Roger Bannister, the 4:00 mile, and your ACT

By Nick Wagoner, President of Up Academy Tulsa, Senior Life Skills Director for Launch Academy Tutoring Company in Tulsa, Founder of Wagoner & Friends Foundation, and Project Manager for charity events in the Tulsa area.

What is holding you back from getting a high ACT score?

On May 6, 1954, at Iffley Road Track in Oxford, Roger Bannister became the 1st person to ever break the 4:00 minute mile. The announcer declared, “The time was three…”, the cheers of the crowd drowned out the details of the result, which was 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. Since then, over hundreds of individuals have ran it in less than 4:00 minutes.
(Roger Bannister getting a 36 on his ACT…. I mean, running under 4:00 minutes)

For years and years, athletes had tried effortlessly to break the 4:00 minute mile, with no luck. Coaches said it wasn’t possible. Doctors said a person’s heart would literally stop dead, and athletes believed no man was fit to do the task.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to run a mile under 4:00 minutes, so stop sweating.

But did athletes get that much fast after Bannister broke the 4:00 minute mile? Or did the equipment get that much better? Highly unlikely. But what it did do was break the mental barrier that others had set up in their minds. It was indeed possible!

However, I believe that the same principles can be applied in how you train for the ACT, which will give you the score that you are wanting, while helping others score well too.

Four Race Strategies that Roget Bannister Used:

  • He measured every stride it would take to run under 4:00 minutes.
  • He was a superb athlete.
  • He trained to be in marvelous condition.
  • He recruited a team of men that would pace him for each leg of the race.

He had goals/targets set along the track, so he would know how many strides he would have to make to keep himself on track.

Once Bannister broke the 4:00 minute barrier, athletes from all over the world followed right behind him. It wasn’t so much a physiological bearer, but a phycological barrier.

Four Strategies You Can Use:

  1. Set out out how much time you can spend on each problem so that you can get through the whole test.
  2. Study with those who are smarter than you and learn from the best.
  3. Learn from the best, a Launch Academy tutor who has aced the ACT test.
  4. Visualize in your mind that you can get a high ACT score and avoid negative attitudes.

Launch Academy Tulsa already helps students with all four of these steps.  By mimicking the conditions of the ACT, students build their confidence and feel more prepared on the test date.  Another thing we do is ensure that each student is set up with a high-quality tutor.  All of tutors earned a minimum score of a 30 on the ACT (or something equivalent when tutoring for the SAT or PSAT).  Finally, Launch Academy was built on a holistic mission – we want students to be successful in EVERY area of their academics, not just the ACT.  That’s why we help students develop goals and then manageable action steps to accomplish those goals.

So what are you waiting for?! Go break your personal high test score on the ACT!

President of Up Academy Tulsa,
Nick Wagoner

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