If you're a year or two away from graduating from high school, the time has come for you to start planning for the future. If you plan to go to college you should know that there are certain things you must do to guarantee a spot in the college of your dreams.
One of the things you need to do to apply to college is taking a standardized test and get an outstanding score, or at least above average. As a student, you have two options of tests and both are valid for universities across the US.
The ACT and the SAT are both examinations designed to evaluate everything a student has learned after four years in high school and it's very important for admissions offices that all their candidates have good scores on the test.
These tests help schools see at what level each candidate is the moment they apply. For more information make sure you read about the differences and similarities these tests have on our article ACT vs. SAT.
However, in this article, we'll tell you everything you need to know about the ACT and how to prep for it. The ACT contains 2015 questions, each question is divided into four sections, Science, Math, Reading, and English. There is also an optional writing section where you'll be given additional 40 minutes to write an essay on a given prompt.
How much time do you need to prep?
Preparing for the ACT can seem like something daunting, but if you plan and organize with enough time in advance, you will come out the other side successfully.
Many people will tell you that you should start studying a minimum of three months before the day of the test. Some recommend students start a year before. None of those options are wrong, and no one is right either.
You need to take as much time as you need to prep and study for the ACT. If standardized tests are something you're good at, then there's no need for you to start one year before the test. You can prepare and practice four or three months before and you'll be just fine.
On the other hand, if you feel intimidated by the test and probably you're not the best test taker, then you are going to need more time.
The more you practice and you prepare, the readier you'll be on the day of the test. Remember, practice makes perfect, so it's not like you aren't good at taking tests, it's just that you haven't practiced enough. You need to do whatever you feel will benefit you the most. There is no such thing as starting to study too early, it can only be too late.
Many students sometimes are overconfident and that can be an issue too. Keep in mind you haven't come across a test like this in high school so you are going to need guidance and time to prepare yourself and learn the nuances of the ACT Science Test.
If you want to continue learning about the ACT go check out our article Preparing for the ACT Science Test.
Study tips for the Science Test
You should first know which are your skills, strengths, and weaknesses when it comes to studying because no tip will help if it doesn't align with the study strategies that best suit you.
People might tell you that the best thing to help you study is flashcards. Others might say that there is nothing like writing down everything you read because it helps you retain information. Some might argue that hearing the information is best, and they would recommend you take ACT Science Test prep courses.
All these strategies can help you, but only if you know how you learn best. If throughout your years in high school, you haven't figured which studying technique is the best for you, you might want to consider finding someone to guide you and help you figure out what technique would work best.
Private tutoring can be a helpful resource because tutors can guide students through any challenge they're facing in school or answer any questions they might have. Tutors will work with students one on one, therefore they will understand the student's needs and provide tools and tips that will help them succeed during the exam.
If private tutoring is out of your budget, you can always try to talk with any of your teachers or a guidance counselor at school, they could provide some guidance too.
Here are some quick tips to keep in mind during the ACT Science Test:
- Before you begin answering a question, read the scientific material provided. It is important that you read the entire text and examine any tables, graphs, experiment data, or figures.
- The passages will ask you to distinguish among conflicting viewpoints. Take notes summarizing each viewpoint about specific portions of the section to help you answer the question with no confusion.
- If you have some minutes after finishing be quick and go back to check those questions you weren't sure about.
If you still have unanswered questions, continue reading about ACT Science Test Revision With a Private Tutor.
As we mentioned above, there are many resources you can find for free online, even on the ACT Science Test official website, there is a free practice test available for students.
Aside from that, you might want to consider setting aside a budget to purchase the ACT book. This book contains five practice tests that will allow you to understand which skills you need to work on and what topics you already dominate.
In the book, you'll also find answers to all of the questions, this will help you see every question you got wrong and then understand why you didn't get the correct answer the first time. Keep in mind that there can't be two correct answers for a question, there is only one correct answer per question.
In the book, you can also calculate your score for each section and at the end of each practice test, you can calculate your average score. With this data, you can visualize how well you're doing and which sections you need more work on.
You can also purchase an ACT Subject Prep Guide for each of the sections on the test. There are four different books, one for each subject, Math, Science, Reading, and English.
These books were created to guide students on each subject specifically. If throughout your studying you realize there is a specific subject you're feeling insecure about, then you can find its guide and study with it.
You might still have many questions about the ACT Science exam, but the best way to answer those questions is by starting to read about the exam and studying.
Remember there are many resources available to help you study and get the score you're aiming for. You just need to find the strategies that best suit you and work hard to get the score you need for college.
Remember that each section, Math, Science, Reading, and English, have different amounts of questions and the average scores of each section will add up to your final composite score.
Private tutoring can be a great resource, as well as private ACT Science courses outside of school. Tutoring is designed for someone that thrives with one on one attention and tutors have experience sensing what their students need.
Private ACT Science Test courses can help the student if they thrive in a classroom environment. Just know that there is no resource that can damage you, anything you seek to guide you will be an added asset and can help you get a higher score.