Tips About Things To Bring On ACT Test Day: Be Prepared Like A Boy Scout

There’s more to the ACT than studying for months to achieve a high score. Just as important is knowing what things to bring on ACT test day. You have to make sure that everything works out as planned on the big day. Other than getting stuck in a difficult question, you might break your pencil in the middle of the exam, and it is equally disastrous. A successful ACT undertaking is getting a high score, but you primarily have to comply with the requirements on the day of your exam.

What Things Should You Bring With You On Your ACT Test Day?

  1. A print out of your test admission ticket. To be able to obtain this, log in to the ACT website to access your account. This ought to be the same website where you registered to take the test. Following the instructions, print out your admission ticket. Make sure that you bring the paper copy of your ticket to your testing center on your exam day. Images of your ticket in your cellphone or other electronic devices are not allowed and will not be accepted.
  2. A valid ID with your photo in it. Your full name which is indicated on your ID should match your registered name for the ACT. The following valid ID’s may be acceptable:
  • Recent school ID
  • Passport
  • Driver’s license

What if you don’t have any of these? You can ask a notary or school official to accomplish a downloaded copy of the Official ACT Identification form. Or if you joined the ACT talent search, you can present a printed copy of your talent search identification letter.

Note that the following ID’s are NOT allowed on the ACT test day:

  • Social security card
  • Learner’s permit
  • Credit cards
  • Employee ID
  • Birth certificate

Don’t even rely on personal recognition because it doesn’t count as well. Don’t get complacent if the test administrator happens to personally know you. If you don’t have an approved ID, you will not be able to get inside the testing center. Remember that a printed copy of your admission ticket and your valid ID are the two most important requirements that you should bring with you on your ACT test day.

  1. At least two #2 pencils and a reliable eraser. The pencils can be your spare in case the one you’re using breaks. No need to bring mechanical pencils, pens, highlighters and liquid paper, among other writing accessories because they are not allowed inside the testing center.
  2. An ACT test standard calculator. Approved calculators for the ACT include graphing, 4-function and scientific calculators. However, you should be aware of the limits of using this gadget when taking the test.
  3. An inaudible (noiseless) watch. This tool is particularly useful because you need to time yourself when taking each section of the test. Don’t lose track of the time limit for every ACT sub-section. Bringing a watch to your testing center is optional, though. You can skip tagging it with you if it distracts you or makes you feel anxious.

Other Essential Things To Keep In Your Bag On ACT Test Day

  • A handy and small-sized pencil sharpener
  • Additional calculator batteries
  • Nutritious snacks and beverages to replenish your energy during your breaks

It’s smart to know what important things to bring on ACT test day to be able to gain admission to your testing center and be prepared for possible mishaps that may have inauspicious consequences to your score.

5 Tips To Keep You Motivated For Your ACT Test Prep

The ACT test is one of the most significant standardized tests that high school students have to take. It is the key that will have them gaining admission to the colleges of their choice. If they achieve a high score, it can even qualify them for scholarship programs. It is therefore imperative for these students to study well for the ACT.

How do you muster the motivation to adhere to your ACT test prep? With so many things going on in your life as a high school student, how do you maintain your drive to study for the ACT and obtain a high score? Here are some tips to help you keep your motivation for your ACT test prep:

  • Set a definite schedule for your test prep. Establish a study schedule for your ACT and make sure to stick to it. To guarantee effectuality, have a fixed daily schedule. It doesn’t have to be in large chunks of time such as 1 or 2 hours a day, but make it staggered into 10 or 15 minute sessions throughout the day.
  • Arrange a study space that is free from distractions. There ought to be no hindrances as you study in your desk. Remove whatever portable devices when you start on your test prep. If you are studying online, block sites that may distract you.
  • Ask a study buddy to join you. A fellow ACT test taker or classmate can join you as you study for your exam. This way, you’ll incite both of your enthusiasm. You can challenge each other’s knowledge by quizzing and asking questions. With the help of a study buddy, you can keep your motivation and retain more information for the ACT test.
  • Always be prepared. Do you have everything that you need for your test prep in your desk? These items can be supplies such as your notebook, paper and pencils. The purpose of this is to prevent you from pausing or getting distracted to scamper for them, especially when you have gained momentum in your studying already.
  • Set achievable goals. You should set particular goals in place so that you don’t diverge from your study routine. For instance, you can set a goal for the day which is to get acquainted with certain mathematical formulas and to eventually master them.

