ACT Test Prep: Quality Practice Leads to Scores that Open Doors


An ACT score is just a number.  It doesn’t say anything about what kind of person you are, how successful you’ll be in life, or even how well you’ll take advantage of the opportunities presented in college and beyond.  For this reason, as you know, there is a growing list of colleges who are choosing to go “test optional.”  That said, for better or worse, the ACT score is a number that still matters for most students’ college admissions processes.  And sometimes even the hardest working students at the area’s best schools need a little extra support to reach their full potential.

Ideally for a good student coming out of a rigorous curriculum, his or her intellectual potential would shine forth on a standardized test like the ACT.  However, for a variety of reasons, not every student can simply sign up, sit for the test, and end up with a score commensurate with his or her full potential as a student.  As with preparation for any high pressure performance, ample effective practice is a necessary difference maker between a stellar performance and a mediocre one.


With all that today’s students must juggle—a heavy course load, extracurricular activities, work and service commitments—implementing a regime of effective practice can be difficult.  Moreover, even if a student is diligent about carving out some time from his or her busy schedule for ACT or SAT test prep, knowing where to start, what to focus on, and how to spend those precious test-prep minutes can be overwhelming.  

That’s why a great tutor and superb tutoring services can make a big difference in the life of a motivated junior.  The Whole Kid’s highly individualized approach to helping students prepare for the ACT or SAT takes the guesswork out of WHY, WHAT and HOW to PRACTICE. Our tutoring services empower students to approach the college entrance exams with a sound strategy, effective problem-solving approach, and also bolster areas of weakness.

Time on task engaged in quality practice is the one thing that will make the biggest difference in moving your score.

What does quality practice look like?

  •      Any of the commercially available SAT or ACT test prep books will work to start.  I recommend buying the one that has the most full-length practice tests in the book.
  •      I always encourage students to practice untimed first, to get comfortable with the test, and then work on timing as the test date gets closer.
  •      Make sure you learn from your practice.  Don’t just go through the motions.  Each practice test will have answers at the end.  Check your answers, and try again problems you missed.
  •      Most test prep books offer short explanations of each answer.  If you get a problem wrong the second time through, check out the explanation.
  •      Finally, make note of any patterns in the types of problems that give you trouble—and then do whatever it takes to unlock those mysteries.

Time spent on quality practice in advance of the ACT or SAT is time well spent.  Given the scholarship and merit aid dollars tied to these test scores, time invested in this way can offer a significant return on your investment, a payoff  that will show up both on your score report and in your merit money offer.

If you need extra assistance, then take the time to contact The Whole Kid for our tutoring services.


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