A Few Helpful Tips for Tomorrow's ACT Takers

Junior year has been notoriously known as “the worst year of high school” by students around the globe. As upperclassmen, juniors are finally one step closer to walking across the stage and getting their much awaited diplomas; but they’re not there just yet. Junior year not only marks the beginning of looking at colleges, but also, the beginning of a string of many standardized tests. The SAT and ACT are the root of much anxiety for high school juniors, and rightfully so. Though many colleges and universities are now test optional, it never hurts to have a good score to show off on your application. But I’m here to let juniors know that it’s not the end of the world. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind for those taking the ACT tomorrow morning:

  1. Don’t study tonight - The ACT is a curriculum based achievement test that assesses students’ readiness for college and to hopefully gear them towards a certain career path. It would be quite impossible for you to cram everything you’ve learned in the past 3 years into one night in preparation for tomorrow. In addition, getting a low score on a practice test will only discourage you and make you doubt yourself. Be confident in what you know.

  2. Get a good night’s sleep - Nothing’s more important than being fully charged and ready to go when you sit down at that desk tomorrow. Be sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep: Nothing would guarantee a low score like falling asleep on the test booklet! Though the ACT tests your knowledge of what you’ve learned in school, it is also a test of physical endurance… There’s no secret that it is a very long endeavor, and you will get tired. Don’t forget to bring a snack and water for the breaks in between!

  3. Wake up at least an hour early - Though you are only required to arrive 10 minutes early to your testing location, be sure to wake up a little earlier than that. It has been scientifically proven that your brain needs at least one hour to reach its maximum potential, and there’s no hiding the fact that you’re going to need it!!

  4. Have a good breakfast - Even if you don’t regularly have breakfast before you walk out the door every morning before school, make sure to have a good breakfast tomorrow morning. Your brain needs fuel in order to answer as many questions as possible correctly. You definitely won’t regret the few extra minutes you took to sit down and eat a meal in a few weeks and see your great score

  5. Breathe - Walking into a standardized test, students are always either dreading being up so early on a Saturday, or freaking out over how much that given exam is going to impact the rest of their academic lives. But here’s a secret: It seriously isn’t the end of the world. Standardized tests are designed to gauge your academic abilities in college, but every application is reviewed holistically, and one bad score isn’t going to make or break you. Plus, if you’re really that worried, you can always retake the exam. Your worth can never be measured by a number. So walk into that room with your head held high and give it your all.


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