You’ll want to achieve the best score possible for your ACT test. Arrange an effective and efficient test prep for the said exam a few months before your scheduled test date. You wouldn’t want to start late on this endeavor because it is one of the major causes of getting a low ACT score. With these tips to keep you motivated for your ACT test prep, you become a test prep ninja who can confidently ace your exam and obtain high quality education in the college of your choice.

Ace Any Standardized Test (SAT, GRE, MCAT) For Free

The original purpose of the standardized test was to level out the playing field for applicants to degree programs. As we all know, the magnitude of expensive prep programs and materials have tipped the balance in the favor of those that can afford them. Nevertheless, there is still a way to uncrack these tests without spending such a large sum. The great thing about standardized test prep is that a lot of the things you learn while studying can also help you in all your other academic work as well.

At home test preparation requires some effort, especially motivation to do well in the first place. For many test preparation classes, this is the job of the instructor. The instructor supervises performance and supports improvement. However, if you are self-disciplined enough, you can be your own teacher.

The first step for at home prep is to develop a realistic study schedule. If you plan on studying for the SAT during the school year, you must assign a day and/or time that you will stick to until your test date. Ask yourself: how long will you give yourself before your registered test date to study? 6 months? A year? Will you be willing to study daily in small increments or study weekly in larger ones? Planning is another thing that you pay test prep companies to do for you and if this already seems overwhelming to you, check out my time management section. I must warn you that I’m still working on this section (I have only 2 articles up at this point), but if you would like some personalized advice, please feel free to email me.

The first thing you can do to improve your English score is to memorize vocabulary. My favorite tool for this task is Visual Education Study Card sets. Instead of buying the SAT vocabulary, I highly recommend the English I and II cards. The great thing about VisEd is that they include a sentence using the word on the flashcard, which made it easy for me to learn the definitions as well as incorporating these words are best used in my own writing. So in a lot of ways, this method kills two birds with one stone: you are improving your verbal score plus improving your ability to write concisely. Also, you do not need to buy these vocabulary sets. You can always make your own vocabulary flashcards inexpensively by pulling up test-specific vocabulary lists online.

Although it may seem like a mundane task, vocabulary is one of the most important aspects of any standardized test and you can never learn too many words. If you go for the VisEd card sets, there are a total of 2,000 words to be memorized. Whatever you may choose as your vocabulary test prep, do recognize that vocabulary is important in both the critical reading and grammar sections of the test. It improves comprehension of passages, elucidates on grammatical usage of words, and reveals redundancy.

Learning 2,000 words may appear impossible, but this is when your time management comes into play. For example, if you are committing your entire 10-week summer to the test and want to learn all of the words by then, you will need to memorize 200 words/week. This means 40 words/day if you want your weekends off. It took me about an hour to really get the words down.

You will also need test preparation books by any major test prep company. These can be found at the library for free and the sample tests, the most important part, copied quite cheaply. Otherwise, you can always purchase them used or new. I have also found that the these books do not normally vary much year-to-year, but it is more helpful to use books that are geared towards a newer version of the test such as the new 2400 SAT rather than the old 1600.

Getting as many of the sample tests and their answer keys with explanations is key to doing well on standardized tests. Finding a resource that provides real previous tests is even better. But in the end, once you have a method to build your vocabulary and your practice tests, you are set to start.

