Unfortunately, there are no secret tricks to getting perfect scores on standardized tests. There are, however, plenty of ways that students can prepare for their ACT tests, and improve their chances of succeeding. The ACT is one of the two college readiness tests, the other being the SAT. Both are specifically designed to assess a student’s preparedness for college work, where their skills and knowledge are tested. The ACT plays an integral role in determining academic strengths, plans for the fitting career path, and if whether or not a student qualifies for a scholarship grant. With all these things to consider, there is no doubt you’re feeling pressured, especially as the test day approaches. You frantically look for the best way to prepare for the ACT, or perhaps ways how to pass the ACT. Either way, good preparation for the ACT exam is the best way to go. This post contains some of the best tips for the ACT, gathered from various sources and experts.
When should you start studying for the ACT?
One of the biggest questions students usually ask is when to start preparing for the ACT. For most people, it is highly recommended to begin studying for the ACT after finishing the sophomore year, which is the summer leading to the transition to junior year. Starting early will give you enough time to prepare and avoid cramming in the last few weeks leading up to the ACT, as you have the option of taking the actual test as soon as your junior year commences. The exact time you begin studying, however, varies greatly and depends on several factors. These may include your college choices, and how many hours a week you are willing to devote solely to studying.
How many hours should you study for the ACT?
To prepare for ACTS, you must first consider time. The number of hours you wish to study in preparation for ACT exams will be entirely up to you. You can commit to an intense ACT study schedule, which can mean devoting ten hours a week for two months. Or perhaps a gradual study schedule will work best for you, which can be studying for an hour every week, for over the course of six months. Keep in mind that your study prep for ACT will also depend on the type of school you’re applying to, and how much points you will be needing.
For these reasons, it is important to emphasize that starting your preparation for the ACT test earlier is better, as it will help you better grasp your hours, and gradually help you get a hold of the test’s structure. Everyone has their own study habits, along with certain time restrictions. One student can study for hours, while the other can only concentrate for half an hour. Make sure that you customize your time accordingly and find a study spot you're most comfortable studying in. Studying more than what you can take can do more harm than good, as it with all excessive consumption in life.
What should I know before taking the ACT?
How to prepare for the ACT? Study and understand the ACT Exam Structure. You already know the best way to prepare for a test, after going through rigorous academic courses. You think you already have the knowledge to pass the ACT, but keep in mind that taking tests is also a skill that can be mastered. Take time to understand the ACT’s test structure, and learn some testing strategies before the exam day comes in to improve your chances of succeeding. Do remember to read instructions carefully for every section. Pace yourself as wisely as you possibly can, and recheck your work if given the chance. Mark your answers properly.
1. Create a study schedule. One of the many tips for the ACT includes making a strict study schedule to avoid procrastinating. Employing a study schedule will help you remain consistent with your learning. It’s best to set aside a consistent number of hours studying every week until you take the test, rather than just cramming close to the test date. To know how many hours a week you should allot preparing for ACTS, divide the total number of prep hours you think you need by the number of weeks until the day of the test. Also, remember that you need to determine which particular day and time you wish to study every week. Perhaps you can study for an hour every day except for Sunday, which you’ll only study for 30 minutes. It could also be 4 hours every Friday and Saturday evenings. Doing this will help you stay consistent.
2. Focus on learning essential test content. As soon as you’ve settled on your goal and schedule, move on to learning content. This refers to the knowledge you’ll be needing to properly answer the ACT questions - the heart of your ACT exam preparation. This will include grammar rules for English, reviewing formula functions for Mathematics, reviewing steps to forming a hypothesis for Science, and learning how to read quickly for Reading and Comprehension. Learn any material that you’re not familiar with yet, but don’t ignore what you already know. If Math is your weakest area, then it’s completely fine to devote the bulk of your time preparing for it. And, even if English is your best subject, you should still spend a little time preparing for it.
3. Consider enrolling in an ACT Prep Course. There are numerous act prep courses made available now, whether you want to be in classrooms, a study group, or online by yourself. Most of these can run up to $1,500, but if you have the budget, then you might as well take the chance. Courses provide personalized learning plans, complete with strategies to further help you get the ACT score that you need. Of course, you can also prepare for the ACT exam at home, and if you’re wondering “But, how to prepare for the ACT exam at home?”, it’s simple - there are free alternative options available on the internet, such as Khan Academy. It’s up to you to choose which one will work best for you.
