Amber Neville - Staff Writer
The American College Testing (or the ACT) is a standardized college admissions test that has four different sections: english, math, science, and reading. It has existed since 1959. This test is designed to show how well high school students are at the four categories.
The next ACT test day is February 27th, 2018. This test is free. There are ACT prep classes from February 5th to the 23rd. English classes are the 5th-8th, Science classes are the 13th-15th, and Math classes are the 20th-23rd. All of these classes are in the Little Theatre after school from 2:30-4:30 PM. You must register and pay $15 for each set of classes in the Finance Office.
Before the test day is here, figure out which sections are harder for you. Then, while you’re studying for the test, focus on that. On top of having prep classes, here are a few extra tips for when the ACT comes.
For the english section, when you’re looking for sentence errors, read the words carefully. If no errors come up when you look that way, then look for errors between the verb and its subject, pronouns, sentence structure, and problems when using idioms. The English section focuses on punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, changing sentences, organizing ideas, and sentence style. A few tips for this section are: choose the most concise answer and skim through the paragraphs carefully. According to Mrs. Jaynes, one of the ACT instructors, “If you can say it in fewer words without losing meaning or breaking grammar rules, that is the answer.” She also mentioned “Read the entire sentence from beginning to end; don’t just stop after the underlined portion, but read to the period where the next sentence begins.”
In the math section, A TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator is allowed on the test. For this section, the questions are generally about mathematical reasoning, but there are some questions that involve formulas and facts. Some tips for math are: pay attention to diagrams and plug in answers and/or numbers for the variables.
The science section focuses on data representation, interpreting research summaries, conflicting viewpoints, and the scientific method. Preview, read, and review all of the science reasoning questions. For the data representation questions, focus on what’s being measured, and the relationships between the variables, and the trends in data. Surprisingly, this section tests skills, not certain facts or topics like english and math. Here are a few science tips: do the conflicting viewpoints part last, and rely on visuals. For the conflicting viewpoints section, just look at the graphs and only look at the text if it’s necessary.
In the reading section, preview, read, and review the question to get the most information. Look for connections between the details in each problem. Mark these connections with your pencil.
On the day before the test, take a break from studying. It will help you by letting your brain take a break so it won’t be tired on the day of the test. Hang out with your friends as a way to relax the day before. For dinner that night, you should have a well-balanced meal with complex carbohydrates (for example: baked potatoes, pasta, and bread.) This will help your brain be focused on test day.
The night before the test, you should gather your supplies that you’ll need. You will need an eraser, two No.#2 pencils, a pencil sharpener, your calculator, a wristwatch (make sure it doesn’t make any sound/alarm go off, or else you’ll get kicked out of the testing room!), a water bottle, and some snacks. Then get a good night of sleep.
On the morning of the test, eat a healthy breakfast and follow your normal morning routine so you can focus on your main goal of doing good on the test.
Don’t rush through each section! If you finish early, go back and review your answers. Skip the hard questions then go back if there’s time, use the process of elimination, and stay calm.
Good luck everyone!