4 Tips From an Irvine Test Prep Tutor for Success on the ACT Exam this Fall


High school students still have an opportunity to take the ACT in December. This is becoming a more popular test each year, and students should prepare for it thoroughly so they can reach their college admissions goals. Each student learns differently, and so their preparations will be individualized. However, there are some tried and true test prep techniques that help students overcome obstacles as they work towards getting an excellent score. In addition to reviewing academics, many students will need to overcome stress in order to conquer this exam – score high on the ACT exam this fall with the help of one of our experienced Irvine test prep tutors.

1.  Math formulas and practice

The math formulas needed for the ACT are not overly comprehensive; however, many students may not have used them for some time. It’s so easy for students to forget formulas they don’t use on a regular basis so they should brush up before taking the exam. Additionally, most people will agree that practice makes perfect when it comes to calculations. As a result, students should be practicing long before their testing date. Practice does not mean sitting down a couple of days before the exam and studying for several hours at a time. In fact, this type of intensive study can be a detriment. Rather, students should start several weeks ahead of time and break up their study time into smaller increments so their minds can rest in between (READ: 5 Awesome SAT Apps).

2. Reading comprehension

As always, reading comprehension is essential for a test such as the ACT. Students will need to be able to determine which information in a passage or question is non-essential-so they can ignore it- and which information is crucial. Reading comprehension skills are not just important during the reading passages but can be used to determine what the question is asking for or what the author is trying to say. The best way for students to have excellent reading comprehension skills is to read on a regular basis. However, if a particular student does not enjoy reading in their free time, they can certainly still hone these skills by focusing on the passages in a practice test with their tutor or study group.

3. Unwind and refocus

Many test-takers make silly mistakes on the exam, ones they would have gotten right if they have been relaxed, simply because they’re overly stressed. Students might be worried about their college admissions options, or they may be overwhelmed with other assignments. Students should talk to their classroom teacher in advance of their exam date to see what other major assignments might be due that week. During the week of the ACT exam, students will want to focus primarily on this task alone. This can be a major time management issue, especially if students are in AP courses or filling out college applications. Advanced preparation is this one of the best ways for students to maintain a low-stress level and focus their tension on this exam but they should also make rest and relaxation a priority during this time.

4. Setting expectations

Fear of the unknown can also cause undue stress for students preparing for the ACT. Test-takers wonder what score they might get and how it will play into their college dreams. One way to deal with this particular type of stress is to set an expectation in advance. Students will be able to figure out what a reasonable score will be for them by taking a practice exam before the test date. Most students are a little bit more nervous on the actual day of the exam and are not allowed to take the same amount of breaks as when they are working on a practice exam in the comfort of their home. It’s important for students to remember this and set a goal for a range of scores they expect to achieve. If a student is not happy with their initial practice test, they can work with a tutor or study group to determine which areas they need to work on and how best to go about it. Many students improve significantly after just working on some basic test prep skills such as the process of elimination and pacing.

It’s never too early or too late to book your private Irvine test prep tutor from TutorNerds. Call us today for more information.

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