Essential ACT Subject-Review Strategies for Each Section of the Test

Posted by Julia Wasson

Sep 9, 2014 7:32:00 AM

As your child begins preparing for the ACT test, it’s important that he or she is aware of the strategies necessary to conquer the subject of each subtest. That’s why ACT subtest review is necessary to help your child feel more at ease and in control on the big day.

The following is a subtest strategy breakdown to jumpstart your student’s ACT review:

ACT Subtest Review: English

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Topics: studying for the ACT, ACT test, college entrance exams

Top 3 Benefits of PSAT, SAT & ACT Test Prep

Posted by Julia Wasson

Aug 19, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Test prep for college entrance exams is fundamental to increasing your child’s chances of being accepted to the college or university of his or her choice. Getting familiar with the tests will help him score higher, and higher scores can unlock opportunities that he would otherwise miss out on. Yet, familiarity alone isn’t enough to help students earn a better score. Strategy plays a huge part in how well students do on the tests, and most need the guidance of an experienced test specialist to learn how to handle these unique exams.

Here are the top three reasons why test prep is an essential part of your child’s college application process:

1. The Competitive Edge: College Admissions

Competition for college acceptance is stiff, as more students than ever before are applying to college. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average number of applications per college increased by a startling 60 percent between 2002 and 2011. And of those who apply to top colleges like the Ivies and Stanford, the acceptance rate is sometimes as low as 5 percent.

Test prep can help your son or daughter develop the test-taking skills and strategies to earn his or her personal-best score and get an edge over the competition: every other high school junior who is applying to the same college(s). This is especially important if your child’s other qualities — grades, volunteer experiences, afterschool activities, references, etc. — are about equal to the majority of applicants’.

It’s also important to note that some colleges and universities have varying “cut” scores for different majors, particularly in math and science. Knowing what score your child’s program requires before beginning the college application process will help your student make wise choices about which colleges to apply to. If the cut score for a particular major is a bit of a stretch for your child, but not bordering on the impossible, the right kind of test prep could well make the difference. If your child is scoring lower than necessary in math, for example, taking an online class (often called a “webinar”) or signing up with a test specialist for tutoring might just be enough to boost her over the cut score hurdle.

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Topics: ACT test, SAT test, PSAT

The 4 ACT Subtests: An Overview of What Your Child Needs to Know

Posted by Julia Wasson

Jul 29, 2014 6:00:00 AM

The ACT test is one of two tests used by colleges and universities for the purpose of admissions, and is primarily intended to be a test of content.

Students who have done well in the recommended sequence of courses through their junior year are likely to have learned the content they need to know for each of the ACT subtests: English, math, reading, and science. The ACT test also includes an optional writing essay.

But even students who are comfortable with the subject matter of the ACT test usually find time management to be a serious challenge. Knowing the best way to approach each section depends a lot on your child’s skill level in that subject area. A “C” student in English will likely need a different strategy than a “B” student to earn the same score. And students who are not confident in math, science, or reading will benefit from time management strategies that might seem counterintuitive until they try them.

Knowing what’s on the four ACT subtests and preparing with the right test-taking strategies is vital to earning a personal-best score.

The following is a breakdown of the four ACT subtests (plus the optional essay), including insights into how to prepare for each section:

ACT English Test Section

45 minutes, 75 questions

The ACT English test section covers punctuation, grammar, usage, sentence structure, logic and strategy, organization, and style.

Attention to detail is critical for this portion of the ACT test. Your child likely learned most of the ACT English rules way back in junior high school, and may be a little rusty on grammar. One effective way to prepare for the English section is to get an ACT study guide that includes a grammar review. Although cramming won’t be of much help on the ACT test in general, reviewing grammar rules a day or so before the test can be very beneficial.

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Topics: ACT test, ACT Subtests

Studying for the SAT/PSAT & ACT Tests

Posted by Julia Wasson

Jul 3, 2014 6:00:00 AM

As the parent of a student who is preparing for college, you'll find many challenges ahead for you and your child, including college entrance exams. These college admissions tests — the SAT and ACT tests — each have unique questions and scoring systems that allow colleges to assess your student’s readiness for rigorous academic work and qualification for scholarship awards. The PSAT is used in determining eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. It's also often used as a practice for the SAT test.

Why PSAT, SAT & ACT Scores Matter

  • Most four-year schools require either ACT or SAT college entrance exam scores. Your child’s score will be a prominent consideration for colleges in determining admission.
  • PSAT, SAT, and ACT scores also help determine scholarship awards. Even a small increase in your student’s college entrance exam scores can make a difference in thousands of scholarship dollars.

Because these standardized test scores are so significant to your child’s college future, it's important to help your student develop a plan for studying for the PSAT, SAT and ACT tests.

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Topics: standardized testing, ACT test, SAT test

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