September 21, 2013 is the next date for taking the ACT (American College Testing) test for Escambia andSanta RosaCounties.  Hopefully most high school students who are registered to take the test met with their school guidance counselors before school closed and received packets with valuable information that will help them with the ACT.   If students are not registered, August 23, 2013 is the deadline to register without paying a late fee.

Parents here are a few strategies to pass on to your teens who are taking the test.  It is no secret that students who prepare for the ACT score higher than does who do not.


If your teen has already spent some time reviewing the content areas of the test, great start.  If not there is still time to review the content, to be familiar with the content, how the test is structured and to learn as much as you can about the ACT.  A good resource is the workbook, The Real ACT Prep Guide 3rd Edition.  You will be able to find it at any local bookstore.  You can also access the ACT’s website for general information on the test.


The following tips will help your teen feel calm and mentally confident so that they will do there best:

1.  Get Organized.  Don’t leave preparation to the last minute.  Gather everything needed to take the test.

2.  Refresh your knowledge in the skills and content areas.

Identify the content areas you have not studied.

3.  Develop a positive mental attitude.   Be confident on your ability to do well on the ACT.  YOU CAN DO WELL.

4. Rest.  Get plenty of sleep the night before the test.  This will make a difference in how you feel and how you approach the test.



Take practice tests.  Practice tests in each content area can be found in the ACT workbook and on the ACT website.


Learn to Pace Yourself.  You will have a specific amount of time to complete each content area.  Working quickly and efficiently is one of the skills needed to complete each area.


Know the Directions and Understand the Answer Document.  It is easy to ignore directions, no matter what we are doing.   “Winging it” might be OK in some situations but is not a good strategy when you are taking the ACT.  On the day that you take the ACT, you can read the directions for each test.  However, it is helpful to know them in advance- it will save time and worry.  Directions for each content area can be reviewed online of the ACT site and in the workbook.


Read Carefully and Thoroughly.  Just as it is important to read and understand the directions, it is also important that you read and understand each question on the test.


Decide on a Strategy for Guessing on Multiple-Choice Questions.  Should you guess or not?  Because you are not penalized for guessing on the ACT, it is to your advantage to answer each question.  When you come to a question that stumps you, see if you can eliminate at least a couple of the choices.  If you still aren’t sure, take your best guess.

Plan to Check Your Work

When you get to the end of the individual ACT tests with several minutes to spare, go back through the test and check your answers or written responses.


I would love to hear your comments and topics you are interested in receiving more information on.  E-mail me at  Visit my website at



 Hattie Grace is President/CEO of Academic Excellence Tutoring Services.  Academic Excellence offers ACT/SAT one on one ACT tutoring and group workshops.


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