Is boosting your ACT score as easy as 1-2-3? We’ll confess: it’s not. Studying for the ACT is a constant cycle of learning, self-evaluating, and more learning. But there are about 3 steps to creating an effective study routine that will help you boost your ACT score:
1. Identify your knowledge gaps
Your knowledge gaps are the content areas the ACT covers that you don’t have mastery over. While it’s more fun to study topics you know and get all your practice problems right, you have to figure out what you don’t know in order to increase your ACT score, or you’ll continue to get the same kinds of questions wrong.
Identify your knowledge gaps by taking a practice ACT test and analyzing the kinds of questions you get wrong. Do all the math questions you get wrong have to do with triangles, or do you keep missing questions about commas on the English section? Take note of these patterns. These are your knowledge gaps.
If you’re having trouble identifying the concept behind the questions you’re missing, set up a time with your teacher to go over your test. They’ll probably have an idea of what the concept is and even some study tips for you!
2. Learn that content
Once you’re armed with the knowledge of your failings (we jest), create a study plan to conquer them.
Find practice questions in your textbooks or online, or ask a teacher or tutor for one-on-one help. If you want to avoid picking out a study plan, try a comprehensive ACT course like The Olive Book that does that for you.
If you don’t have much time to boost your score, focus on the English section. This section is one of the easiest to raise because there are only a handful of technical and rhetorical skills covered on the test. In other words, if you are really paying attention you will notice that the test makers are just asking the same questions over and over again with different passages. Once you understand the concepts behind these questions and are able to consistently get them correct during your practice, you’ll see your English section score shoot up.
This is one of the hardest steps in this three-step plan. You have to really challenge yourself to learn the new material!
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3. Test your growth and repeat
After you’ve spent a few days (or a couple of weeks) filling your knowledge gaps, take another practice test to test your growth. Hopefully, you’re getting questions correct that you were consistently getting wrong before!
If you found that you haven’t improved as much as you wanted to, that’s ok. Just analyze your results again, create a new study plan, and focus. Studying for the ACT is cyclical; you’ll need to constantly evaluate your progress, adjust as necessary, and study on.
That’s it – three steps to boost your ACT score! Remember, doing more practice problems will not necessarily earn you a higher score. Doing practice problems that hit and then fill your knowledge gaps will earn you a higher score. If you create a high-yield study plan, then you’ll get high-yield results!