Three Ways to Study For the ACT More Efficiently


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For the first time ever, more high school students took the ACT exam than the SAT in 2011 — 1,666,017 took the ACT in 2011, while only 1,664,479 took the SAT.

With more students taking the ACT, career counselors are saying that the test is now more competitive. In order to stand out amongst their peers, students need to score much higher than a 20.9, the average composite score on the ACT in 2013. If they don’t, they’re not only less likely to receive extra scholarship money, but also less likely to even get in to the colleges of their choice.

The key to doing acing the ACT is to study better than the other students. Here are a few test prep review tips to help.

Create Mnemonic Devices.

Mnemonic devices are one of the best ways to recall information. As you do your test prep review, try to turn details into crazy stories to help you remember crucial concepts. For example, instead of remembering that you’re supposed to do a math problem’s parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction in that order, just remember PEMDAS, or to “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.”

Don’t Study in One Spot.

As reported by the New York Times, cognitive scientists have found that alternating study locations can help students improve the retention of information. So instead of doing all your test prep review at your desk, get up and go to the library, to a cafe, or even to your friend’s house.

Reading Isn’t Enough.

Obviously, you have to read the test prep review material to learn it, but reading it out loud to yourself and writing it out can also help you learn and remember it. Reading it aloud to yourself allows you to see and hear the info, which helps you take more in. What’s more, research suggests that humans can store information more securely when they write it out by hand.

It doesn’t matter if you answer more ACT study questions, if you pour over your ACT test prep books longer, or if you take more ACT test prep courses than other students, none of it will stick unless you study properly. With these test prep review tips, though, you’ll have no problem doing the best you possibly can on the ACT.

If you have any questions about studying, or have any other test prep review tips to offer, feel free to share in the comments. For more about this, go here.

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