Are you prepared for the upcoming ACT Test? Here’s a few quick tips to help make sure you’re ready and calm on test day.

1. Take Care Of Yourself
No last-minute cram sessions! If you’re waiting until the night before to study, it’s TOO LATE. And, if you pull an all-nighter you’ll likely be too exhausted to think clearly for the test. 

Instead, plan on getting to bed early so you will be well rested. And, make sure you’re up early enough to eat a healthy and filling breakfast – no Pop Tarts! 

2. Plan Ahead
Don’t wait until the morning of the test to gather everything you need. You’ll want to arrive early for the test so find everything you need the night before. You don’t want to be late and miss the test because you couldn’t find a #2 pencil.

Here’s a quick list of the basic things you’ll want to bring: 

  • Photo I.D.
  • Several #2 pencils
  • Eraser 
  • Calculator (for the math portion)
  • Snack – Pack a snack! You’ll get a break during the test so pack something filling to eat and bring a bottle of water for the breaks.

While you’re at it, pick out your outfit the night before so you have one less thing to stress about. And, wear something comfortable; you’re going to be sitting for a looooong time.

3. Refresh Your Memory
Recalling everything you’ve learned over the years can take some serious brain power. Take a refresher course to help jog your memory. Why would you want to spend your nights and/or weekends studying? Well, for starters those that do often see their test scores bump up a point or two. That can be the difference in getting accepted… or getting a scholarship!

Looking for a good one? Southeast’s Office of Continuing Education offers ACT Test Prep courses before the spring and fall ACT Tests. Each 3-hour class is taught by a professional in the subject field and they send you home with test booklets from previous ACT tests so you can practice and time yourself at home.  Worth it? Continuing Education consistently hears feedback about students raising their score by one or two points. 

Recently they even had a student bump up nine points! (*Results not typical!)

If you’re interested, sign up early – the ACT Prep courses have a reputation to fill up fast!

4. Alleviate Stress & Pace Yourself
Test anxiety is real. I don’t know about you, but when I’m rushed and anxious, that’s when I tend to overlook things and make errors. On the ACT test, not being able to overcome the stress of a ticking clock can make a huge difference. 

Find a quiet space with no distractions and time yourself taking a practice test. It will help you get a better feel for the pace you can take on the actual test so you won’t feel so frazzled and rushed.

5. Test Time Tips
Don’t spend too long on one question. If you can’t figure out the answer, leave a checkmark by it and MOVE ON. You can always come back to it if time permits. (*If you follow this tip and leave a question unanswered, be sure to skip it on your answer sheet, too!)

Knowing how much time you can safely spend on a question can be super helpful but varies per section. Here is a quick guideline:

  •     English – 36 seconds per question
  •     Math – 60 seconds per question
  •     Reading – 52 seconds per question
  •     Science – 52 seconds per question

Finally, there is no penalty for guessing. If you don’t know the answer, take your best educated guess. Maybe you’ll get it right!

6. After The Test
Done?! NOT. SO. FAST. 

While I’m sure you’ll be beyond done after test, take a few moments to write down the topics where you struggled while it’s still fresh in your mind. If you get your test results back and the scores are lower than you hoped for, you’ll have a list of areas to study so you can improve your score the next time!

While you wait for your scores, take this time to visit your university options. Schedule a visit to Southeast today!