ACT PREP PLAN
The best Standardized Test Prep Plan is likely made up of many parts. If possible, use a Tutor or High School Counselor as a resource for making a Test Prep Plan. Your plan might look like this:
- 4-week ACT Prep Group Class in April
- Regular use of ACT Question of the Day
- Practice Tests from a Prep Guide after the Prep class in the weeks before the May ACT
- Review notes from Prep Class the week of the ACT
- Wait for Test results, and decide when to take the ACT again
Think critically when making YOUR plan – if you aced all but one section of the ACT practice test, taking a group class may not be as helpful, where each section is covered generally. If you need some assistance in most sections of the test, then a group class makes sense, if you believe you can learn in a group environment. If you are overwhelmed and feel completely lost, it might make sense to pay for individualized tutoring, to help you gain mastery and confidence. Self-directed learners will likely take a different approach than students who need one-on-one assistance.
RESOURCES & BOOKS
- ACT Question of the Day
You can also download an application to your phone or computer, to enable easy access for consistent daily use.
- The ACT Student website, specifically in the Practice section.
- “The Real ACT Prep Guide”
It’s a good idea to get the most current edition. This book is published by the makers of the ACT test and contains tests from prior years with an answer key. This can be helpful in becoming familiar with the test, understanding concepts covered and determining areas needing work, as well as practice with timing, a key part of testing success.
- Princeton Review, Kaplan, Petersons and many other companies offer study guides. Read the reviews on Amazon, ask an upperclassmen, tutor or College advisor if they have a particular recommendation and why.
- My daughter read the “Up Your Score – ACT” and found it extremely helpful, loaded with tips and tricks for the ACT.
If you choose to take a group class or do individualized prep (in person or virtually, on-line) ask other families for their experience with different companies. After consistently hearing the same name from several families I respected, my daughters took a group month-long SAT Prep class, followed by a two-session group class that covered the differences between the ACT and the SAT. This plan was made after taking both the PSAT and ACT Practice Test and realizing that the they appeared to be able to do well on both tests, so they decided to prepare for both the SAT and ACT. Shortly before they took either the SAT or ACT the second time, they spent 1-2 hours with the tutor, going over the test booklet and testing report from their first test, so that the tutor could identify which types of questions they were answering wrong and why. My daughters (individually) and the tutor went over concepts they needed help understanding, and then the tutor sent them home with some practice sheets, to cement those concepts in their brain. This approach was very successful for both of my children.
In addition to tutoring a student on concepts important to the test, tutors are skilled at tips and tricks, and will help students pay attention to timing, a critical part of test-taking success. See General Test Taking Tips for more advice.
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