Resource Materials and Technology Center for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Keeping It Moving Forward - Test Taking Strategies for Improving ACT Scores in English & Writing

ACT Prep Slides
First page of the PDF file: ACTStrategies45-60minutepresentation

MONEY! MONEY! MONEY! That is what getting a high score on the ACT English and Writing test will get you. According to Florida Board Rule 6A-1.09422 on Statewide Standardized Assessment Program Requirements, students can use a concordant passing score on the ACT of 18 or higher in lieu of the Grade 10 FSA ELA assessment for graduation requirements. In this presentation, Ms. Dunn will go over strategies that will aid in improving scores on these two tests. Also discussed will be the grammatical structures covered on the test and useful techniques to learn these structures. In the process of discussing the above strategies and techniques, we will be going over actual ACT tests so attendees can directly apply information covered in this presentation.

For college-bound students and for some state assessments the ACT is the measuring stick by which students' futures are determined. In the last five years that Ms. Dunn was in the classroom setting, her students earned over $850,000.00 in scholarships based on their high ACT scores in English and reading. Since she has been sharing this information in the role of STEM Trainer in English/literacy, Deaf/HH students in mainstream programs in Florida and other states have made ACT scores equivalent/higher than their hearing peers and earned scholarships to NTID, Gallaudet, and local universities. Many teachers have reported improvement in their students' understanding of some grammatical rules and an increase in confidence when writing and taking standardized tests after the implementation of this strategy.


  • Participants will describe the structures of the ACT assessment to students who are D/HH,
  • identify one or more instructional strategies to improve students’ ACT scores, and
  • describe one or more tips learned from the training to a parent.

Having been in the educational field for over 30 years, Ms. Dunn has worn many hats from classroom teacher, language specialist, curriculum coordinator, counselor, and outreach provider in the area of English and literacy in relation to STEM education. She has taught students who are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing from the kindergarten level through college level in the areas of life skills/ independent living skills, social studies, English, and reading. In her latest role as STEM Outreach Trainer with the NTID Regional STEM Center (NRSC), she has been involved in workshops/trainings including Universal Design for Learning, The Outdoor Classroom, and NSTA workshops related to including STEM across the curriculum. She also presents at the regional and national levels on teaching English/writing skills to students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing, ACT Prep, and incorporating STEM/Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) across all subject areas.