How to Study for the ACT?
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Every student is required to take the ACT at least once, which necessitates adequate preparation. The ACT is a test that indicates a student's future professional route. So, if you want to attend your dream college, you must take up this challenge and study hard. This article provides a comprehensive approach to how to study for the ACT.
A student must pass numerous entrance exams in order to gain admission to a prestigious university. Because the tests have varied qualifying criteria and syllabuses, students frequently enroll in classes and pay tuition to pass them.
The ACT is an American College Testing exam that must be passed in order to be admitted to an American college. In this part, we'll walk you through several key ACT Study ideas to help you prepare for and pass the exam.
1 Make an Individual Study Plan
When you sit for preparation, you will know how much time you will need to prepare a topic or the entire syllabus; therefore, don't make plans with others. You'll wind up sabotaging your exam preparation this way. Make your own timetable and prepare according to your needs because every student knows himself extremely well in terms of studying.
A youngster usually spends an entire day preparing for an exam, but they can also prepare in as little as 2-4 hours. This shows that a student should study wisely, not hard, because studying hard can be difficult. Hard studying depletes your energy, mental, and physical health and requires a full day of preparation.
2 When Should You Start Studying?
Everyone is concerned about how to study for the ACT, but who is concerned about when to begin studying? If you're studying for an exam like the ACT, you should start studying early because covering the entire syllabus takes time.
Furthermore, studying early, such as ahead of time, can help you achieve good results because you will devote adequate time to each subject. For example, if your exam is in June, you should begin studying for it in January. For exceptional grades, a 4- to 6-month preparation period is recommended.
3 A Little Preparation Goes a Long Way
What are your options when you only have a month to prepare? Nothing; simply begin studying for the exam. What if this one month is superior to six months? So, without wasting time, create a schedule in which you may dedicate equal time to each subject without becoming exhausted.
Because you have limited time and cannot afford to waste it, study without becoming exhausted. Take pauses from studying and do something that makes you happy, such as listening to music or cooking your favorite dish. This will increase your personal potential and efficiency.
In the above section, we have listed some of the best ways to study for the ACT, but the portion on how to prepare for the ACT still needs to be discussed. This section will tell you how to do ACT prep and give you some study tips for the exam to score good grades.
1 Preparation for ACT
- Download Prep Guide from Official Website
Every testing service has an official website so does ACT too. To prepare for the exam, you need an authentic and genuine prep guide so that you don't miss out on the important details about the test. So, to start ACT prep, you should definitely visit their official website and download the prep guide. Prep guides usually contain all the possible information and test details also the fee details too.
It requires your name, address, educational information, email, country, and parent's name or professional background. As soon as you fulfill the formalities, you can get yourself registered and generate the prep guide. This would be your first step toward the preparation.
- Sign Up for a Free Test Prep Class
As you sign up with the official website of ACT, you can appear in a free test for your ACT prep. It is really beneficial for the preparation, and you'll be able to learn the most accurate topics in the free test session. This will help you make a better test preparation schedule, and you will be able to learn more through this than you were learning on your own.
You will also be given daily preparation home tasks, quizzes, and different activities to perform. This test session will work better for you because you don't have to pay for it. Secondly, it will be conducted by the officials of ACT, so you'd be able to learn the closest things that would be coming in your test.
- Use Library Resources
Even though if you have downloaded the guide prep from the official website and also the syllabus, you can still take help from different resources. The ACT prep doesn't restrict it to being prepared from the official website or test sessions, so that you can prepare it out of the box as well. You can use the internet, books or even go to libraries.
Libraries are the best way to study for the ACT because they contain all the possible books and syllabus that are required for preparation. ACT comprises 4 main sections; English, Mathematics, Reading, and Scientific Reasoning. So, go to the library and find the most amazing books for your preparation.
- Ask Others for Help
If you are really willing to pass this exam and want to be well prepared, then you have to step out of your comfort zone and ask others for help. There are many people who once in their life appear in the ACT so that you can go to them for a better understanding.
Your friends can be the best guide for you, you can ask them easily about how to study for the ACT, and they will guide you. If not friends, then you can go to your seniors who have passed the exams and now, they are in their dream college.
