Anxieties are normal and expected when taking the ACT in Alamo. The American College Testing Program (ACT) is one of the standardized high school achievement and college readiness tests along with SAT. To help ease the jitters students feel, these strategies and tips will greatly help you when you take your ACT test.

Before taking the test

First of all you should believe that you are able to pass the test. Staying up-to date on your assignments will be helpful. Make sure you understand what is being taught to you. One style of picking information is to read and study the information in significant “chunks” that make sense to you (by chapters or units). This may make storing and retrieving the information easier for you. To facilitate your review even more, pay attention to the information that is the most important at the end of the chapters or units. Create “flash cards” that contain the information – ones that can easily be taken with and used during regular reviewing sessions. If you’ve taken similar tests before, analyze each test and determine what are your strengths and weaknesses so that you can improve your test results the next time.

It would help if you ask your teacher about the ACT. Ask what subjects are emphasized and the possible types of questions that will be asked. You can then make notes based on the information you were given and develop your own study strategy.

Managing your study hours is very important before your exam. It’s better if you break your study sessions into shorter segments to help you to remember more information. It’s recommended that your study sessions are broken into about 45 minutes to an hour or over a week or two before the test. This is better than cramming to review the night before you take the test. You should also sharpen your skills by writing essays up to the night before the test. Cognitive questions can be used to improve your comprehension and answering abilities.

It may be helpful if you study in groups so that you can discuss subjects and get help with questions you may not understand. It’s a good idea to form your own quizzes or mock exams, and then compare and analyze results.

A good study habit is to stay healthy and well-rested which is can help you take your exam with more confidence. Sleep adequately the night before you take the test so you are awake and ready to succeed.

While taking the test

You must exude the right confidence when taking the exam. Relax and ease tensions by visualizing your great results. Above all, doing well depends on your being fully prepared and mentally alert. Read and study every question and directions carefully. If you find questions that are hard to understand or you need to have clarified, ask the teacher who is at the test site.

It would help if you answer the easier questions first to calm yourself down. When answering multiple choice questions, look at the main point on every question. Look also at the possible answering choices, if you must make a guess:

  • The length of the choices may give you a clue. The longest one is probably the correct answer.
  • If the choices are similar to each other, don’t choose either of them. It is like deductive reasoning.
  • If the choices are opposites of each other, choose one of these.
  • The most general choice is often the correct answer.

When it is time to answer essay questions, keep in mind that the objective is for you to demonstrate your comprehension ability as well as how well can you explain and support an idea. Read over the question before providing answers that are direct to the question. Make sure your answer also includes the topics that are asked in the question, as well as both general and specific information, but still drawing the main gist of the topic. Write legibly and proofread your essay after you are finished writing it.

When answering problem solving type questions, you should know enough so you can find the answer. It is good to know the information provided in the question to help you in your answering abilities. Breaking the problem into smaller parts can be a good strategy for finding the answer. Find out if your final answer makes sense to the problem posed.

Remember to pay attention to the time you have available. Make sure that you complete an entire section of the test that will provide the highest value, if you are not able to complete the entire examination.

After the test

Waiting to receive your results can be frustrating. However, before long you will receive your test results. If you have done well, your preparation and hard work served you well. If you have done poorly, do what you can to learn from your mistakes. What results and areas show your strengths? Your weaknesses? Analyze your test results from your test to find out what areas you can work on to improve the next time you take another ACT in Alamo.