ACT (American College Testing Assessment) is a standardized test for college admissions accepted by most colleges across the US. The test is a measure of the knowledge and skills that you would have acquired while carrying out your high school studies. The scores assist the college admission committees in assessing the competence of the applicants in carrying out their college studies.
The test consists of multiple choice questions on English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. The test is divided into 4 sub tests, one for each of the subject areas. All the sub tests have to be completed within a fixed time frame. The total time for completing the test is 2 hours and 55 minutes. This time is split into different time slots for answering each of the sub tests. You also have the option of taking a Writing Test, which may be required by certain colleges for admissions. Before applying for admission to the college of your choice, you should ascertain whether they require ACT Writing Test as a pre requisite for admissions or not.
The questions asked in the test will be of the high school level so that the college admission committees have a fair idea of your high school academic knowledge and skills irrespective of the school where you carried out your high school studies. Therefore, you will have to accordingly plan your studies in such a way that you are able to optimally utilize the time available and score high in the ACT test. We will now break down the procedure for studies into steps in the order in which they should preferably be carried out.
It is advisable to take the first step towards your studies for ACT while you are still in your junior year. This way you will have a lot of time on your hands in case you want to go in for a retest to improve your scores. Before starting your studies for this test, you should consider all the career avenues that are open for you. You should have a fair idea of your aptitude for certain subjects. This will assist you in deciding the career that you would like to pursue. Once you are clear about your career plans, you should identify colleges that offer higher education in the subject areas associated with your career choice. You should then find out the admission pre requisites laid down by these colleges. After having carried out these initial investigations you will be ready to start your studies for ACT.
The next step in your studies for this test would be to select your test date and register. This test is conducted on 6 national test dates in test centers all across the US. If you are already in your senior year then select a test date which leaves adequate time for the score sheet to reach you for onward submission with your application for admissions. If you are in junior year, then select a test date which will give you adequate time to appear for a retest if required. Detailed information on the registration process, deadline for registration, locations of test centers, test dates and contact details are available on the ACT's web site www.actstudent.org. A number of high school and college offices offer assistance to the students for registration.
After registering, the next step is to start your studies. First of all, you should take a practice test. There are free practice tests available on the internet. You can download a booklet on preparing for the ACT, free of cost from ACT's web site, www.actstudent.org. This booklet contains a practice test along with a scoring key. This web site also offers additional practice tests free of cost. Taking an initial practice test is very beneficial as it will help you to identify your weak and strong subject areas. You should then go over the entire content which is tested and analyze it with respect to your weaknesses and strengths. If you find that a major portion of the content tested falls in your weak subject area category, then you may have to include a course as a part of your studies for this test.
Before deciding to enroll for a course with any institution, you should first check out its reputation and quality of the instructions imparted by its teachers. If the course is of a poor quality then it will not be able to make any difference in your studies. Also, the ACT is a test of the skills that you would have developed over a long period of time so a fast paced prep course will not do much good, in fact, it will succeed in confusing you further. Therefore, if you do plan to take a prep course as a part of your studies for ACT, enroll for a good course which will be able to brush up your skills and knowledge in the subject areas where you need them the most.
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