, teach students how to calm down and approach the test with confidence, said vice president and speaker Gareth Reagan.

“The most important thing is showing them a way to attack the test, like going for the easy questions first and coming back to the more difficult ones later,” Reagan said. “A little anxiety is good because it gets their adrenaline going, but getting them some confidence about the material will help them a lot.”

Vidalia High School 10th grader Maegan Kammerdeiner first took the test in December, but said she is looking to raise her previous score to get into the top college on her list.

“I want to try and get a 28, so I can get into LSU,” Kammerdeiner said. “I always used to work on the harder problems first, but I learned to save those until later.”

Approaching the test for the first time in June, 10th grader William Anderson said he will use his first ACT test taking experience as preparation for later down the road.

“I just want to take it, see what’s on the test and see how I do,” Anderson said. “Today, I learned to go back through the test to make sure you didn’t leave anything blank, and even answer the ones you’re not sure about.”

Managing time properly is the main thing 11th grader BreAnna Pollard said she will work on the next time she takes the test in April.

“Last time, I was really nervous because it was so hard,” Pollard said. “This time, I’m going to stay calm, take my time and answer all the questions.”