How to take the Act

The ACT test is one of the most important steps before going to college.  The test can determine what scholarships you receive, what classes you take, even whether or not you get in.  So before you take the test, remember these simple steps:

1: Make sure you have your school preference set so that they do not deliver the test score.  If you do poorly on the test you will not want any schools to see your score.  When you get the papers asking which schools you want the test score sent to simply do not select any or the ‘none’ option.  If you have already designated schools to have the score sent to, call the ACT helpline to have them removed from the list.  Once you take the ACT (you can take it as many times as you want) and get an acceptable score, you an send the final score to any school yourself.

2: Take all the classes you will need to.  The ACT is divided into five parts, English, Math, Reading, Science, and Writing.  For English you should have taken at least three years of high school level English.  The Math portion requires you to take at least up to pre-calculus if you hope to do well.  The Reading and Writing portions will be covered in your English classes.  The Science section requires you only to read and interpret graphs, charts, and statistics, things that are found at all levels of science classes.

3: Get a practice test.  Most high schools have these for free, and they are easy to find online.  Get the test and take it once or twice to see how you do, but do not take it too many times as each test is different.  You do not want to fry your brain with practice tests or get used to an easy test if your copy is easy.

4: Address your weaknesses on the practice test.  Did you fail the math portion?  Did you do poorly on the English part?  Then find out what you did wrong and study more.  Pretty simple step but necessary nonetheless.

5: Take the test.  The most important step.  Don’t be nervous, remember step 1?  No school will see your results if you don’t want them to.  If you do well, send out the score.  If not, take it again.

Well there you have it.  The 5 simple steps to taking the ACT.  While you may want to repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 if needed, it is a very simply process, not scary at all.