5 Most Common Mistakes To Avoid When Preparing for the ACT

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5 Most Common Mistakes To Avoid When Preparing for the ACT

If your student is preparing for the ACTs, make sure they are aware of these valuable tips to help them study and perform as best they can when test day comes.

Don’t forget, higher ACT scores help your student not only get into more selective schools, but they can also help them receive more merit scholarships to pay for college.

 

Mistake #1: Take practice tests without reviewing your incorrect answers

A Better Approach: Review the questions you answered incorrectly and convince yourself why ACT’s answer is correct.

Why this Works: When you review the question you missed and the correct answer you are less likely to make this same mistake on the actual ACT.

 

Mistake #2: Working ACT test questions in the order in which they appear on the test

A Better Approach: Skip and come back to work difficult or long questions.

Why this Works: The ACT questions are not ordered in terms of difficulty, which means simple/easy questions may be located near the end of the test.

Therefore, you can increase your total number of correct answers by answering all easier questions first and then spend the last few minutes working more difficult or involved questions.

 

Mistake #3: Not spending enough study time to achieve a high score on the ACT

A Better Approach: Create an ACT study plan.

We recommend students begin to study for the ACT at least two months prior to your test date and study between 6 to 12 hours per week.

Why this Works: Studying for the ACT for this length of time will familiarize you with the test and can lead to improvement in weak areas.

 

[If your student needs accommodations on either the ACT or SAT, don’t waste time – apply early in case you have to make an appeal. Find out more about how to get accommodations on the ACT/SAT.  ] 

 

Mistake #4: Randomly guess answers to ACT questions

A Better Approach: Use the Process of Elimination (POE) to eliminate extreme or unreasonable answer choices.

Why this Works: Using POE will decrease the number of possible answer choices which increases the chance of you choosing the correct answer.

 

Mistake #5: Retake the ACT without studying in the hopes of achieving a higher score

A Better Approach: Plan and prepare with a tutor/teacher to increase your score to the target number necessary to receive the best tuition package.

Why this Works: Create a plan and be accountable to that plan with a tutor/teacher which will increase your chance of success.

Achieving ACT test success does not require any type of magic spell.

What it does require is proper planning and understanding the format of the test and what will and will not work.

Every student is unique and being able to play off of that uniqueness by avoiding common errors will prove to be a tremendous help.

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Kelly Finn

By Dr. Kelly Finn, professional test taker and experienced college mathematics teacher. She is a first generation college student and the founder of Finn Prep in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
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