How to study for the ACT test
Taking the ACT test or know someone who is? Before deciding that the exam is the right one to take, it would be best to know a little more about it first. The goal of the test is for colleges to determine how much an individual has mastered high school. It will measure the students’ academic knowledge and other skills that should have been learned in a standard high school curriculum.
The test is mostly multiple-choice and should be relatively easy enough. However, not all students can ace it or score high enough for good universities to consider their applications. Some test higher on their English test and lower on Mathematics, and others find the Reading part easy while Science is a bit harder. To know more about the ACT test, read on below.
American College Test (ACT)
The American College Test or the ACT is a standardized test taken by high schoolers typically in their Senior Year in the United States. The test usually consists of four parts: English, Reading, Math, and Science. Some college applications may require an optional 40-minute writing section. The results of the ACT exams will help with college admissions in colleges and universities.
Universities assess potential incoming first-year college students based on their ACT scores during the admission process. Test takers ought to know that the ACT lasts for more or less 2 hours and 55 minutes. There is also something called the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). High schoolers can take both tests, but neither is required.
ACT English Test
This test will mainly focus on the student’s standard English skills. From the elements of writing to sentence structures to punctuations to the usage of the language, you will be tested on how well you understand and know how to use the English language. There is also the production of writing (cohesion and organization) and the knowledge of the language (word choice, tone, and style). Many find this part of the ACT fairly easy if they have already mastered English.
ACT Mathematics Test
Mathematics is not most people’s strongest suit. In this part of the ACT test, the student will be asked to solve many mathematical problems. Ranging from geometry, functions, statistics, algebra, modeling to probability, you will be tasked to solve every problem in under an hour. All the mathematical questions are assumed to have been lessons acquired by a Grade 12 high school student.
ACT Science Test
The science part of the ACT test is of design to gauge a student’s analysis, interpretation, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. You will need to analyze and hypothesize a scientific result for several scientific information and experimental designs. You will also need to compare alternative scientific point-of-views and interpret the data given in the questions.
ACT Reading Test
This is the shortest part of the ACT test. The reading test will take around 35 minutes and is fairly straightforward. The student will be given several prose passages that are in the level required for freshmen college students. The following questions after the passages will gauge how well you understand the text, how well your reasoning skills are, and what the central themes and ideas of the passage are present, supported by textual evidence.
ACT Writing Test
The writing test is an optional test that is sometimes required by some college boards. Some ACT test centers offer writing courses and practice tests together with the main exams. In this part, the student’s writing skills will be measured.
Entry-level college writing skills will be required to pass the test. You will be tasked to present three points of view on one particular issue. You will be tasked to evaluate perspectives to evaluate each position presented.
How the ACT is scored
The score of an ACT test is off of the number of correct answers the examinee makes, and no points are of the deduction for wrong or unanswered questions. Your composite ACT score will be the average of the four tests: English, Reading, Math, and Science, and it will then be rounded off to the nearest whole number.
If you take the Writing test, your score will be in a separate English Language Arts score, and these will be with the average of your English and Reading tests. On a scale of 1 to 36, the perfect score for the ACT test is 36. The Writing test will also not have any impact on the composite score of your ACT.
How to study for the ACT
Studying for the ACT test is pretty much just like studying for your classes in high school. There are ACT review centers that offer special classes that can be online or after school hours. The ACT website also offers a comprehensive guide and online prep course, and the Princeton Review is one of the more popular options for ACT test review centers.
When to take the ACT
ACT testing dates are available seven times a year. You can take it as early as in the 6th Grade but is typically taken by high school students in the spring of their Junior Year. Scores are available for viewing two to eight weeks after the exam. Those dissatisfied with their ACT scores can retake the exam the following year during their Senior Year.
The ACT vs. the SAT
The main difference between the American College Test (ACT) and the Scholastic College Test (SAT) is the number of questions and the type of question present in the exams. Both the ACT and SAT take roughly three hours to complete, with the ACT’s optional Writing test adding another 40 minutes.
The ACT features 215 questions, while the SAT only has 154 questions. The ACT has four major components: Math, Science, English, and Reading, and the SAT has three: Reading, Writing, and Math. The science part of the SAT is throughout the test. The scoring is also different, with the ACT’s composite score of 1 to 36 and the SAT having a 400 to 1600.
The Final Score
The ACT is a standardized test in the United States taken by high school students, usually in their Junior Year. The test lasts for more or less three to four hours, with breaks in between. The average score a student will get from the test will determine their final composite score. This will range from 1 to 36 and will help with college admissions.
Some colleges don’t require ACT scores but require that the student will just take the exam. Other universities require a certain score to admit the student in their preferred major. Some high school students opt not to take the ACT and focus on the SAT, but others also take both. Either way, both tests are of standardization and can only help a student’s chance to be to their chosen university.