4. Take plenty of free practice tests. As you prepare for the ACT, remember that repetition is always good. With no payment fees asked, ACT practice tests are readily available on the internet. This helps students anticipate which questions are likely to appear on the real test before taking them on test day. Much of the formatting can be complicated on the ACT, so it is vital that you know what you will be dealing with before it’s handed to you. Taking practice tests will also allow you to identify your weak spots so that you will be able to allot more time to prepare for these sections. If you have the extra money, you can opt to purchase an ACT practice book. This is the best ACT study guide, as it offers plenty of practice tests for you to try, and also includes strategies to help you get the score you want.
5. Practice on those test strategies. The truth is, simply banking on knowledge isn’t enough to succeed on the ACT. For a thorough ACT preparation, you will need to learn effective strategies to approach the test. This refers to techniques like learning how to eliminate choices, making intelligent guesses, managing your time, and so forth. With a little guidance and practice, you’ll be able to create the best approach for you.
If you wish to get more the ACT testing tips as you prepare and practice for the ACT, check out Magoosh SAT & ACT below, a YouTube channel dedicated to SAT and ACT prep.
How can I raise my ACT score fast?
How to prepare for the new ACT?
1. Keep this in mind: To prepare for retaking the ACT, you should begin as soon as your first is over. When the proctor finally collects your materials, take out a notepad and write down everything you can remember from the test. Perhaps you remember specific questions or a list of content areas that seem unfamiliar or more difficult than you anticipated. You can even write down the sections which seemed too easy. Doing this will help you craft a better study plan in the future. If by chance you forget to write anything down, don’t worry. Chances are, you actually remember more than you think you do, which will manifest itself in spurts in the few days after the test. Take some time off to reflect on your entire testing experience. Remember as much you can about the format, content, and general experience. Anything you come up with, write it down.
2. Accept that you’ll need to put in more time and effort. Some tips for the ACTs tell you to simply study, but do not emphasize the value of time and effort. This step is integral, as it will help you understand just how much you will need to invest in order to improve your ACT scores. The truth is, there is no magic trick, shortcut, or formula that will help you improve your scores drastically. A ton of students every year take the ACT several times, hoping to get lucky enough and get their scores to go up. While it may be true that you'll score a little better in your senior year simply because of academics, don’t expect too much. There will be little improvement on your ACT score if you don’t prepare for the ACT seriously. This is much like how you get ready for a test in school for a subject – proper time and dedication is required. If you don’t take make any serious preparations, even if it’s your second testing, your scores may go down. This is more than just taking the exam multiple times – it’s about dedicating yourself enough to build the test skills enough to get good scores to not retake.
3. Determine which mistakes you make most frequently. One of the best ways to study for the ACT is to be able to identify your weak points. The good news is, once you’ve taken the ACT the first time, it’ll be easier to identify errors you’re likely to make again in the future. If you find that your mistakes are clustered around a content section, then your weak spot is likely specific subject knowledge. This is easily fixable by studying and preparing for the content further. However, if you find that your mistakes are spread across sections equally, and you had time left at the end of those test sections, then you may be rushing your work.
4. Evaluate your time management and improve on it. It is no secret that the ACT is quick-paced. If you don’t keep moving through all the questions quickly, you will run out of time to answer them all. To prepare for the ACT test properly, think about your pacing during the test carefully. Did you find that you have a lot of time left during each section? You are rushing too much. Did you run out of time? You’re too slow in answering. One of the best ACT tips is to understand that a delicate balance in time management must be established in order to emerge successfully and pass the ACT. One of the best ways to do this is to skip any difficult questions you might encounter, and return to them as soon as you finish the section. Not dwelling on these won’t eat up your time, and you will have plenty of questions to use for those you can answer well.
Overall, the ACT serves as a monumental milestone for every high school student, considering its nature. It serves to evaluate a student’s college preparedness through the subject sections of science, English, Mathematics, writing, and reading. Preparing for the ACT is difficult and challenging, but doing it will be worth it. As you learn how to prepare for the ACT, remember your goals and the possibility of earning a high score, which will help impress the college admissions board on top of writing an impressive college admission essay.