Why Should I Take The ACT: Guide And Resources
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The first step to your ACT preparation should be to take an official practice test as a diagnostic, in order to evaluate your position in understanding the material, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Below are some resources that will help you get started:
- The Official ACT Prep Guide by ACT, Inc.
- This book is a must-have as it features practice tests and online content from the official test makers themselves. It’s crucial for understanding the way the test is set up
- ACT Prep Black Book, 2nd Edition by Mike Barrett
- The ACT Prep Black Book goes hand-in-hand with the official practice tests from the ACT, explains the way the questions are written, and further explains all official test question solutions in detail
- Ultimate Guide to the Math ACT, 2nd Edition by Richard F. Corn
- A great book for practicing math concepts, vastly improving your math subject score, and understanding how to solve problems faster
- For the Love of ACT Science by Michael Cerro
- This book is dedicated specifically to mastering the Science ACT, and also includes many practice questions
- The Complete Guide to ACT English, 3rd Edition by Erica L. Meltzer
- A top-rated book for understanding the English/Reading section of the ACT, highly recommended for subject specific improvement and strategies
- Khan Academy
- Khan Academy’s test prep is technically for the SAT, but the strategies and content review can be applied to the ACT as well
- PrepScholar is one of the best resources for ACT Prep and has various articles on different sections of the test, as well as strategies to help improve your score
- Albert features practice questions for the ACT, and you can get access to even more material with a paid subscription
There is a plethora of other tutoring companies to help with ACT Prep – some are local companies that can be found in your community, while others include Magoosh Test Prep, Varsity Tutors, and more. CollegeConfidential is also a great general high school and college forum that has threads on ACT discussions.
The ACT Essay is optional, but it’s recommended to take it along with the test, especially if you’re applying for any business/liberal arts programs. The essay score will most certainly help the general outlook of your ACT score and shows colleges you have the necessary analysis and writing skills that are crucial in university. Most colleges do not require the essay, but many top private and large public schools recommend it. If you’re not sure where you’re going to be applying or how the rest of your application looks, it’s best to go ahead and take the essay section. Below are a couple articles that are particularly helpful for learning more about the SAT essay and improving your score:
- PrepScholar: https://blog.prepscholar.com/how-to-write-an-act-essay-step-by-step-example
- Princeton Review: https://www.princetonreview.com/college-advice/act-writing-prompt
- SuperTutorTV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y70D3s705Kw
- Magoosh: https://magoosh.com/hs/act/2017/scoring-perfect-12-act-essay/
Registering for the Test
To register to take an ACT test, follow these steps:
2. Click Register Now for the ACT test
3. This will take you to a login page for the ACT website, where you should register or log in to your ACT account
4. Once you log in, in the left column, you’ll see another “Register” link, click that
5. Go through the list of questions to register for the exam
- You will have to enter many questions on extracurriculars and background information – this is all required
6. Continue the form, and select your test date
7. Enter your payment information and submit
8. Keep a printout of the ticket and receipt to take to the testing center
Sending Scores to Colleges and Superscoring
- All your ACT scores can be accessed through your ACT account. You must click on the “Test Scores and Dates” tab in the left column, and you will be able to select past tests, view score reports, and send those scores to colleges. Use the following link: https://www.act.org/content/act/en/products-and-services/the-act/registration.html
- Superscoring is the concept of taking your highest subsection scores into account, across all your attempts. Many universities superscore, and it can help the student because it allows their most optimal score to be taken into account. Here is a link to a PrepScholar article that provides a list of which schools superscore: https://blog.prepscholar.com/colleges-that-superscore-act-complete-list
Senior at Dulaney High school. Editor-in-Chief of Sequel literary arts magazine and Baltimore County student council president.
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