You can study for the ACT test each year of high school in varying degrees of intensity. If you want the quick version, we’ve outlined how to structure your ACT test prep each year in this post. For a deeper dive into each school year, check out these posts (also linked under each section, below):
Your Freshman Year
Freshman year is for figuring out what kind of learner you are. Use this year to figure out the best study methods for you, your areas of strengths and weaknesses, and how you perform on cumulative tests. Don’t worry about studying for the ACT test; focus on becoming a great student.
Read more: How to Study for the ACT Freshman Year
Your Sophomore Year
Sophomore year is about figuring out your baseline score on the ACT test. You can find this out by taking the PreACT or a timed, paper practice test at home. Use this practice test score as a launch point for further prep: are you already in pretty good shape? did your practice score surprise you (in a bad way)? are you having trouble with how the questions are asked, or the timing of the test?
Read more: How to Study for the ACT Sophomore Year
Your Junior Year
Junior year, including the summer prior to the start of the junior year, is for actual test prep. This includes taking The Olive Book course and doing practice tests and then registering for and taking the actual ACT. Plan to take the test twice, with a real study plan for before the first test and between the two tests.
Read More: How to Study for the ACT Junior Year
Your Senior Year
Finally, your senior year, including the summer prior to the start of the senior year, is for ensuring you have the ACT score you need (hopefully by taking the test no more than 3 times), visiting schools, applying to schools, and getting into (at least one) school.
Read More: How to Study for the ACT Senior Year
Whichever year of high school you’re in, you’ve got this! Whatever you do, don’t put off the ACT or try and forget about it. You’ll have to take it (or the SAT) at some point, and it’s best to be prepared. As long as you define your goals, make a plan, and work hard, you’ll get a great score!