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5 Tips to “Study Smart” for the ACT Exam

If you’re among the more than 1.6 million students who are planning on taking the ACT exams this year, you probably have mixed feelings about the process. On one hand, you know that this is your chance to show colleges how well you can perform on standardized tests and how dedicated you are to academic endeavors. On the other hand, you know that will mean lots of studying and preparation. Not to fret, getting a great ACT score is possible, even if you dread the idea of taking the test. If you’re looking for some inspiration and helpful tips to make the process better, look no further:


  • Get familiar with the format.


First and foremast, take some time to learn about the ACT exam and what it involves. Do you know how it’s different than the SATs? Do you know what the sections of the exam are and what the format is like? Don’t register before you learn the basics about the exam and know what will be expected of you so that you can study all topics accordingly.


  • Give yourself a lot of time.


Yes, it’s a fact that studying material over a longer period of time versus last minute cramming is the way to go. If you’ve got the option of spending an hour per day over a month versus three all-day study sessions, always opt for the longer term plan.


3) Think about the ACT exam differently.


The ACT exam isn’t just another test, like that one you have next week in your social studies class. It is incredibly important and can play a big role in you getting accepted into your dream college, so give it the time and energy it deserves by preparing thoroughly. This may mean working with a tutor to establish an effective and productive study routine that ensures you’ll be prepared when test day arrives.


4) Use official ACT resources.


The official ACT website offers a number of resources that every student should take advantage of, including practice test questions, tips, a question of the day, and more. Visit the page here to review the available material, and take note that some materials are available free of charge while others must be purchased.


5) Take practice exams.


Before you start officially studying for the ACT exam you may want to take a practice exam to determine your base-line score. This will give you a starting point so that you can track your improvement and get an idea of how prepared you may or may not be already. By taking the exam a few times, you’ll also feel more comfortable with the format and know just what to expect on test day.


With the right preparation, there is no reason you can’t excel at taking the ACT exam. Through preparation and planning, you can cut down on stress and ensure that you’ll get a score you can be proud of. Don’t feel you need to do it alone–get help from others and push yourself to be in your best mental shape!





Dusty Fox is a full-time world traveler and freelance writer who contributes to the Ivy Trainers network. Visit the Ivy Trainers website to learn more about the services they offer.

when it’s time to take the test!