Prepping for the ACT exam doesn't have to be difficult especially if you start early. But all "prep" is not created equal. There are many test prep books available on Amazon and in bookstores. You may even find some at used book sales. But use caution. Both the ACT and SAT (College Board) spent a ton of money getting those test questions just right. There are a lot of copycat test prep books that may not be substantial enough to be used for your prep work.
Official practice tests are the best way to go. ACT and SAT both retire several exams each year. Those exams are usually placed in their official test prep books and are available for purchase each year.
ACT offers an official practice test that you can print out and take with a pencil and paper. I highly recommend doing this since your real exam will also be using pencil and paper. Fo any practice test you'll want to mimic an actual testing situation as closely as possible. with timing, and no distractions,...
Don't buy into the "schools are test-optional" mantra and end up missing out on tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships.
#1 Less than 50% of colleges were test-optional for admissions. (Most still want them for scholarships. or for special groups.)
#2 Within 3 years 90% will return to test-required.
Will your teen be late to the party?
These exams are tied to BIG scholarships. My 2 kids won more than $50,000 in college and state scholarships where the ACT scores were a deciding factor. That's REAL money.
Taking the exams can also help your teen place out of introductory college classes in English and Math. That also saves money and time.
If you want comprehensive details on preparing for the ACT exam. Click here!
To Your Success,
P.S. Waiting until the middle of junior year to take these exams is one of the most ridiculous, self-serving pieces of advice that high school counselors give. If you want to why it’s a bad idea to wait, email me!...
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I recently answered this question for a popular news outlet, 'What’s different in college admissions now, then just last year or many years ago?' On the same day, a client asked, "With all of the colleges going 'test-optional' should my teen bother taking the ACT or SAT?"
There are a lot of weird things going on in the age of COVID and those weird things do have an impact on college admissions.
I want to talk specifically about taking the ACT and SAT exams. These are the high stakes exams that have been in place for decades!
Parents are under the mistaken impression that all colleges and universities have gone ‘test-optional’.
But what IS test-optional and why should you care?
Test optional in college admissions is an option the student has to submit or not submit their ACT and SAT scores for college admissions decisions. What they are saying is that if the student chooses to not submit their test scores, the college will use the rest...
Most often the idea of taking college entrance exams such as the ACT or SAT is not introduced until the spring of high school junior year. The theory behind waiting until that time says that (1) the student is unprepared for the content and (2) taking the exams at an earlier age causes undue stress and anxiety for the student. However, my experience is very different.
Clearly students are not expected to perform well when taking these exams prior to Junior year. But that's the point. Tell your teen, 'Don't stress. It doesn't count'. Taking it multiple times, 'cold' (with no preparation), allows the student to get used to the format of the exam as well as the learning to ignore typical test taking distractions. For example: pencil or foot tapping noises, sneezing or coughing, rain on a tin roof. They also learn what items to bring and how to handle the broken pencil point, or calculator battery dying, in a low stress environment.
I recommend taking the ACT (or...