ACT Prep Tips for Overwhelmed Students

You have just over a month to study for the October 27 sitting of the ACT. Whether you’re a junior who is just starting to think about college admissions, or a senior who’s in the middle of the application craze, you may find that your test date sneaks up on you, leaving you without much time to study for the ACT. While it’s not the best practice to start studying at the last minute, there are some simple ways for you to prepare without having to completely change your life in the weeks before the test.

ACT Prep Tips for Overwhelmed Students: Compromise activities. Can you take a few days off from work? Can you skip the Friday night movie with your friends? Do you need to attend every after-school meeting? Create a study schedule. Map out a schedule in your planner for studying. Invest roughly 20 hours to raise your composite score by one or two points. Improve composite score. To gain one point, you will need to earn four more points in one section or distributed across multiple sections. To gain two points, you will need to earn eight more points across multiple sections. Your ACT composite score is the average of your scores from the four sections: math, science, English, and reading. Use study guides like The Critical Reader, TestRocker, Barron's ACT, and Brian Leaf's Resources to improve your comopsite score. Create a study space with No. 2 pencils, erasers, a calculator and a watch. Try to recreate the atmosphere of the ACT testing room so you learn to succeed under those conditions. Remember these rules: 1) Don't get stuck on one question. 2) Eliminate wrong answers to increase your odds. 3) Guess before leaving something blank. Begin regulating your sleep at least a week before test day by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. The night before the test: exercise, eat well, and relax! Don't cram in a last-minute, all-night study session the night before the test. Just relax and be sure to get a full night sleep. Reward yourself after the test, you'll deserve it!

Text and design by: Anna Palmer

If you are a senior and completing college applications this fall, you have only two more chances to take the ACT: October 27 and December 8. If you’re a junior, you’ll have ample opportunity to take the test in the spring or summer of 2019; test sittings are offered on February 9, April 13, June 8, and July 13.

Good luck!

About Anna Palmer

Anna grew up loving everything that involved art and creativity. She received a scholarship to attend Memphis College of Art where she studied graphic design. Graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Anna worked as a graphic designer until she decided to expand her skill set by studying advertising and marketing. She thought knowing how consumers think would help maximize her design skills. She then attended Portland State University where she earned her second degree, a BS in advertising management.

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