Preparing for the ACT

About this article
One can reduce some of the anxiety associated with taking the ACT by preparing for it. Here are some tips for doing just that.
View available schools

Preparing for the ACT

The ACT (American College Test) is a standardized test students take when applying to colleges or universities. The ACT covers five subjects--English, math, reading, science and an optional writing test. Although the format of the test is somewhat different than the SATs, it requires just as much preparation. Here are ways to develop a strategy for success.

Taking Classes

Taking classes is one option for students to prepare as it gibes them the opportunity to work with a tutor or a teacher who has been trained to help students feel more comfortable with taking the test and understanding the material it covers. Many tutors and teachers also teach students particular test taking strategies, such as underlining key words, solving the problems that they understand first and learning how to make intelligent guesses. Several companies, like Kaplan, and learning centers offer ACT prep classes. These classes can be weekend courses or daily tutoring sessions. If you have trouble making time or focusing on studying for the test, enrolling in a class can help you make time for it. If you enjoy working with other students, taking classes can provide you the opportunity to do so. For many, however, cost is a major drawback of these classes.

Doing It Yourself

If you don't want to take classes, you could prepare for the ACT on your own. Begin by talking to your counselor and ask what books would work best. You could also speak to teachers who are familiar with the test to see if he or she has any recommendations. Then, go to your local bookstore and browse the shelves. You should pick books that cover all the subjects on the test and have complete explanations and answers.

If you prefer to use your computer, you could purchase software or use online resources. Many software companies have developed study aides that simulate a test taking situation by timing. One online resource is the ACT student website at www.actstudent.com. This website has a free PDF booklet on the ACT, sample tests and test tips.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Georgetown University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
      • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Post University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. in Business Administration
      • B.A. in Psychology
      • B.S. in Legal Studies
      • B.S. in Business Administration / Accounting
      • B.S. in Finance
      • B.S. in Management / Entrepreneurship
    Associate's
      • A.S. in Criminal Justice
      • A.S. in Legal Studies
      • A.S. in Management
      • A.S. in Accounting
      • A.S. in Marketing
  • Online Programs Available
    3. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
      • Master of Arts in Economics
      • Master of Public Administration and Policy
      • Master of Science in Agile Project Management
      • Master of Science in Healthcare Management
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Criminal Justice, M.S.
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Advanced Accounting
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Health Care Administration
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Leadership
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Project Management
      • Curriculum and Instruction, M.A. - Emphasis in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
    Bachelor's
      • Communication Studies, B.A.
      • Criminal Justice, B.S.
      • Psychology, B.S.
      • Psychology, B.S. - Emphasis in Biblical Studies
    Associate's
      • Criminal Justice, A.S.
      • Psychology, A.S.
      • Communication Studies, A.A.
      • General Studies, A.A.
      • Business Administration, A.S.
      • Health Care Administration, A.S.
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • HS Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
    Master's
      • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master of Public Health
      • Master - Accounting
      • Master of Health Informatics
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
      • Bachelor: Nutrition Science
      • Accelerated MS in Finance Option
    Associate's
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • AAS in Information Technology - Multiplatform Software Development
      • Associate of Science in Fire Science
      • AAS in Criminal Justice and Criminology
      • AASIT: Network Admin
    Certificate
      • Medical Assisting Certificate
      • Medical Office Administration Certificate
      • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
      • Graduate Certificate in Addictions
      • Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
      • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
      • PhD in Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
      • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
      • PhD-TIM - Computer Science
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Management
      • Ed.D. - Sports Management
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Liberty University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA: Healthcare Management
      • DBA: Marketing
      • DBA: Project Management
      • DBA: Human Resources
      • PHD: Higher Education Administration: Education Leadership
      • EDD: Educational Leadership
    Master's
      • MA: Communication
      • MS: Criminal Justice
      • MBA: International Business
      • MS: Accounting
      • Master of Arts in Public Policy - Public Administration
      • MA: Applied Psychology: Developmental Psychology
    Bachelor's
      • BS: Psychology
      • BS: Psychology - Christian Counseling
      • BS: Business Administration
      • BS: Business Administration: Communications
      • BS: Early Childhood Education in Interdisciplinary Studies
      • BS: Elementary Education in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Tulane University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Management
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA
      • MBA Dual Concentration: HR & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: BS Mgmt. & HR
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Business Mgmt & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA: Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting and Project Management
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
      • B.S. - Business Management: Entrepreneurial Studies Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
      • Bachelor: Health Care Management
      • Bachelor: Accounting
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Business Management
      • Associate of Science - Business Studies
      • Associate: Health Information Management
      • Associate: Healthcare Management
      • Associate of Science - Information Technology Admin and Management
      • Associate of Science - Accounting
    Certificate
      • Diploma: Medical Office Admin
      • Diploma: Medical Assisting
      • Diploma: Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting
      • Networking Systems Certificate

Featured Schools

Georgetown University

  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
  • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

What is your highest level of education completed?

Post University

  • B.S. in Business Administration
  • B.A. in Psychology
  • A.S. in Criminal Justice
  • A.S. in Legal Studies

Education Level:

American University

  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
  • Master of Arts in Economics

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Christian University

  • Criminal Justice, M.S.
  • Communication Studies, B.A.
  • Criminal Justice, A.S.

What is your highest level of education completed?

Penn Foster High School

  • HS Diploma

What is your age?

Purdue University Global

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
  • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
  • AAS in Legal Support and Services
  • Medical Assisting Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • PhD in Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business

What is your highest level of education?

Liberty University

  • DBA: Healthcare Management
  • MA: Communication
  • BS: Psychology

What is your highest level of education?