Increasing your vocabulary will surely affect your performance, but there is still that dreaded reading comprehension section. There is a solution to this. For me, I always did well on the reading comprehension because I outlined every passage while reading. By outlining, I mean quickly writing down a summary of each sentence. For instance, the following passage is Sparknotes’s current example:

Galileo Galilei was born in 1564 into a Europe wracked by cultural ferment and religious strife. The popes of the Roman Catholic Church, powerful in their roles as both religious and secular leaders, had proven vulnerable to the worldly and decadent spirit of the age, and their personal immorality brought the reputation of the papacy to historic lows. In 1517, Martin Luther, a former monk, attacked Catholicism for having become too worldly and politically corrupt and for obscuring the fundamentals of Christianity with pagan elements. His reforming zeal, which appealed to a notion of an original, “purified”

Christianity, set in motion the Protestant Reformation and split European Christianity in two.

My outline would look something like this:

-Galileo was born in Europe when there was cultural boom and religious upheaval.

-Even the popes succumbed to the pressures and gave into their immorality

-Martin Luther later appeared to denounce Catholicism and it’s corruption and proposed a more “purified” form of Christianity

-This led to the split of Christianity into Catholicism and Protestantism.

Now the question:

Which of the following was not a reason for Martin Luther’s attack on the church?

a. pagan elements in its practices

b. the amorality of its leadership

c. its excessive attention to piety

d. its corruption and worldliness

e. the political involvement of the popes

As you can see, the answer cannot necessarily be found in the outline (i.e. I did not include that Luther had an issue with pagan elements in it) but by the act of outlining, it has increased your comprehension by having to mull over the content of the passage. Also, you can see that knowing the definition of words such as ferment and strife could have significantly improved your comprehension of the purpose of the passage. The answer to this question is C.

Generally, this works best with non-narrative passages, where you will most likely be given a question speculating the author’s opinion and/or argument. The outline format could work with narratives as well, but the trick is moreover identifying points of ambiguity in the passage, such as vocabulary words, that will most likely be questioned in the multiple choice.

There are many other methods you can find in test prep books, but I find this one the most effective. The secret is to find the method that you are best at, which can only be figured out by practicing as much as you can. Realistically, your outline will not look like the one I have typed above because of the time constraint. My outlines normally were sloppily written phrases or words, but they were well worth the effort. This plan can serve as a disadvantage at first since it will take longer to finish a section. However, it enough practice, I’m sure you’ll be able to pick up the pace.

With the math portion, I suggest that you go over all the algebra and geometry rules that are summarized in test prep books. Usually, any test prep book that has an overview of topics can do the trick and if you find that there is one topic, such as right triangle rules, that you do not know make sure you have them hammered down by test time. For any difficulties in the math section, they best way to conquer them is with PRACTICE. Practicing increases your speed and familiarity with common mathematical problems as well as the identification of trick questions.

When taking practice tests, I think the best way to start off is to time how long it takes you to complete each section rather than trying to beat the clock. This way, you’ll know by how much you will need to speed up. I can almost guarantee that your speed will increase with enough practice and the time limitation should not be stressed unless you are experiencing circumstances where your speed is not increasing as much as you hoped.

While taking these tests, it is important to write down your answer and how you feel about this answer. Are you sure? Unsure? Make sure you do this because this is the best way to be able to gauge your correctness during the actual test. When you go back and correct the test, do not just mark the wrong answers and give yourself a score. Go over the detailed answers of every question, if available, and if you got the question wrong, jot down why you got it wrong. Was it a concept error? Attention to detail? Time constraints? If it is a concept error, make sure you take note that you will need to relearn this concept. If it was more logistically, make sure you read the passage more carefully next time and take your time with those types of questions.

There are stories out there of people that have been out of school for years and managed to score in the 98th percentile for both the math and english portions of the GRE. I do not think it is impossible to do well on any standardized test without shelling out the big bucks to test prep companies. It is very possible and the secret ingredient is practice. If you would like more tips and help, please let me know at .

