Preparing for the ACT

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One can reduce some of the anxiety associated with taking the ACT by preparing for it. Here are some tips for doing just that.
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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.

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