Students must prepare early for ACT

Maxwell W. '20, Writer

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The Across the United States, high school students prepare for a test called the ACT. Originally known as the American College Test, the ACT is a standardized test used for college admissions across the United States. Students can take it at any time, but it is usually taken during  junior year. This happens because students want exposure in school to all of the topics covered. These topics range from Algebra and Geometry to higher- level writing prompts.

The ACT was created in 1959 at the University of California, and over time it grew in popularity across the United States. Between 1967 and 1968, there were 950 thousand more students taking this test than the first in 1959-60, according to Princeton Review said.

“Students should take the ACT before the fall of their senior year. This can help with college admission process and getting scholarships,” gudiance counslor Micheal Naveau said.

Since the first ACT in 1959, high school students have been practicing for this test in various ways. Whether it is doing practice tests or joining an ACT club at their high school, students must find what works best for them.

According to Prep Scholar, one of the most important reasons to prepare for this test  is to become familiar with it’s structure. It takes a total of three hours to complete.  The sections consist of English at 45 minutes, math at 60, reading at 35, and science at 35, in that order. Students are allowed a 10 minute break between the math and reading sections. There is also an optional writing section available which takes 35 minutes. In the writing section, there is only one prompt to respond to. Some colleges require it, but others do not.

“The ACT is just like any other test. There’s no need to stress about it. If students do not like their score, they can always take it again until they succeed,” William R.’19 said.

Another tool which helps students prepare for this test  is taking practice tests. These are located at or on other websites. However, when taking these practice tests, students should make a study schedule for themselves. According to Prep Scholar, to find out how many hours to study for the ACT, divide the total number of prep hours students need by the time until the test. For example, if a student needs to study for 80 hours, seven days a week, they would need to study for six hours and 40 minutes every week.

The last tip to prepare for the ACT is trying different test- taking strategies. When taking a standardized test, or any test, students use skills of different styles. One of the most common test strategies is to examine what each question is asking, and if a student comes across a question they do not know the answer to, they skip it and come back to it later. This can help with time management, and allows the student to answer other questions throughout the test.

“The ACT is an important standarized test for all indivduals. If students study and prepare effciently, then they will do fine,” Jacob C.’20 said.

By taking practice tests, knowing the structure of the test and using different  test stageties, students can be better prepared for this exam and any other standarized tests.