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Tips to Ace Your ACT

In the midst of classes, extracurricular and homework, it’s also time to prepare for the ACT test. Here are three tips to help you study for the ACT, plus three more tips to help you prepare for the big day.

In the weeks before the test:

Get a study book

Practice/study books are less expensive than a formal preparation course, and you can take it on the go with you. Use your study hall hour or time doing homework after school to work on your ACT skills.

Take practice tests

Practice makes perfect! The more you practice taking the ACT, the more comfortable you’ll be with it when the big day comes. You can eliminate a lot of test anxiety by just knowing what to expect. Make sure that when you take practice tests, practice with the time limits – especially if timed tests worry you. Taking the practice tests within the time constraints can give you an idea of what it’s really going to be like and help you identify any problem areas you might have.

Review basic skills

The ACT tests your skills in English, reading comprehension, math and science reasoning. Go over the basics of each and really focus on the ones you struggle with. Review your basic grammar rules and have someone quiz you on a book you just read to see how much you remember. If you struggle with math, dig out your algebra and geometry notes to refresh your memory. You can also talk to your teachers or seek out school resources for tutoring to help refresh your memory.

The day before the test:

Get a good night’s sleep

Last minute cramming has no effect on your college entry exam scores, so doing so is a waste of time. It’s natural to feel a little nervous before test day. Instead of studying the night before, do something that helps you relax to knock out those pre-exam jitters and get a better score.

Get directions to your testing center

You must be on time to your test center, so you should always have directions handy or find the testing location a few days before to prevent being late.

When you are asked to sign-in at the test center, you will also be asked to provide photo identification of yourself to confirm you are who you say you are. Examples of acceptable identification are an official school ID, government issued driver’s license, military or national identification card or student ID form completed by your school counselor.

Pack your bag

You’ll need at least two No. 2 or mechanical pencils on test day. Test out the erasers of your pencils to make sure they will not smear on your test after erasing. Smudges could cause your test to be graded incorrectly, which makes you lose out on some valuable points.

Bring a calculator that you are familiar with and have used before in school. Only four-function calculators, graphic calculators or scientific calculators are permitted, which includes the Texas Instruments brand. Mobile calculators are not allowed.

Finally, pack a snack and water bottle for test breaks, as you’ll be testing from the early morning into the early afternoon.

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