Guide for ACT

Introduction

ACT scores are accepted by most colleges across the US along with the application forms for admission to various courses offered by them. This is a standardized paper and pencil test conducted in various test centers across the United States. These scores bring all applicants to a common platform for evaluation by the college admission committees.





The content tested in the examination is of the high school level and so your scores have a direct correlation with your knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals various subjects taught during your high school studies. The examination consists of 4 sub tests, one each for English, Math, Science and Reading subject areas. Your  report consists of sub scores of each of the sub tests and a composite score which is an average of the 4 sub test scores. You may also exercise the option of taking the Writing Test, the scores of which may be required by certain colleges. If you have taken the writing test, then the Writing sub score and an additional English Writing sub score will also be available in your score sheet.

Preparation

Since the content assessed by this examination is of the high-school level, therefore, it may seem that preparing for this test is an easy task. However, it is a known fact that you cannot do well in any test without adequate preparation and this exam is no exception. You can initialize your preparation by taking a diagnostic practice test. This will help you identify your weak areas and strong, subject areas. You can then plan your study schedule in such a way that you are able to lay adequate emphasis on improving your weaknesses. You can decide to either go in for coaching classes or for an online preparatory course. You can even consider self study for the examination. There are a number of guide books readily available in most bookstores and also on the internet. These  books contain information about the exam and they also contain practice tests that will help you familiarize yourself with the type of questions asked in the actual examination. A number of institutions that offer prep courses provide you with ACT Guides along with other study materials.

If you do not want to join preparation classes because of financial constraints, then you can decide to prepare for the test on your own. After you've identified the subject areas which need extensive review, you can accordingly plan to buy relevant study material.

You will find a number of web sites on the internet that provide you with guidelines to prepare for the test. You can also gain access to various test taking strategies which will help you to score high in the same. Generally, students plan to take the ACT when they are in junior year of high school and since the content tested by the exam is of the high-school level, you may not need a variety of study materials to carry out your preparation. Getting hold of a couple of books and familiarizing yourself with the format of the test is probably all that you will need for doing well in it. You should intersperse your study with a number of practice tests. The more you practice the better will be the chances of your scoring high in the actual test. This examination is timed, that is, there is a fixed time period for completing each sub test. Adequate practice will ensure that you will be able to adhere to the laid down timings on the day of the actual exam. After each practice test that you take, you should assess yourself and gauge whether you have been able to make any improvements. If you feel that you are not able to make a noteworthy difference to your scores in the practice tests, you can consider opting for an online prep course or attend classes for ACT. Forming a study group with other students who are also taking the same examination at the same time as you are is also a good option. You will learn a lot by interacting with each other.

You will find a host of practice tests available on the internet. Some web sites even offer you practice tests absolutely free of cost. ACT's official web site, www.actstudent.org is one such web site There are other web sites like: www.actonlineprep.com, www.kaptest.com, www.testmasters.com and www.testpreppractice.net that offer exhaustive information on preparation, online prep courses and books. You can search for and buy a number of books on www.amazon.com. You can access the ACT Trainer Software in www.powerprep.com that offers you a number of practice questions from the content tested in the ACT.

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