The ACT is the major make or break factor for your college education. That’s why it makes sense to properly prepare for it. There are various ways to resort to for your ACT prep, such as joining a class, hiring a tutor or enrolling in an online program, among others. Each of them can suffice on their own, but you can always use a combination of these methods as well.

Why get a high score in the ACT? There are amazing perks of it, such as a scholarship grant worth $10,000 and more- particularly if you obtain a score of at least 25. The boons that you’ll get from a favorable score in the ACT depend on the standards of your chosen colleges, so you better work on it and do your thing.

But what gets in the way of your achieving a high ACT score? Below are the reasons why test-takers did unsatisfactorily in their test, and these you ought to know and do away with.

• You weren’t able to start your study plan earlier. You might have engaged in your ACT study plan too late. Consider that it takes at least 3 months for the materials for the test to sink in your wits. This is actually the basic requirement for standardized tests not only for the ACT but the SAT and GRE, to name two. Tests of this sort have not only been designed to test your knowledge, but your reasoning ability at the same time. Don’t get too complacent and study for only one week for these tests. Cramming is a major blunder for these academic endeavors. You’ll need to brush up on your skills in inferring, predicting and drawing conclusions, and these take time. Mastering these skills require repetition. Be therefore diligent, dedicated and prompt in arranging your ACT prep and stick to it.

• Your test prep learning style isn’t effective. It’s different strokes for different test-takers when studying for the ACT. Look for a method that suits you. Are you more comfortable doing the quizzes on your own, or do you prefer quizzing with your friends and joking and laughing along the way? Do you think that hiring a tutor would be more motivating? To give you a clue, you can take the “learning style quiz” so you can determine whether you are a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner and look for a study method that accords your category.

• You didn’t orient yourself with the style and format of the ACT. Different kinds of tests are featured in the ACT, thus you have to study for them correspondingly. Note that the ACT is not like the usual tests that you take in high school. In this case, you can ask for guidance from your teacher about what the types of questions are in the test. Likewise, you can enroll in an online program and take ACT practice tests. Getting an ACT booklet can help, too. Primarily, you have to learn the test strategy of the ACT and make sure that you give yourself ample time to study for it.

• You might be pushing yourself too hard, causing you to be anxious. You might have experienced test anxiety a few days before taking the ACT. Thinking that the only thing you should do is get a perfect score, you might have stressed yourself and in the end got a low score instead. What’s the predominant glitch to this? You should have taken steps to overcome test anxiety. On the day of your test and as you are seated to begin, take a few minutes to practice deep breathing. Visualize the ocean or calm scenery and do a bit of stretching. Relax yourself and be confident that you have sufficiently studied. You can even make an affirmation that you’ll be able to ace your test.

• You may be harboring negative thoughts about yourself. You might have thought that you are an awful test-taker, which is a product of cognitive distortion. Be very wary of it. Cognitive distortion, as a concept is based on the premise that “what you believe you are, you become it”. Don’t wallow in your past failures, but on the other hand, be confident that you can correct your mistakes this time. While doing your test prep, note encouraging words in post-its such as “I am a super-smart test-taker” and stick them all over your room. See to it that you boost your motivation and positive thinking.

These are the possible reasons of getting a low score in the ACT. But now, you know what to do, so you should feel “super” on the day of your test and believe that you are worthy of receiving the amazing perks of getting a high ACT score.

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