Intimidating standardized test requires much preparation

The ACT is one of the most important tests a student will ever take. It can determine the ability to take dual credit course, admittance eligibility for college and even scholarship information.

  “I’ve already accepted a $1000 scholarship from the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, and I’ve applied for two scholarships that I think having a good ACT score will give me an edge for,” Senior Noah Long said.

  There are scholarships that require a certain ACT score, such as the Bright Flight scholarship. According to the Missouri Department of Higher Education, one can earn up to $3000 for a 31 on the ACT, and up to $1000 for a 30.

  Due to the fact that the ACT plays such a big part in securing money for college, many students take the ACT and panic during the middle of the test. Mentality is a big part of how well a test-taker does on the ACT according to senior Maddie Freeman who has achieved a 30 on her ACT.

  “Make sure that you believe you’re going to do well. Don’t go into it thinking that you’re going to do awful,” Freeman said.

 Freeman also believes that eating breakfast, how much sleep one gets before it and even how comfortable the clothes somebody is in can affect scores.

  “Dress comfortably. Don’t try to be super pretty for it,” Freeman said.

  Preparation for the ACT is one of the most important aspects of taking the test. Long has been working on his test-taking abilities all throughout high school.

  “I just prepare myself throughout high school. I take higher level classes and I try to speed up my reading so I can get through all of the questions,” Long said.

  When it comes to how long students spend studying, Freeman says that she has spent multiple hours working on prep work given to her while she was in school.

  “The studying takes a long time because there’s a lot to cover. It covers a lot of different sections within one standardized test.” Freeman says.

  As far as how to actually tackle the ACT and its questions, there are numerous approaches, but not everyone can use the same ones. Long, for example, recognizes that he should take his time on three stories from the reading comprehension portion, and focus whatever time he has left on the last story.

  “Do the easy questions first, and make sure you don’t leave any answers blank. Go back and thoroughly work through whatever questions you didn’t have time for,” Long said.

  Students who worry about their test taking skills can attend workshops from multiple people who have learned how to “beat” the ACT. Chad Cargill, one of these workshop coordinators, offers multiple tips. These include taking the ACT as many times as possible, avoiding staying up late cramming and using the bathroom before the test.