Pickerington high school students next month will be offered a six-hour strategy session designed to boost performances on the ACT.
Pickerington High School North April 8 will host an "ACT Boot Camp" for students from both North and Pickerington High School Central.
The boot camp, which is being offered by the Pickerington Local School District for the first time, will consist of a six-hour workshop conducted by Test Prep Seminars, a for-profit test preparation provider.
According to officials at Central and North, they've decided to hold a local boot camp after hearing it has paid dividends for students taking the national college admissions exam in a number of area school districts, including Grandview Heights, Grove City, Hilliard, New Albany and Westerville.
"The average is a 1.2 to 1.5 composite point increase, which is an 8 percent to 10 percent increase in scores over their peers in the nation that take the test," said Central Principal Zack Howard.
"Just a 10-percent increase is the equivalent of moving ahead of 150,000 other students.
"This increase has huge scholarship implications. (Approximately) 1.5 million students take the ACT each year."
The ACT tests students in English, math, reading and science.
According to the district, the typical cost of the boot camp is $250. However, thanks in part to HR Imaging's sponsorship of the event, local students can participate for $45.
For that fee, students will participate in a six-hour session during the school day and be provided with test preparation materials, including two books for each participant featuring 27 practice tests with test answers and explanations, as well as a strategy book for independent study.
"It will be hosted at North this year, but we will have Central students coming over, and we'll provide the transportation for them," said Kiya Hunt, North principal. "Then, it will be hosted in the fall at Central."
The registration deadline for the boot camp is April 5.
To register, students must complete a registration envelope provided to them by their schools and return it with cash or a check for the boot camp to their principal's office secretary.
At Central, the secretary is Diane Lukacsko. North's secretary is Paula Mock.
According to Howard, the average ACT score for Central students in 2012 was 21.5 out of a possible composite score of 36.
Hunt said at North the average score for North students in 2012 was 23.1.
"We would like to see our average go up," Howard said. "The seminar works to demystify the test. It's not a cram session, but it's basically test-taking strategies.
"Students will walk away from there with proven test-preparation that works to help raise their test scores."
According to Howard, 65.3 percent of Central's class of 2012 went on to attend four-year colleges, while another 18.6 percent enrolled in two-year colleges.
He added that 5 percent of those graduates entered the military and 4 percent enrolled in a technical or trade school.
Hunt said 81 percent of North's class of 2012 went on to attend a four-year college and 8.3 percent enrolled in two-year colleges.
Further, Hunt said, 3.4 percent of graduates entered the military and 0.9 percent went to a technical or trade school.