Tips from an Irvine ACT tutor: Four important things to do before taking the ACT this fall


Fall testing season is here, and students are anxiously studying for their ACT exam in hopes of getting the score they need to gain admittance to the colleges of their choice. Students with excellent college admissions exam scores may also have a great shot at scholarships, so it’s important to put a significant amount of effort and concentration towards test prep and consider the opportunity of taking the exam more than once. Of course, each student is an individual learner with individual college goals, but there are some tips and tricks that can help any student improve their score and be more relaxed on the big day – It’s never too late or too early to book your private Irvine ACT tutor.

1. Take a practice exam

Many college prep students avoid taking a practice exam because it will consume several hours of their day and requires intense concentration to complete in one sitting. However, this is the absolute best way for students to determine what their actual score will be when they take the real exam. Students should not break up the different sections day by day or give themselves brakes longer than what is allowed on the real test because it may skew their score or give them an unrealistic idea of their ability to focus. Rather, students should take the practice exam exactly as instructed in their test prep booklet and grade their test according to the directions on the back of the book.

2. Evaluate strengths and weaknesses

In addition to getting an overall score students will be able to determine their general strengths and weaknesses after taking an ACT practice test. There are two different categories to think about: test prep skills and academic skills. Academic skills should be resolved first because they are the building blocks students will need to do well on this or any college entrance exam. For instance, if a student is a little bit behind in reading comprehension or math they can work with their one-on-one tutor to improve these academic skills. Once these issues are resolved students can start working on test prep skills. Many students at this level of education have high grades at school and are strong academically but don’t know how to eliminate answer choices, speed read, or finish an exam in the time allotted (READ: 5 Things to Remember When Taking the Practice SAT).

3. Set a reasonable goal

Now that students have determined their strengths and weaknesses they’ll be able to set a reasonable goal for improvement. This may be an overall goal such as an increased composite score or a specific goal such as to finish one of the sections on time. The student should talk with their tutor to determine if their goal is reasonable considering the amount of time they have until the big day. Many students set goals that are nearly impossible to reach and become overstressed, which can make it difficult to focus on the big picture. Other students might not know how much they need to improve to meet the suggested requirements for admission to a particular set of colleges but, with the help of a tutor or college counselor, will be able to determine what’s necessary for success.

4. Get ready for the big day

Before taking the actual ACT exam students need to make sure they are fully prepared, which includes staying rested and focused in the days leading up to the exam. Students need to get plenty of sleep, have good nutrition and exercise, and avoid becoming overwhelmed by other academic tasks the week before they take the ACT. A rested, and relaxed brain is more likely to make a good judgment call when it comes to two final answer choices thus students should make the ACT the only task the week of the exam.

Our private Irvine ACT tutors are here to help you score high. Call us today for more information.

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