10 Foolproof Tips About How To Ace Your English ACT Test

ACT English Test Prep and Practice Makes Perfect

The ACT test can be daunting, especially for newbies and first timers. It takes a lot of prep and practice to be able to muster confidence come the ACT test day. So what ACT prep methods are considered to be effective? You’ll want to pass the ACT test with flying colors to be able to gain admission to the college of your choice. Among the most challenging sections of this test is the ACT English Test. Just like with the other topics, you’re aiming to get hold of foolproof tips about how to ace your English ACT test. You will find them in the discussion below.

Ace The ACT English Test With These Valuable Tips

Avoid giving wordy answers. That is, keep it simple when conveying your thoughts and ideas in the ACT English test. Not that you’ll have to give short answers either. Sometimes you need to put in more words in your phrases and sentences so that they become grammatically correct. The key to providing efficient answers in your ACT English is to be concise and straight to the point.

Read the whole sentences in the questions. Don’t rush when answering the questions in the test. It’ll make you frazzled and haphazard as you respond to the items. It may be tempting to read only the underlined portion of the sentence, but steer clear of this tendency. Be particular that the wrong clause or clauses in your sentence can affect your answer.

Consider the context and the meaning of the test items. Just because you’re tackling the grammar portion of the test doesn’t mean that you should disregard the meaning of the sentence. In many of the questions in ACT English, the context must be taken into account. This ought to be applied, especially in transition word questions and questions that require you to find the proper placement of a sentence in the whole paragraph.

Take into account the consistency of the sentence. A major example of this the proper placement of the verb tense and the voice. When adding the tense of the sentence, look for cues in the surrounding sentences and accord their tenses. But there are exceptions, such as when a certain clause conveys a past event within a paragraph that is set in the present tense.

Steer clear of being redundant. Avoid stating a meaning or idea that has already been conveyed or implied. Likewise, refrain from using two adjectives that mean the same. As mentioned earlier in this text, keep your sentences simple and consider the whole sentence when answering the questions. Remember that reading only the underlined phrase in the items can make you go amiss on the other parts that also state the same idea.

Apply the rule of sentence parallelism in grammar. You can easily spot the parallelism of ideas in a sentence the more you familiarize yourself with them. A sentence that is parallel have clauses that match in structure. An example of a sentence that lacks parallelism is:

My hobbies are swimming, running and to sing.

“Swimming” and “running” are in gerund form while “to sing” is in infinitive form. The above sentence can become parallel if the infinitive form “to sing” is changed to its gerund form which is “singing”.

Be careful of run-on sentences. In everyday writing, common mistakes such as comma splices might also jump out as mistakes in the ACT English test. A sentence becomes a run-on if it is comprised of a comma splice wherein two independent clauses are combined with only a comma. If an independent clause can stand on its own as a sentence, then it has a complete thought. Adding a conjunction rectifies a comma splice. The same happens when one of the clauses is made to be dependent or when a comma is changed into a semi-colon.

Be aware of subject-verb agreement. If a subject is singular, it has to be connected with a verb that is singular. In the same way, plural subjects have to be followed by plural verbs. Generally, errors in subject-verb agreement are easily spotted if the subject and the verb are next to each other. The tricky part is when they are not, specifically if prepositional phrases are placed in between them. If you want to do away with this dilemma, take the prepositional phrase out and figure out if the subject and verb agree with each other now that they are side by side. Don’t confuse the object of the prepositional phrase as the subject.

Be particular about pronoun- antecedent agreement. The noun that the pronoun replaces in a sentence is known as the antecedent. To check for accuracy, you can mark the pronoun with an arrow that points back to its antecedent. See to it that they agree in gender and number. As examples, the pronoun “they” may refer to the antecedent “students”, and these are plural, while the pronoun “her”, which is singular may refer to the feminine antecedent “Jane” which is singular.

Make sure that ideas from current and previous paragraphs are included in transitional sentences. There are items in the ACT English test wherein you will be required to choose the most fitting opening or closing sentence in a paragraph. You’ll want your sentences to create a smooth transition by incorporating ideas in your sentences from the current, previous or following paragraphs. Your goal here is to connect two ideas, that’s why ideas from the surrounding paragraphs have to be considered.

