The ACT test offers students a chance to show off their skills and get into the school that best suits their academic career. This pivotal test can be stressful and many students don’t perform well because of ACT test anxiety. Being prepared will not only mean you are confident, it will also reduce your stress and help you to perform at your best on exam day. Here are some tips to help you to boost your ACT score:
- Get an in-home tutor. A one-to-one tutor can help to find the missing building blocks in your knowledge and fill those in. They can help you to organize your schedule so you have enough time to study and aren’t cramming the night before. They can take you through the practice tests so you can work on your pace and ACT test techniques.
- The best way to practice the ACT is to take the ACT. There are tons of practice tests available for free online. Practice tests are one of the best ways to ensure that you have the knowledge you need and to bolster your confidence.
- Answer everything! You won’t be penalized for incorrect answers, so guess—you may just get lucky.
- Memorize the directions from you practice tests. Knowing what to do will mean you gain five extra valuable minutes to score points.
- Bring a good eraser. The ACT is marked by a machine and if you don’t erase an incorrect answer completely, it may not recognize your correct answer.
- You have about 30 seconds to answer each question. Don’t waste time on questions you don’t know, leave them for the end. Keep an eye on the time, so you can go back and guess at any unanswered questions. This is also where practice tests come in handy as you are able to better pace yourself with practice.
- Check yourself. After every five questions, check that you are still on the right oval on the answer sheet. Accidentally skipping an oval can mean your whole answer sheet is messed up and you will only discover this at the end. Keep checking that you are filling in the right oval.
- Take care of yourself. If you have a big game, you eat well and get enough sleep the night before so you are in peak physical condition. Your brain works best when it is rested and has the energy it needs from a good breakfast. Don’t cram the night before, be organized, get some rest and eat a balanced breakfast.
- Anxiety and stress can negatively affect your performance, so pack your bag and lay out your clothes the night before to facilitate a smooth morning. If talking to friends before the test is making you feel stressed, take a walk and breathe deeply—exercise and oxygen will both help to relieve your stress.