The ACT is probably one of the most important tests your child will take in his or her academic career. It can determine which school he or she will go to and what kind of scholarships they may be eligible for. ACT scores are a requirement for just about every college and most schools have a minimum score that they will accept. It’s important to make sure your child is as prepared as possible to do well on the ACT. Here are a few tips that can help.
1. Testing Strategies
The test is timed and making it through all the questions can feel a little daunting for some students. Use some strategies to make it a little easier for your child. Make sure they know not to skip questions. If they do not know the answer, tell them to guess. However, one strategy is to choose the same answer every time they don’t know an answer. The logic is that if you take a test and mark every answer a different answer, then you could conceivably miss every question on the test. However, by marking only B, you would probably get 25 percent of those correct. Look up a few other testing strategies for multiple choice tests that might help your child in a time crunch.
2. Make Test Day Smooth
Wake them up early. Yes, make your son set his own alarm, but you need to be up and make sure that he gets up. He is about to be an adult, but this day is way too important for him to oversleep. If you know your daughter feels better with a morning shower and make up on, then make sure you give her enough time for all that. Make a special breakfast or at least make sure you’re around to share a box of cereal. Have all the things your child will need packed and ready to go by the door. If your child is taking a snack, then have it ready for them. Running through the door at the last minute without having a chance to brush his teeth will not improve your son’s score. Neither will a growling tummy on question number four.
3. ACT Prep Course
ACT prep courses can help your child be more prepared. Students who take prep courses often score several points higher than those who do not. Also, students who take a course when preparing to take the test for a second time will improve their scores as much as five points. There are different types of courses to meet your child’s needs and your budget. Prep courses include tutoring and practice tests, and they can also be tailored to focus on just one or two areas of the test if that is all your child needs.
4. Plan to Take the Test More Than Once
Taking the ACT the first time can be pretty nerve-wracking. Your child doesn’t really know what to expect, and they will probably be pretty worried about how important the test is. Many students do better the second time they take the test, so plan ahead. Have your child take the test for the first time in their junior year of high school. This way they can get comfortable with how the test works. Don’t send this score to colleges just yet. Unless they make a perfect score, they can take the test again during the beginning of their senior year. Scores will be back in time to send off to their choice of schools. On the off chance that their first score is actually higher than their second, you can send that one to colleges or even let your child take the test a third time. Colleges will take into account the highest score.
The ACT is an important test, but it is manageable. After all, it can be taken more than once, so if at first the score isn’t perfect, there is always another chance. Try to keep your child as calm as possible about the test while still encouraging them to try their best. With these tips, your child might just be off to her first choice college before you know it.