Mastering the ACT: Early Preparation is Key!

July 15, 2014

When it comes to college admissions, SAT and ACT scores are hot topics. We asked some current high school students how they are preparing for these big tests, and what their advice to other high school students is. Abby is a junior at Duchesne High School in St. Louis, MO - here’s what she had to say:

I have had to take numerous standardized tests all throughout grade school and high school. Starting in second grade, we began taking ITBS tests (Iowa Tests of Basic Skills) once a year all the way through eighth grade. Freshman year of high school we took an ACT prep standardized test to gauge what our score might be on the ACT in the future. We took a similar ACT prep test sophomore year, as well, in the fall. In the spring we took an online test called Aspire that was also regarded as ACT Prep. Every standardized test I have taken, excluding the online Aspire one, was the normal fill in the bubble style formatting. The tests covered several subjects like math, science, English, reading, spelling, and cognitive ability quizzes. The online Aspire test had science, math, and reading, as well as a required typed essay in an allotted time. On top of all of the tests, my counselors have set up each student with a Naviance account, where I can take more online tests for practice as well as get help preparing for college.

I will be taking the ACT for the first time this summer. I believe all of the standardized tests I have taken in the past have really helped me prepare. Because I began testing so young, I am used to the format of standardized testing as well as the types of questions asked. The ACT prep tests I have been required to take in high school have been extremely helpful as well. They not only gave an accurate representation of the format of the ACT, but they also helped point out areas I needed to work on to get a higher score. My school is really big on helping students out with the ACT. The counselors work hard to make sure we are prepared as possible when we begin to take the actual tests.

Some friends from other schools have told me that they have never had to take ACT prep tests. I think that all students should have these tests available because they are so helpful. My score on the ACT will affect what colleges I can get into so I’m glad I have had as much practice as possible before taking it. The more you prepare, the better score you will get, and the more opportunities you will have in the future.



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youngch
Vanderbilt ‘18


Accepted to Baruch, Binghamton, Brooklyn College, Hunter, Macaulay Honors, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, UPenn, Brown, Cornell, SUNY Buffalo, Rice, Vanderbilt, NYU, Columbia

I grew up in New York City, Bronx and Brooklyn to be exact. I went to pretty big public schools and once you find a supportive yet motivating group of friends, teachers, advisors, and counselors to complement your family, life becomes a whole lot better!
littlegreentre…
Stanford ‘19


Accepted to Cambridge, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Brown, UPenn, Columbia, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Swarthmore, Barnard, Wellesley, Duke, NYU, BU

overly ambitious, passionately curious, helplessly perfectionistic
lamborghinibea…
USC ‘19


Accepted to UC Davis, UCLA, UCSD, USC, Emory, UMich, UNC, Pepperdine

Although very hardworking, I love to socialize with friends and make time to just relax. Also, I've always been interested in cars and working in the business aspect of the automotive industry.
MichaelR
Columbia ‘20


Accepted to Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, UC Berkeley, JHU, Vanderbilt, Rice, UMich, UCLA, UNC, UT Austin, Washington, Ohio State, UCSD

Midwestern kid who loves molecular biology and electronic dance music. Let me help you edit your essays!

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