ACT Test: How to Overcome Anxiety and "Bombing" on Tests

If you want to overcome test anxiety and bombing on important tests like the ACT test, you have to first realize what causes test anxiety in the first place. There are three main causes of test anxiety. Understanding them will help you do much better on the any test.

  • Psychological causes are the first problem leading to test anxiety. Whether it is being unprepared or past bad experiences, students go into the test defeated before they start. One key to defeating the tendency to bomb on tests is to understand that even if you guess on every single question, you’d still get a score of 14. Further understanding the key to having enough time to answer every single question, even with a guess, also goes a long way to defeat the psychological causes of test anxiety.
  • Physiological causes are the second culprit that contribute to test anxiety. The fact is that as we fear the test we tense up and breathe less. Both of these things hurt the brain’s ability to be operating at peak efficiency. The fact is that the brain can use up to half the oxygen that we breathe in when we concentrate, and shallow breathing from being nervous starves our brain.
  • Poor study methods also contribute to test problems. When a student is primarily an auditory learner, who learns by listening, and has spent all his time studying like a visual learner, by just reading books, he has good reason to be nervous! Learning to study according to the style of learner you are is critical to having confidence going into the ACT test.

So if you want to overcome test anxiety that might cause you to bomb on the ACT test, keep in mind these three causes of bombing on tests and learn more by taking a good ACT test prep course that will teach you how to score your best on the ACT.

ACT Test Prep: Free Practice Tests to Study For the ACT

Finding free ACT practice tests is a lot easier than most people realize. Instead of spending $25 for a book that has practice tests or paying a membership to an online site, you can get official ACT version for free. But the fact that they are free is only part of the benefit of getting these tests.

Why All ACT Practice Tests Are Not Equal

There are a lot of books that you can buy that feature multiple ACT tests. But most of these are nowhere near as valuable as the free, official versions. The first reason is that the official versions give you a breakdown of your score once you grade it. Without breaking your Math and English results into sub-scores, you won’t know exactly what you need to study to improve.

The second reason is that unless the test is an official version, you can’t be sure how true to the real test is. The last thing you want to do is waste your time studying based upon a test result that is not true to the real thing.

Where To Find Free ACT Practice Tests

The two places that you can get free tests are online, at the official ACT website, which is ACTstudent.org.

The second place you can get free ACT practice tests is from your high school counselor. They will have old copies of the practice booklet from previous years. Since the test has not changed, these are just as valuable as the current test.

ACT Test: A Parent’s Guide to Getting a High ACT Test Score

So many parents ask me what they can do to help their students get a higher ACT test score, and so many of them are doing the wrong things, that it can be discouraging. However, at least they are asking and can get the right information.

There are two categories of advice I give parents about helping their students get a high ACT test score. What to do and what NOT to do.

What NOT To Do:

First and foremost, don’t ramp up the pressure on your student unintentionally by well-meaning, but misguided tactics. Spending a lot of money on tutoring or an ACT prep course may seem like the right thing to do, but that just puts more pressure on the student to make sure the money is not wasted. They need a confidence booster, not fear of increasing consequences of failure.

The other thing is not to nag. So many students plan to study and then, when their parents remind them, they choose not to study because they are feeling forced. Sometimes the best thing a parent can do is nothing; let them take the test the first time and do poorly, and then they will be more responsive to some gently suggestions.

What TO Do To Help Your Student Get a High ACT Test Score

The things that you want to do are to be supportive, but in a way that builds confidence. A quiet, reassuring “I know that you’ll do well” goes a long way to reducing the Test Anxiety that can cause students to bomb on tests.

Also, involve your student in selecting an ACT prep course that is simple and not intimidating. If it is too long or too expensive, they will just feel more pressure to perform and anxiety over how they will complete the course.

Sometimes, it is a better idea to have them complete two shorter ACT prep courses, because after the first brief course, they may see results and opt for a second. It’s much easier to climb a mountain by thinking one step at a time. Faced with a 10 week, 20 hour course, few students feel enthusiastic.

7 Trouble-Free Tips About How To Study For The ACT

Taking the ACT is a life-altering endeavor. Good ACT scores mean admission to the college of your choice, receiving free money for your college schooling and many other perks. That sounds daunting and exciting at the same time. There is actually no “failing” in the ACT, but you have to keep up to a certain standard, and that’s the required score of your target colleges. Now, you might be wondering about how to study for the ACT. Here are some tips.

