ACT test prep is the process of preparing to take the ACT test before college. The ACT is a test similar to the SAT, and is often accepted in lieu of, or in addition to, the SAT when applying to college. The ACT addresses four subjects, including math, science, reading, and English, with the optional addition of a writing section. The ACT test is considered to be a more curriculum-based alternative to the SAT, focusing on what students learn on a daily basis in school.
ACT test prep may be offered formally, through a school, or a certified test prep agency, or informally through a one-on-one tutor. There is also the option of preparing for the ACT test independently through study guides or interactive computer programs. Some schools and agencies offer ACT test prep in the form of small group classes as well. Any of these methods of test preparation can be effective when taken seriously.
There are many benefits to ACT test prep. The first and most obvious is a developed familiarity with the information on the test, and knowing ahead of time what topics should be studied and practiced. In addition, preparing for the ACT test allows the test taker to get familiar with the format of the questions, the instructions for the various sections, and the time it will take to complete the test.
ACT test prep will generally begin with a short practice test, to help the test taker determine the areas where he or she needs to improve. Generally, more sample problems will then be offered, along with helpful strategies to improve test taking abilities and reduce any anxiety. The sample problems may indicate areas where further reading or studying is necessary, which may also be completed independently, or with the help of a tutor. It is important to work hard during ACT test prep to ensure that the actual test is as straightforward and simple as possible.
Keep in mind that the ACT test can be taken more than once, and some students choose to take the test once during the junior year of high school and once as a senior. This gives students the opportunity to increase their scores. Another option is to take both the SAT and the ACT, to give colleges two sets of test scores to compare. Carefully studying for the ACT test prep can also benefit students later in life, when they can use the same study skills in college.