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ACT Test Prep: Why It Is Important

By Linda Hinkle

Many students and their parents don't realize the importance of good ACT test prep. This article takes a look at how preparation for this college entrance exam can make a huge difference in a student's performance.

Why ACT Prep?

Many students erroneously believe that there is no way to prepare for standardized tests. This is certainly not true for the ACT, the most widely used college entrance examination in the country. In fact, focused ACT test prep and review can make a huge difference in a student’s performance on the exam.

I’d like to share a little about how I came to the realization that ACT test prep is vitally important. Several years into my teaching career, I got the chance to teach a summer ACT test prep class. To certify to teach the class, I had to attend training sessions that focused on the format of the exam, the distribution of content, time restrictions, and test-taking strategies. The premise of the training was that if a student is familiar with the format of the test and has a reasonable idea of what to expect on the exam, chances of doing well are greatly increased.

The Benefits of ACT Prep

The training sessions were excellent, and I gained a wealth of information to share with my students. That first summer that I taught the class, I saw students who had already taken the exam raise their scores significantly. I saw students gain confidence as they learned about the format of the exam—they seemed to find some reassurance in knowing details. For example, they learned there would always be exactly 60 questions on the math section of the test. They learned how many of those 60 questions would be allotted to prealgebra, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. The more familiar they became with the exam, the more their confidence grew.

After seeing much success with that first class, I continued to teach the ACT test prep course for several summers. My initial positive feelings about the course were validated again and again. Students methodically studied, reviewed, took practice tests, evaluated their results and refined their techniques.

The Importance of ACT Prep

The importance of ACT test prep is really quite simple. Because the ACT is a very predictable test, study and preparation can greatly increase chances of getting a good score. Information about exactly what is covered on the exam is made available by the College Board. Students can easily acquaint themselves with this information and prepare accordingly.

So students, rid yourself of the notion that you can’t prepare for a standardized exam. There are many good ACT test prep resources available and using them really can make a difference in how well you do on the exam.