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Football and the ACT

How Watching Sports Can Make You A Better Test Taker

Have you ever been to a sports game where a fan is constantly yelling? The man who yells at the coach whenever he makes a bad call, the woman who yells at the Quarterback whenever he should have passed the ball instead of running it, or the guy who spills all of his popcorn while yelling at the ref for making a bad call. There is something that each of them do that could dynamically improve your reading, they are actively engaged in the activity they are participating.

Not engaged in the sense that they are getting married, rather they are committed, involved, and thinking about what is happening. These kind of fans don’t just sit down and let whatever happens to pass them by, they are invested in what is happening! Although I would not encourage yelling during the actual test, one can yell mentally at the test by asking it the tough questions.

A student might ask themselves why the price of bananas is included in a math question, what the motivation is for the character in the reading prompt who yelled at his mother, or why is that comma included in that sentence? By asking demanding questions while reading, the test-taker will naturally retain more of what they are reading, and she or he will actually enjoy the process more because they will understand what is going on.

Something I teach my students is the importance of locating key words and phrases. There is a lot of research out there that shows that students who are actively engaged in this type of reading score much higher on tests.

So next time that guy at the sports game spills popcorn all over you, just smile and nod. He’s actively participating in the game, just like you will in reading.

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