2 Study Tips for ACT
- Set Up a Reasonable Goal
Every college has entrance criteria, so to meet those criteria, you should set some realistic goals to achieve them easily. You should note down the eligibility criteria for your dream college and set your timetable, goals, activities, and lifestyle according to that. This will help you build a positive environment for yourself, and you'll be able to work hard as much as the requirement.
If your college requires a minimum of 50% passing marks and a maximum as much as you can score, then set a target for that. Challenge yourself that you'll score a minimum of 70 and a maximum of 85 to get good merit.
- Make a Study Plan
Making a studying time will help you become more efficient and active because you would know what time is and what you have to do in this time. You can dedicate your time to the subjects which you think are not easy for you. For example, many students are not good at mathematics, so if you are one of those, then you should give more of your time to it.
You should practice questions more often because practice makes a man perfect. Other than that, you can attempt a few practice quizzes so that your preparation goes well. Divide your time and act smartly while planning ACT prep.
- Take Practice Tests
As the proverb says, "Practice makes a man perfect" you must include this in your daily study life because it will keep you motivated. You'll be practicing more than ever, so make it your habit. What you can do is prepare for a practice test and, after some time, solve that test. As you solve it, you can check the answers from the key and mark yourself.
Also, there are many online tests that you can find and attempt, and your result will be generated on the spot. These tests will help you mark where do you stand in terms of practice. The best way to study for ACT is to go to Google and search for ACT practice tests. A number of different tests will appear; choose the one you think is easier than the rest and slowly move toward the harder ones.
- Mind Mapping
Thousands of ideas come to a person's mind in a day, but all of them cannot be executed all at once. So, whenever you are planning to study and need to design a study plan for yourself, just take a blank piece of paper and start working. Draw whatever is coming to your mind regarding the schedule, study time, syllabus, timetable, or anything. As you write down what was in your head, you'll feel light, and it will help you organize your thoughts.
It can be different methods through which you can solve an analytical question, so just jot it down on that paper. The trick to memorizing things smartly is to start drawing from the center of the page and blend it outwards. This diagram, or whatever you want to call it, will stay in your mind, and you'll be able to memorize it easily. Through this technique, you can actually save time.
- Review Regularly
What works best for the children who are doing ACT prep is the revision. The revision will help you memorize things fast, and you'll be able to kind of lock it in your head. But the reviewing or revision sessions should be done beforehand, and you should learn the bulk of the syllabus prior to the exam so that you don't stress out.
Cramming is not a good choice when you are preparing for the ACT, so learn the concepts and keep revising the important points. This technique will make it easy for you to do ACT prep. What you can do is revise the part of the syllabus you prepared the next morning before starting the next topic. This way, you can check if you remember the essential points or not.
There are 4 parts to the ACT exam, and each carries a different score and number of MCQs. In the section below, we will discuss all the scoring and formatting of the ACT exam:
- ACT Format
Every test has a format that explains how the subjects are divided and how many marks they carry. Like every test, ACT has 4 sections and one writing section that is optional. The whole test consists of all multiple-choice questions, and there are around 215 total questions. The 4 main subjects include English, then comes mathematics, it is followed by a reading test and ends on a science test. For the optional writing test, you have to get registered, and as you get registered, it will come after all the 4 subjects.
This is how the test session is divided: English includes 75 MCQs that have to be done in 45 minutes, and you must prepare grammar for it. Then follows Mathematics; for that, you need to attempt 60 MCQs in 1 hour. Then comes reading and science; both contain 35 and 40 MCQs that have to be done in 40 and 35 minutes, respectively. For the writing test, a topic will be given, and you have to attempt it in 40 minutes.
English is a significant part of any test because it is an international language, and you need to be fluent in it if you are hoping to get into a dream college. While doing ACT prep, you must prepare well for the grammar because the English test section is mostly about grammar. The English test has 3 main categories; production of writing comes first, and it covers the written part of the English test. It has questions related to the purpose, flow, and focus of the written passage.
