Preparing for the ACT examination is a big deal for any college-bound teen. It’s stressful, difficult, and will determine whether or not she gets into her dream university. This amount of pressure mixed with the everyday trials of just being a teenager is enough to throw even the best students into panic mode.
Parents, you can lower your child’s stress level while making sure your child is studying regularly for the test just by taking an active part in the preparation process. Here are some suggestions to help your teen prepare for the ACT.
Familiarize Both Yourself and Your Teen with the ACT’s Content
In your child’s exam packet, he should have received a practice booklet with ACT test prep questions. Look though that together before beginning any written practice. What problem areas will likely arise during the test? What parts of the test will your child find easy? This will help you narrow down the study focus significantly.
The ACT’s website is another great resource. You can either purchase online preparation tests or just take advantage of the free tips and the question of the day. You’ll find information on test descriptions, sample writing prompts for the essay, test taking tips, and rules and procedures for test day. By understanding the ins and outs of the ACT early on, you’ll avoid running into trouble when it’s too late.
When you know the date of the test, buy a planner and sit down with your teen to create a study schedule leading up to the examination. Depending on the amount of time before the test, you can start off slowly-maybe an hour and a half of strict ACT study time three nights a week- and as the date gets closer, build up to add a few more days or minutes.
Be careful not to overwhelm your child, however. Plan some leisure time daily, even the night before the test, so she can relax. A formal schedule allows both you and your child to see how the days are going to work out early on instead of hoping she’ll find her own time to squeeze it in.
Free College-Level Online Courses and Materials
Free-Ed.Net has some excellent free resources that many college students use to either refresh their knowledge of a certain subject or to get some basic preparation on a class they plan to take before they take it. While students don’t earn credit by taking these “classes,” it’s a huge help, especially if you don’t have the book for a particular subject.
Teens planning to take the ACT can also find Free-Ed quite useful. If they need a refresher in English, reading, math, or science, the site has something to offer. Plus, because of the demand for such a class, Free-Ed offers free ACT Exam prep. Parents should direct their children to this site, help them determine the areas in which they need work, and allow them to study independently online for a bit.
Encourage Your Teen to Read as Much as Possible
Being able to read quickly while still grasping the concepts of what was read is an important skill for the ACT test. If your child isn’t a regular reader, he may struggle simply because he’s out of practice. Help him out by finding books that cater to his interests.
An very useful online book discovery tool is a site called What Should I Read Next. Ask your child to name a favorite book and type it in the search box. Then, you’ll receive a list of books with themes similar to the book you searched. From there, just get a book from the list, and let him read as an easier and more enjoyable part of his studies.
ACT test preparation isn’t something that a teenager should do without the help and support of her parents. Your child may be one of the most independent, but for something this important, everyone should work together to help your teen achieve success.
For additional tips on this subject, please check out Parents: Tips for Helping Your Child Prepare for the ACT .
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