  1. Start your ACT test prep early. Time is of the essence when studying for the ACT. Don’t get too complacent thinking that it is easy to pass the test because you’ve taken up your subjects in school. Remember that studying for months is necessary for major tests like the ACT. Depending on your baseline score, you may consider a 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ACT study program.
  2. Determine your baseline score. Get hold of an official ACT practice test from a reputable book or online resource. Take the test without studying, including the optional Essay section. The score that you will obtain from this initial test is your baseline score. From here, you can measure how many points you have to work to improve on, or whether you are at par already. You then set a corresponding test prep time-frame according to your target score.
  3. Decide on your goal. Is it a score of 29 that you’re aiming for in the ACT? Maybe it’s a 33. Or else you might want to increase your Science test score by 6 points. You thus have to set a goal pertaining to these, and when you do, make sure that your goal is “SMAART”, meaning that it is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Action-Oriented, Results- Oriented and Time-Phased. For instance, you can decide to study for 3 days in a week for 3 months so that you can attain an ACT score of 33 when you take the test in June.
  4. Know about the basics of the ACT. Don’t be taken aback by what you’ll see in the ACT. You wouldn’t want to be clueless about it. Otherwise, you might suffer from test anxiety. Be in-the-know about the topics covered by the ACT, and they are English, Math, Reading and Science Reasoning. There is also an optional Writing test. The items you’ll come across are multiple-choice questions. At the same time, be aware of what a good ACT score is and how to register for the test.
  5. Be aware of what test prep options you might consider. Evaluate the study programs that are available to you. Do you want to test prep in a tutoring center? Maybe you are opting to join a class. Do you think that studying with books is more workable? If you have trouble concentrating, you might choose to study with ACT apps or an online study guide.
  6. Create and stick to your study schedule. You have to optimize your test prep for the ACT, and that means rendering as much time as you can for it. If you want to study for a lesser time everyday, you ought to start with your prepping earlier. Be sure to squeeze in your study time in between your Snap Chatting or reality TV hours. In a nutshell, learn how to manage your time when preparing for the ACT.
  7. Improve your test-taking skills by taking practice tests. Take as many of them as possible because taking practice tests is one of the most effective studying techniques. This fact is backed by research. Whether studying with an ACT book or an online ACT test prep program, incorporate practice tests in your schedule.

These tips about how to study for the ACT are easy and practical. Don’t make your academic career complicated by studying for the said test during the last minute because an early bird gets all the goodies!

5 Best ACT Study Tips According to the 3 Guiding Principles Of Test Prepping

One of your most crucial undertaking as a high school student is taking the ACT test. It can be rigorous, especially if you go in on it unprepared. To get a high ACT score, you have to adhere to an effective test prep program for at least 3 months. There are several options for an ACT test prep that truly works. So how do you choose the best path that can bring you smart and effectual ACT study tips?

3 Primary Guiding Principles Of Test Prepping

Studying effectively for the ACT test needs you to abide by 3 guiding principles, and they are the following:

  • Individualize and personalize your study plan. No two test-takers are exactly alike which means that there is no one-size-fits-all study plan for students. Choose a study plan or a combination of them that will address your needs as an individual. You know yourself better than anyone else, so you should devise a study program that will work best for you. For instance, you can stick to 2-hour long study sessions if you have the stamina, or you might be comfortable with studying in 30-minute increments. Make sure that your ACT study plan is flexible.
  • Start early on your ACT test prep program. You should provide yourself with sufficient time to study for your test. Rendering 3 months for your review may be enough, but if you want to get a higher score, you may have to increase it to 6 months. From the beginning, you should learn how to pay attention to your ACT test prep plan and the time it involves for it to become successful.
  • Optimize your study plan. That means you have to do something regardless of the time that is at your disposal to allocate for your ACT test prep. It’s your best option, and it’s much better than doing nothing. What if you don’t have 6 or 3 months to prepare for the ACT? Don’t lose hope or panic, but instead optimize the time that is available to you. If you have several hours to go, you can spend four of them to take practice tests. Even if you only have 15 minutes a day to study, go for it! You’re bound to learn something at any rate. Remember that a little preparation beats no preparation at all.

5 Valuable ACT Test Prep Tips

  • Read as much information as you can about the ACT. Learn about the format and structure of the test and what its implications are in your college goals. Familiarize yourself with it, which in turn will make you more comfortable of your upcoming undertaking. It’ll make you more relaxed and confident about taking the ACT test.
  • Take ample amounts of ACT practice tests. Do your best as you take your first practice test so that you’ll obtain reliable knowledge about your score and your capability. See to it that you are taking an official ACT practice test so that you’ll gain a more realistic experience and result. Follow the instructions carefully and adhere to the designated time limit for each section.
  • Obtain your score from your practice tests. Analyze your wrong answers and decipher why you missed them. This should help you discover your weak areas. Refer to the answer explanations that go with your practice tests and learn from them. If you’re struggling with this particular task, ask for help from a teacher, tutor or mentor or a test prep buddy.
  • Work on a reasonable goal. Now you know what your knowledge and skill levels are pertaining to the ACT test. At this point, you should gauge how much improvement you’re up to work for. You may have to stretch your efforts a bit, but ensure that you’re setting a viable goal. If you scored lower than 20 in your practice test, it may be too much to expect yourself to get a 30’s number. Otherwise, if you garnered a score that is mid to high 20’s, it is possible to aim for a 30-something score. The improvements that you want to achieve depend on how committed you are to your ACT test prep.
  • Decide on what tools you are going to utilize for your test prep. The resources that you ought to use should be of good quality and are official ACT test prep materials. If you want to do self-study, look for credible and updated websites, apps or books. You might also want to enroll in an online ACT test prep program which is known to be a happy medium. Other than working on your own, you can receive external guidance at the same time. Consider if you are interested in joining a group course where you can exchange ideas with your peers and instructor. Or if you think that individual tutoring will work well for you, then go for it.

These are 5 of the most effective ACT study tips that can assist you in your test prep so that you can pass with flying colors and achieve your post-secondary education and career goals.