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How To Ace The ACT

test taking

Acing the ACT

The school year has barely begun, but my stepson is already in a panic. Not about his grades, which will doubtless be as stellar this year as they were last. He’s fussing about taking the ACT.

The ACT is a standardized test, like the SAT, and it’s scores are used to place college applicants. ACT scores are completely different: a 36 is a perfect score.

Students are finding out today how they did on last year’s test. For those still prepping, or prepping to take it again, here’s some advice on how to ace the ACT, from students who did it.

Perfect scorers are still teens, and their advice is sort of all over the map. Here’s what it boils down to:

  • Know the test. Like any standardized test, knowing how to take the test matters almost as much as knowing the answers to the questions. Familiarize yourself beforehand with the types of questions you’ll be asked, and take a few practice tests so you know where your trouble spots are.
  • Know your stuff. Knowing the test protocol will help you show off how much you’ve learned in high school. If you haven’t learned much, that’ll show through any amount of test prep. The good news there: if you’re a good student already, you have this covered. The ACT or SAT is a chance to let the hard work you’ve done in school for years pay off.
  • Get enough sleep. Showing up well-rested, well-fed and healthy is key to succeeding at a timed test. Skip that last-minute study session in favor of a good night’s sleep.

Photo: Casey Serin

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