Senior Advice Column

In each issue of the Sword and Shield, Nic Braico and Brynn Sailing will take the time to answer the questions from the JMM community- from the seasoned perspective of a high school senior.


Question: How do I prepare for the ACT?


Nic’s answer: There are many ways you can prepare for the test, and chances are, your method is different from mine, so everyone has their own way of preparing. For me, I took the ACT prep course held at Memorial over the summer, and I found that to be really helpful. From the time I took the practice ACT at the start of the course to when I took the ACT in February, my overall score rose 6 points. There are also many ACT prep books available to help you study. Another thing to keep in mind is that some junior English classes will do a unit strictly on ACT prep to make sure you’re ready for the reading and writing sections. The last thing I’d recommend is to take it more than once. I took it in the fall before the state-wide test in February, and I think just getting familiar with the actual test itself in that way is really helpful. But, the downside to taking it beforehand is that you have to pay for it (unless you can get a fee waiver), since only the state-wide test is free. Just remember, you can always take the test more than once, and most colleges will “superscore” your results, meaning they’ll take the best results, even if they’re from different tests.


Brynn’s answer: The ACT can be intimidating to begin with, but the key is in knowing how to take tests. Learning reading skills to read and process information faster is considerably helpful, as it will cut down some of your reading time and give you more time to answer questions with a clear memory of the material. Making a good connection with the teacher of a subject you struggle in can help, because they can explain how the test will be laid out and what to be prepared for. And lastly, simply cracking a test prep book and taking a full-length practice test can give you a lot of in-depth practice and experience handling a test-taking situation.

By Brynn Sailing and Nic Braico 

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