Preparation for the ACT, a college admissions tests taken by college bound high school students should begin six months, if not a year, prior to actually taking the examination. Taking this much time to devote to ACT prep will make the process much less stressful on the student and will be manageable for a busy high school student running from one activity to the next. ACT prep can include taking a formal course, meeting with a tutor or study group or self preparation using online and print resources. However, ACT prep also extends to the days leading up to the exam and how to prepare your mind and body to do its absolute best on test day.
If enough time has been devoted to studying, the week leading up to the ACT exam should only include reviewing material already covered and keeping it fresh in your mind until test day. Additionally, students should find out the exact protocol for test day such as arrival time and what items they are able/and or required to bring with them, such as a calculator or photo ID. The night before the test, once all materials are packed and easily accessible in the morning, ACT prep can be different from student to student, but should include a stress free evening and a sound nights sleep. For some students this may mean a leisurely bath and book, while others find curling up on the couch in front of their favorite movie a relaxing experience. Getting a good night sleep before test day is crucial for full mental functioning and physical comfort during the long exam process.
The morning of the exam, a student should try to give themselves a little time between waking and having to leave for the test. This time will allow the student to wake up fully and should include a sound breakfast which will keep the student running through the duration of the test. Much emphasis is put on the academic side of ACT prep, which is crucial. However, ACT prep also includes taking care of oneself both mentally and physically in the days and hours leading up to the test. Months of hard work and studying could be jeopardized by low blood sugar or fatigue on test day. Additionally, nerves are to be expected and will give a lot of students an extra edge, just be sure it’s healthy and manageable and won’t come to a detriment on test day.