Taking the ACT? Here’s how you can prepare for the ACT
KNOW THE ACT
Take a diagnostic test: An easy and reliable way to get acquainted with the ACT is to take the free diagnostic test available at a Manya–The Princeton Review Center. Walk-in to a center and our counselors will be glad to provide you a free diagnostic test, an OMR answer sheet, and a time sheet to go by.
You will get a first hand impression of the different tests – English, Math, Reading, Science, and Essay -- that comprise the ACT, the time available for each test, and the types of questions in each test. You may be surprised to find that the Science test is not really a test of science, but almost a Reading test based on science passages, many of which have charts and graphs.
Also, you will get an idea about the four different genres which the four passages in the Reading test belong to – prose fiction, social science, humanities, and natural science. Thus, a diagnostic test will help you understand the ACT better.
Get the test reviewed by an expert: ACT experts at Manya-The Princeton Review Center will be glad to provide you further insight into the test and your performance for e.g. which question types need more attention, how many hours of test prep you may need, the kind of practice you need etc.
Understand the nuances of ACT: On the ACT, there’s no penalty for wrong answers. On the other hand, it is a long test – almost four hour long if you are taking the Essay. Yes, the Essay is optional!
However, the university you are seeking admission to may want you take the essay section. In the English test the average time you get to answer a question is less than a minute -- just 36 seconds! The ACT does have ‘higher math’, but you must know what comprises this ‘higher math’. There are several other nuances that you must know about so that you will be in a better position to ace the ACT. Knowing the rules of the game helps you play it better.
WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER
Hard work vs. smart work: Working hard is good, but working smart is better – that’s the philosophy we at Manya–The Princeton Review believe in. We know from our vast experience that the ACT is just like other standardized tests, is beatable. There are ways to master the ACT - TPR’s research tells us what to expect on the test and what not. At Manya–The Princeton Review, we know how to best approach each of the different types of questions on the ACT. Hard work in the right direction is smart, just hard work is not.
Figure out where you stand: Taking the ACT can’t be an end in itself. itself. As you are certainly looking for an admission to a university and course of your choice, you should, therefore, have a target score in mind. The difference between your target score and your score in the diagnostic test will give an idea about the smart work that you will need to put in before you take the ACT.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Practice regularly: Improvement comes gradually. Therefore, it is imperative that you practice regularly. Practice enables you to apply your knowledge. In addition you need to learn from each mistake that you may make during practice.
Practice to master techniques not for the ‘right answers’: If you take an ACT Manya–The Princeton Review course, you will learn several techniques to answer questions as well as several test taking strategies. You must apply those techniques and strategies while practicing so that those techniques and strategies become habits and result in score improvement.
Practice for accuracy not just for speed: On the ACT, accuracy is more important than speed. While using techniques will often render several hard questions easy, you cannot afford to make careless mistakes by hurrying through the easy and medium questions. Proper pacing plays a very important role in achieving a high score. You must take also take full-length practice tests at regular intervals. This will enable you to track your progress.
THAT’S NOT ALL …
Put the ACT in perspective, have your ultimate goal in view: ACT is only a means to the end – admission into the university and course of your choice. Do not lose sight of that. Your GPA and your profile are other factors that affect chances of admission. It’s important to create a strong application and present a great profile. Experts at Manya-The Princeton Review can help you in this regard as well with our Admission Counseling Services (ACS). Click here ( add link here) to know more about our ACS.
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