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. Kaplan University

    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
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master : Business Admin
      • Master of Public Health
      • MBA: Human Resources
      • MBA: Health Care Management
    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
      • AASBA in Business
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • Associate: Business Admin.
      • Associate: Business Admin. - Office Mgmt
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • Associate: Accounting
    Certificate
      • Medical Office Administration Certificate
      • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
      • Postbaccalaureate Certificate - Pathway to Paralegal
      • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
      • Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate
      • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
      • Master of Liberal Arts
      • Master of Arts in Science Writing
      • Master of Science in Applied Economics
      • Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems
      • Master of Science in Bioinformatics
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Georgetown University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Finance
      • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
      • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
  • Campus Locations:
    4. Lincoln Tech

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Automotive Technology
      • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
      • Electrical/Electronics
  • Campus Locations:
    5. American National University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration
    Associate's
      • Business Administration Management - Associate
      • Medical Assisting - Associate
      • Network Administration - Associate
      • Paralegal
    Certificate
      • Accounting - Diploma
      • Business Administration - Diploma
      • Medical Office Professional - Diploma
      • Pharmacy Technician - Diploma
      • Phlebotomy - Diploma
      • Medical Billing and Coding - Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Regent University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Ecclesial Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Entrepreneurial Leadership
      • Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Individualized
      • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Global Consulting
    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
      • Master of Arts in Journalism
      • Master of Arts in Law - Business
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
      • Bachelor of Arts in English - Communication
      • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
      • Bachelor of Science in Business
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Tulane University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Online Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Management
      • Online Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Notre Dame de Namur University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Masters in Business Administration
      • Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • Campus and Online Programs
    9. Louisiana State University Shreveport

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Business Administration with a General Business Specialization
      • Master of Business Administration - Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration - Finance Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration - Human Resource Management Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration - Hospitality and Casino Management Concentration
      • Master of Business Administration - International Business Concentration
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • HS Diploma

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • Master: Legal Studies
  • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
  • AASBA in Business
  • Medical Office Administration Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Master of Liberal Arts
  • Master of Arts in Science Writing

What is your highest level of education?

Georgetown University

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

What is your highest level of education completed?

Lincoln Tech

  • Automotive Technology
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
  • Electrical/Electronics

What year did you graduate High School / Receive GED?

American National University

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Business Administration Management - Associate
  • Accounting - Diploma

What is your education level?

Regent University

  • Doctor of Strategic Leadership - Healthcare Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

What is your highest level of education completed?

Tulane University

  • Online Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Management
  • Online Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Notre Dame de Namur University

  • Masters in Business Administration
  • Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

What is your highest level of education completed?