Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Prepping for the ACT

 By: Shianna Pennington  

  Upperclassmen in high school are looking to the future and trying to figure out what they want and how to afford it. One way is scholarships which can be based on the scores of tests like the ACT. The ACT is a standardized test that is basically just for college admissions and scholarships. Typically you take this test as a junior or senior, but you can start as early as you want, and can take it as many times as you want - and are willing to pay for. One of the benefits of taking them multiple years is so that you can see where your weak spots are so you know what to focus on. To receive the West Virginia Promise Scholarship you must have a composite score of 22 and a subscore of 20 in each category.  A lot of people panic and worry, or are just bad test takers, so here are some tips to help you prepare for your ACT test.
  1. There is an ACT study app, from the makers of the test, that has flashcards, lessons and practice tests for the exam. There are also study books that you can purchase. Taking practice tests prepares you for what will be on the test. I would start looking at things months in advance of the test. There is a lot of information, and it may be too much to try to cram in a week before the test.
  2. Take as many practice tests as you can, especially in the subjects you think are the hardest.  The official ACT site provides many practice tests for each subject.
  3. Some of the high school teachers also provide study sessions for different subjects, so look for the teachers who are providing these sessions; there are typically signs posted around the school, or they may make announcements. You may also ask your counselor or teachers where to find the sessions.
  4. Relax the night before and get plenty of sleep. You don’t want to be falling asleep while trying to take the test.
  5. Stay calm, and take your time, but not too much time.Keep in mind you only have 3 and a half hours for the whole test. Don’t take too long on one single problem. If you don’t know how to do it, skip it and come back later if you have time.
  6. Don’t leave any bubbles blank; wrong answers don’t count against you, but blank bubbles do.
  If you take it once and don’t receive the score that you need or want, don’t panic! You can always take it again to get your scores up. Changing your score can be very easy, if you actually want to and try. If you don’t study at all or do the bare minimum, you probably still won’t receive the scores that you want. You have to be dedicated and really want to better yourself, as your scores are a complete reflection of your efforts.

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