ACT is a great way to gain scholarships for college. Students that I have tutored have received scholarships ranging from $500 -$10,000 after taking my study course. Not everyone has to take an expensive course though. Some students are able to study on their own if they know where to start.
Some students who have taken my course started studying on their own. They used the ACT.org website and found information on how to study there. Others have used study guides that focus on the ACT. I am going to give you great steps on how to study for the ACT.
Here they are:
1. Get yourself a practice ACT and take it
Before you register for the test, take a practice test. Taking a practice ACT gives you a baseline of where to start. For example, the student who got a $10,000 scholarship received a 14 on his baseline test. That told me we had a lot of studying to do to increase his scores to earn that scholarship.
2. Analyze your test results
Most study guides will analyze each test question and tell you what you need to look for as your strengths and weaknesses. This helps you to figure out what you need to study more closely instead of studying all of the material in front of you. This can shorten study time depending on how much you need to master.
3. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the ACT
As you register for the ACT test, plan far enough ahead to give yourself plenty of time to study. To increase your points it is about 10 hours of practice per point you want to increase. Mastery of skill takes time to apply the strategies from every angle. The ACT tests the same skills over and over again but in different ways. So you need to ensure you can the master the skills from every vantage point.
I recommend finding some time every day to practice the ACT. Applying skills every day helps you naturally answer questions and save critical time.
4. Review areas of need and study up
Now that you have analyzed your test scores and planned plenty of time to practice. It is time to make a study plan. This study plan will map out how and what you are going to study. It keeps you organized and on task. It helps you to transition from just learning a skill to mastery and prevents repetition of nonessential tasks.
You can use a study guide and your own materials to help with this study plan or get yourself a tutor that will create your plan for you. A great tutor will have a baseline test, analyze it and create a plan that fits you.
5. Take 1 subject at a time or study up all at once?
Study only the subjects that you need to study, but take a complete ACT every 3-4 weeks to practice. I recommend that you take one subject at a time to master those skills, but after mastery, apply those skills every other day or daily. I also recommend that you read from a novel and practice math daily at least 30 minutes for each. As you read ask questions to determine understanding of your reading.
6. Use note cards to help you remember skill sets
My favorite learning tool is note cards. They are small, portable, quiet, and easy to use. I can write several skills sets on note cards and refer back to them often. That way when I am in the car and have time to spare, I can practice my skills to keep them sharp.
You can also do this with math concepts, English grammar and punctuation rules, types of reading questions using key words in question, and science terms to remember. Studying doesn't have to take forever especially if you are on summer or spring break. Using note cards allows you to take 5-10 of down time at a time and practice. Not only that, you can apply those skills in your high school classes allowing you to multi-task.
7. Take at least 3 practice tests before actual ACT
Taking the ACT costs you money and time, but practicing for the ACT can save you money and earn money for college. Before taking the actual ACT, I recommend taking at least 3 practice tests besides the baseline test. As you take the test, see about the time limit and are you making it. Do you have time left over to check your answers or not? Analyze the test results and see if you are making progress. Do you have to go back and relearn the concept again? Hopefully you are able to lesson your load every time you take a new ACT test.
What has worked for you? I would be really interested in your thoughts. I hope however you study for the ACT you are successful and wish you the best. I love hearing about success stories even if they are not helped by me.
Stena Schmitt, CEO
Saints Training and Tutoring
My name is Stena Schmitt.
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