Next comes the Knowledge of Language, which really tests how much you know about the language. The questions are related to the choice of words, writing style, tone of any passage, etc. Lastly, it consists of Conversations of Standard English which covers the area of grammar, punctuations, structure, and mechanics. Also, all these parts have different scores, such as the first portion varies from around 29 to 30%, and the second one contains 13-19% of your English test. Conversation of standard English scores 51-56%.
Mathematics is as necessary as English because it tests your quantitative knowledge and gives the scorer a perspective of how much you know Math. It is included in the test just to test your basic knowledge about the subject. Mathematics has 3 major categories as well; the first one starts with Preparing for Higher Mathematics. It covers a significant variety of topics that are the primary part of your test: Algebra, Functions, Geometry, Numbers, Quantity, Stats, and Probability.
The second category is the Integrating Essential Skills which is more like a mental math portion. It requires you to put your math skills in different situations. The third and last category is Modeling which is mainly about different models. Just like English scores, it also has different scores as the first part consists of 57 to 60% marks, and the second one consists of 40-43% of your math score. Lastly, the modeling score is generated through the above 2 categories.
If you want to pass the ACT exam, then you must be really good at Reading because this section of the paper will ask you to focus on reading skills in different situations. This section is also divided into 3 main sections: Key Ideas and Details, Craft and Structure, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas. The first category, which is Key Ideas and Details, mainly focuses on your understanding of different passages.
The second category mentioned is Craft and Structure, so it is basically about the choice of words in the passage. The meaning of those words and what is the primary purpose of the passage as in the central idea of the passage. Lastly, the integration of Knowledge and Ideas requires a reader to relate to different passages and make arguments on the topic.
Also, highlight the facts that are in the passage and not the opinion in the text. It also carries different scoring of your reading score, so the first one is 52-60% of your reading, 2nd one is 25-30%, and the last one is 13-23%.
Science is as important as any other subject because it is more of general science questions related to natural sciences. Like other subjects, it also has 3 major sections that you need to cover while doing your exam. The first one is Interpretation of Data which requires you to analyze the data that is given in different problems. The second category is the Scientific Investigation which requires you to focus on questions that are related to the experiment.
The last one is the Evaluation of Models, Interference, and Experimental Results. It is a vast topic because it nearly covers every possible aspect of science, and for that, you have to be very attentive while doing the ACT prep. This topic is mainly related to analyzing and evaluating the provided scientific data. It consists of 25-35% of your science score.
This part is mainly optional, so it varies from student to student if they really want to attempt this portion. If you want to attempt the writing section, you'll have to get yourself registered for it first. You get 40 minutes to write an essay in which you have to cover all the main aspects of the topic that is given to you on the prompt.
You have to compare your ideas and thoughts about the topic and write it in a debate-like shape to portray your idea more than what was provided in the outline.
Like every test, ACT also has a composite score which is the crux of all 4 subjects and also the writing score. The officials of ACT officially generate the score, and it is based on the answers that were right out of all the questions that you attempted.
Every subject has a scale score, and the total marks are converted to it, and then an average score is generated, which is actually the composite score. But if we talk about the writing score, it is not included in the composite score because this portion of the test is optional.
Everything requires planning, and if the planning is not accurate, there are many chances that the thing you are planning to do goes to waste. There are many planning techniques, and the best of all is mind mapping. Mind mapping helps a planner plan everything accordingly, and this technique is very beneficial in test planning. When you are mind mapping for a test, it is good to use colors, symbols, lines, shapes, and images so that what you are planning stays in your mind.
When you sit down for mind mapping, ask your team to participate because this way, you will not miss out on a single point. This way, your mind mapping will be effective and will work exceptionally in the exam. A mind mapping technique for a test should be very detailed and categorized accordingly.
As we've covered all of the potential ideas and instructions for you, this article is the finest guide on how to study for the ACT. We've talked about the ACT exam's style and score so students can plan their time correctly. We've also spoken about how mind mapping can help you in this situation and the benefits you can get from it.
EdrawMind is a popular mind mapping tool, and we recommend it to you as well. It includes several useful features, such as assisting a planner in determining the source of an issue. You can also edit the map's themes and layout to make it more presentable if you're designing one. You can customize the map with pictures and clip art as well.