ACT Exam Prep

ACT Exam Prep Plan for Self-Study

With post-secondary studies gaining importance for personal as well as professional success, college admission tests like ACT are becoming increasingly popular. As with other entrance tests, dedication and systematic study are essential for achieving a reasonably good ACT score. There are a number of professional programs that can help you prepare for ACT or other equivalent tests; however, many prefer to study on their own, at their own pace. If you prefer self-study, here are some important pointers to ACT exam prep that you might find useful.

Tips for ACT Self-Study

As any other competitive exam, ACT preparation takes a considerable amount of your time and investment on resources. One of the greatest advantages of a prep program is that it provides you with all the required information about the test in an organized manner, in addition to content reviews and practice sessions. While opting for self-study, you need to take care of all the various aspects on your own. Here are a few important pointers to ACT exam prep while doing a self-study:

  • Understanding everything about the exam thoroughly and well in advance is a must. You should try to get authentic information on the test content, structure, question types, test time, test dates, registration deadlines, and score reporting. The ACT official website is the best place for all related information (
  • Chalking out a plan is very important for steady progress and achieving results. You need to understand your timelines and make a study plan accordingly.
  • ACT is a curriculum-based test that measures your academic accomplishments in five subject areas. You high school studies can very well form the base for your ACT exam prep; however, preparation is very important and should be according to your strengths and weaknesses, and the level of preparation required.
  • Get a good and reliable collection of preparation materials. You can find the official materials online at:
  • Practice questions and practice tests are extremely important for self-study as these give you a clear picture of what to expect on the test day. Make sure you use reliable and authentic materials for practice. The official ACT website has a number of free practice tests with free practice questions (
  • Along with ACT exam prep, you may also focus on confidence building activities. This is especially important, if you are retaking ACT.

Prep Plan for ACT Self-Study

As mentioned earlier, chalking out a plan and following it is very important in ACT exam prep self-study. It is impossible to draw a plan that can work for everyone. Here is an outline plan for ACT exam prep that you may customize according to your preferences and requirements:

  1. Based on the timeline, and your self assessment, decide how much time you need to spend on each section. It is possible that you are extremely good in some areas, but need more time on some others. Accordingly, divide your total time among various subject tests and the Writing test.
  2. Decide the number of hours to be spent every week, say, four hours a week or an hour every day. Make sure that you are setting a schedule that is realistic and can be followed. Once you have set this, stick to this plan as much as possible. However, remember that you need to set a schedule that has enough time for relaxation, as well.
  3. Have all your materials ready at hand. Running for materials in between your prep period can exhaust you and disturb the pace of your study.
  4. If you are out of touch with the syllabus, it is better to start your preparation with a quick review of all the topics. Once you are thorough with the subjects, you may work on the timing and answering aspects. If you are more confident about the test topics, you may take a parallel approach and continue reviewing the content matter along with taking practice questions.
  5. For the Writing section, take a number of writing and reading exercises, and build your vocabulary.
  6. Keep track of your progress, and try to improve on the weak areas. Taking practice tests in between your preparation helps you learn how much you have improved or which areas need further focus. Accordingly, pace up or down your ACT exam prep.

Resources for ACT Self-Study

Some of the online resources for ACT exam prep are listed here:

You can find more resources (including free materials) for ACT exam prep online. However, in self-study, it is very important that you choose the materials that satisfy your criteria and test taking requirements.

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