Be One Step Ahead, ACT English Can Be Tricky

Because the ACT English test can be tricky, you have to watch out as well. While you carry on with the necessary prep, be one step ahead by being armed with tips about how to approach the questions. You can always do practice tests, but be keen about the structure, context and meaning of the items in the test. Well-equipped with smarts, skills and confidence, you can ace your English ACT test and pursue your desired higher learning in the college of your choice.

How Do Study Skills Improve Standardized Test Scores?

Educators are under enormous pressure to have students perform well on standardized tests. Since standardized tests assess students’ mastery of state benchmarks, it is well known that the best way to improve scores is to provide clear instruction of those benchmarks.

As a result, teachers and administrators are spending vast amounts of time “mapping” their curriculum, carefully aligning their instruction to match state expectations. However, the most solid curriculum map in the world does nothing to ensure that students will learn that content effectively.

In other words, you can teach all the right content, but that does not guarantee that students are “getting it.” Or, that they will “keep it.”

Imagine the path to Benchmark Mastery is a freeway. The students enter the freeway as the teacher introduces the Benchmark to the class. They have a series of reading assignments, lectures, homework, and assessments to complete along their journey.

But, at each mile-marker, there are obstacles that can interfere with their progress towards Benchmark Mastery. Some students overcome these obstacles, but at every interval, several are forced to take the nearest exit ramp. Very few students will actually reach the final destination.


The teacher had done his part. He has followed his curriculum map, covered the benchmark, and provided plenty of instruction, practice, and assessment along the way.

The problem is, the students don’t know HOW to learn! Take a closer look at some of these obstacles to see how they push students off course:

Mile Marker 1: Reading Assignment

Exit Ramp: Students cannot comprehend the information in the text. The technical structure and advanced vocabulary of a textbook will derail 80% of students, right out of the gate!

Mile Marker 2: Class Lecture

Exit Ramp: Students do not know how to take notes effectively. They struggle to understand the “big picture,” therefore do not know how to identify key points, let alone create an effective study guide.

Mile Marker 3: Homework

Exit Ramp: Students do not do homework, or do it poorly. Even “good students” do not know how to do homework properly. They do homework just to “get it done.” They do not engage effectively in homework to learn from it. Meanwhile, “struggling students” are frustrated because homework takes too long. They often decide it is not worth their frustration.

Mile Marker 4: Chapter Test

Exit Ramp: Students memorize information for the test, but forget it by the next day. They only know one method for studying: cramming!

Destination: Benchmark Mastery

Some students will avoid all of the exit ramps and reach Benchmark Mastery for the short-term. The problem is, the Standardized Test is three months away…


Students are never explicitly taught how to study or learn effectively. Our education system expects them to just “get it.” However, students can apply strategies to homework and studying, just as they do with sports or video games. Someone just needs to show them what to do!

Imagine if students knew how to effectively read textbooks, take excellent notes, and complete homework efficiently? Imagine if they knew how to study so that they were LEARNING, not just memorizing and cramming?

Then, the situation would look like this:

Mile Marker 1: Reading Assignment

Since students know simple, time-saving strategies for reading a textbook, they do the reading. Most importantly, they UNDERSTAND it!

Mile Marker 2: Class Lecture

Students have reviewed the textbook and understand the “big picture,” so they can identify key points. They know shortcuts for taking notes and write down important information. Their notes are now an effective study guide.

Mile Marker 3: Homework

Students know strategies for getting their brain into “high gear.” They can now complete homework faster AND learn from homework at the same time.

Mile Marker 4: Chapter Test

Students are ready! They have been learning information every step of the way and have no need to cram. They know how to use their textbook to review, they have created effective study guides from their notes, and they have learned from errors on homework assignments.

Destination: Benchmark Mastery

Since the students were equipped to LEARN the content (instead of memorize), they have retained the information for the long-term. They can recall the information quickly. Now, they are ready for those standardized tests!