How To Study For The ACT Test

Some colleges don’t require you to submit both ACT and SAT scores, and although SAT scores are typically more desirable, your ACT scores can also help you get into a great college, as do all advanced tests. Typically, you take the ACT test during your junior year of high school, with the possibility of retaking the test your senior year. Just like with the SATs, you prepare for the ACT test in the months leading up to your test date so that you’ll get as high a score as possible. Here are some tips to use when studying for the ACT test.

Time yourself as you practice. The ACT test is 215 questions, which you have to answer within a time limit. As you practice, make sure that you use a stop watch so you learn to pace yourself. On the day of the test itself, go through and answer all of the questions you know first, so you don’t run out of time. Then, go back and work on the questions you don’t know. Remember, answer every single question, since there are no penalties for guessing on ACT questions.

Study for each part of the test. There are four different areas on the ACT test – English, Math, Reading, and Science. There is also an optional fifth section where you’re given a single writing prompt and 30 minutes to compose an essay. Make sure that you prepare for all parts when you’re studying.

Use practice tests specifically made for the ACT test to study. If possible, you can also use old tests when you’re studying, since many times, test makers reuse certain vocabulary words and math/science concepts. You don’t have to purchase tests – there are tons of free ACT test resources online.

Join an ACT study group in your area. Chances are that the people in your study group will all be better in certain areas, so you can help one another learn more about weak subject areas. Take turns covering all four parts of the test so you help one another as a group.

Studying for one hour every day in the month leading up to the test, rather than trying to cram the night before. The test is long and stressful, so the day before, you should try to relax, have a fun time, and go to bed early so that you wake up refreshed. If you don’t know the information by then, you won’t know it for the test, so it’s better to study in smaller doses and just feel physically prepared the day before.

Before you register for the ACT test on one of the national dates, make sure that the colleges that interest you require them. Many schools would rather have your SAT scores, though some want all scores, as well as a score for the optional writing portion of the ACT test. Check before you put yourself through the process.


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