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Top Tips for ACT Success

Top Tips for ACT Success

The ACT, a college entrance exam that is offered in many states, has for some students become a better option than the SAT.  In fact, every four-year institution in the United States now accepts the ACT as a common standardized test that can help a student gain admission to college.  As such, it is important to better understand the structure of the ACT and the benefits of taking it, as the exam may, in the long run, be a better overall fit than the SAT.  

What does the ACT look like?

Unlike the SAT, the ACT does not contain several sections.  Instead, it is divided into four separate, timed tests in the following subjects - English, math, reading, and science.  There is also an optional essay that most students choose to complete as part of the exam.  As for the structure of the exam, the English portion contains seventy-five questions that a student must finish within forty-five minutes.  There are also sixty math problems that must be completed within sixty minutes, plus a reading and science section that have forty questions each, both of which must be completed within thirty-five minutes or less.  The ACT is scored between 1 and 36.

Is the ACT right for me, and how can I get the score I want?

If you are thinking about taking the ACT or are undecided, consider the following tips to help you decide if it is the right exam for you, and how to obtain your ideal score:

Know that you have options – experts recommend that you take a practice test of both the ACT and SAT to determine which is right for you.  Since colleges put equal weight on the SAT and ACT, there is nothing wrong with taking the ACT if you performed better on it than the SAT.  Since getting a high score on a standardized test is critical to getting into college, if you find that the ACT is better suited for you, then don’t hesitate to pursue it as your test of choice.

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Alleviating Test Day Anxiety

Without a doubt, having to take a standardized test, whether it be the ACT or SAT, can be nerve-wracking.  Understandably, getting a good score on your standardized test is a crucial part of the admission process for most colleges.  Accordingly, there are some tips you can follow to help alleviate your anxiety and put you in the best position to succeed on test day.   These are as follows:

1)    Preparation is key – make sure you study as much as possible, as too often, stress comes from feeling a lack of control over a situation.  Meaning, sometimes people have anxiety on test day knowing that they are not fully prepared.  With that being said, the more prepared you are, the calmer and more ready you will feel on test day.

2)    Take a standardized test prep course – there are plenty of prep courses available to help prepare you for all aspects of the exam.  Taking a prep course is important because they give you invaluable tips on studying and they enable you to take several practice tests.   This way, you are fully prepared on test day and will likely experience less anxiety as a result.

3)    Take deep breaths – when you sit down to begin the exam, take a few deep breaths by inhaling and then exhaling slowly. Not only does this calm your system down, it also increases the flow of oxygen to your brain, allowing you to be more focused.

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©2020 Choose It Right, LLC