Exam: ACT Test - American College Testing: English, Math, Reading, Science, Writing
ACT(American College Testing) is among the most recognized entrance exams for admission in the universities in the United States for an undergraduate program.The exam is widely taken up by domestic and international students for university level admission in the United States as well as some other countries with English being the medium of instruction such as Australia, United Kingdom and Canada. The standardised exam covering the secondary school curriculum is designed to assess the readiness of the applicants academically for joining a university for higher education.The test examines the knowledge proficiency of students in four subject areas including Reading, English, Science Reasoning and Mathematics. The test comprises of multiple choice questions in all the subject areas and an optional ACT Plus Writing test for applicants wanting to apply in colleges which require writing test scores for admission.
Importance of ACT Scores
ACT is most widely accepted standardized test for college admissions in the United States with all the colleges and universities with four-year undergraduate programs accepting the ACT score. Though the weightage of the scores in admission process varies in different colleges, the study of National Association for College Admission Counselling shows thatmost of the large institutions of the country focus more on the standardized test scores in their college admission process.A good ACT score is thus of great importance for students who want to get admissions in the college of their choice.
Developing a Study Plan
Like for any other entrance exams, the preparation for ACT test proves to be most effective when is accompanied with a study plan. A study plan helps the students in organising a routine and keeping themselves on track to complete and revise their syllabus for exam within the stipulated time before the exam. The earlier preparation is started more the time a student gets in thoroughly preparing themselves for the ACT exam. However, an effective preparation for success in ACT exam requires at least four weeks’ time for the student to revise all the subject areas and take up sufficient number of practice tests before the actual test.
For effectively covering and revising the subjects covered in the test, it is advisable to spend two days each for every section.Preparation of all the section would involve revision of all topics included in the test section and solving practice questions. In the English section, students weak in vocabulary can devote practice of vocabulary in their daily study routine. Students who need special focus on the Reading section should read more magazines, journals or newspaper and spend some timeevery day in improving their reading skill.
It is important to spend at least four hours in a day initially for the study plan and gradually increase it to 8 hours a day.Here is an effective four week study plan for ACT preparation that students can follow or modify to match their ability and requirements.
Week 1 –Understanding the Test Content and Revising on the Subject Areas
Dedicate the first two days in understanding about the testcontent. The first step of starting the study plan is to understanding the test format, the subject areas covered in the test, the number of questions and time allotted for each section. It is also important to analyse the type of questions and topics covered in each subject area to get a proper insight on preparing for the test. This will help in deciding the number of hours to be spent for preparation each day and planning the time required for revising the subject areas. From the third day, the students must focus on collecting the required materials for preparation and begin with the first subject oftheir choice. The students can also take up a mock test on the next day to determine their area of strength and weakness and then start with the subjects accordingly. By the end of week one, at least revision and practice of at least one subject area of the test must be completed.
Week 2 –Complete revising and practicing the rest three subject areas
With the completion of one subject in the first week, a student is left with three other subjects and an optional writing section for revision. The seven days of the second week can be divided equally with two days each for the three subjects and one day for the writing section.
Week 3 –Take up mock tests and work on the weak areas
Start the third week with a mock test to determine the level of improvement after revision of subjects and identifying the areas of weakness. An additional two days can be spent to further studyand improve on the areas which needs more focus to gradually reduce the weaker points in the test.After two days of additional study, take up a mock test again to gauge the progress and continue solving the practice questions of each section for the rest of the week.
Week 4 –Identify and focus on topics for improvement and attempt practice tests
Similar to the third week, start the last week of preparation with a mock test. The results of this test would probably be a lot better and the students can now narrow their focus point to identify the topics in each section where there is scope for improvement. The next two days can be spent on revising and solving more questions related to on these specific topics. Finally comes the practice tests which is the most important and helpful aspect in taking up the actual ACT test. Spend the rest of the week in attempting just the practice tests with a target of taking up at least two tests in a day.
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