How Do I Get A High Score on the ACT?

  1. Precise Reading 

“I almost always start students off on the Reading section, for a few reasons.  The first reason is that careful, precise Reading is the most important skill on the entire ACT (yes, even on the Math and Science sections). – Mike Barrett, author of:  The ACT Prep Black Book.

  1. Avoid Careless Errors

“You want to develop the ability to recognize and understand your mistakes.  That means you need to be able to do some practice work, then take a second look at the questions you missed and figure out where you went wrong.  You need to identify what you misunderstand or overlooked that stopped you from answering the question correctly, and what you could have done to avoid the mistake and get the question right.” – Mike Barrett, author of:  The ACT prep Black Book. This is the strategy we employ at Be SAT Wise in our Act prep class called, “Weekend Boot Camps.”  We give the students a Mock ACT exam on Saturday morning and then in the afternoon the teacher helps the students review and dissect that test. “Once students train themselves to stop making ‘careless errors’, they’re typically scoring in a range that makes them quite happy. Let me be clear – when I talk about reviewing all of your practice work, I don’t just mean checking the answer key to see what you missed.  I mean going back over every single question you missed or were unsure about, and trying to figure out what was going on in each question that stopped you from being certain about the correct answer.  That way you’ll know how to overcome similar issues on test day. – Mike Barrett, author of: The ACT prep Black Book.At Be SAT Wise, we review and analyze the Mock ACT given on Saturday morning, on Saturday afternoon and again on Sunday morning.  The students are then much better prepared and motivated to review and analyze the second Mock ACT exam (on their own) given to them on Sunday afternoon.

  1. Higher Degree of Precision Required

“Standardized tests like the ACT require higher degree of precision and consistency (especially in executing basic skills) than normal classroom tests do. This is the most common difficulty for most students.” – Mike Barrett, author of: The ACT prep Black Book.

  1. Only ACT, Inc. Mock Practice Tests

“We should only practice for the ACT with real ACT questions written by ACT, Inc., and not with fake questions written by any other company.  When you use real ACT practice questions, you’re training yourself on a conscious level, as well as on an intuitive level, to recognize and respond to the standards in real ACT questions.  I’ll say it one more time – never use anything besides ‘Real ACT practice questions’ if your goal is to score well on the real ACT” –  Mike Barrett, author of: The ACT prep Black Book. At Be SAT Wise we only use Mock Practice Exams from ACT, Inc. – the administrators of the ACT.  There are 3 Mock Practice Exams in – The Real ACT Prep Guide, 2016 Edition.

  1. Importance of Reading the question and all the answer choices first

“It’s easy to forget that there’s an extremely important source of information sitting right in front of us on every multiple choice question…..the answer choices themselves! That is why I emphasize that the students must always, ALWAYS read each ACT question completely, including the answer choices, before they start to figure out the answer.  Too many people just read the question prompt (the part that doesn’t include the answer choices), then stop and try to solve the problem on their own, then check to see if their answer is reflected in the choices.  This approach, though typical, will make life harder for you and cause you to miss hints and clues that are basically staring you in the face once you know how to look for them” –  Mike Barrett, author of: The ACT prep Black Book.

  1. Major Difference between the ACT and the usual HS tests

“One of the most important differences between the ACT and a normal HS test is the extreme importance of details on the ACT – and this means that ‘careless mistakes’ on the ACT will be much more harmful to your score than they would be in a normal classroom situation.” –  Mike Barrett, author of: The ACT prep Black Book

  1. Start with the Simple Questions First

“Start by answering all the questions that seem relatively simple and easy to you.  Skip the ones that seem too hard or too time-consuming for now” –  Mike Barrett, author of: The ACT prep Black Book.

  1. Timing Issues

“One of the biggest causes of stress in Standardized testing is the time limit.  This is especially true in the ACT, which requires you to answer more questions with fewer breaks than most other Standardized tests people take before College.”-  Mike Barrett, author of: The ACT prep Black Book. Completing two ACT, Inc. Mock Practice Tests at our Act Prep class Weekend Book Camps will help you enormously in this area.

  1.  About Reading on the ACT

“You have to be able to read carefully and precisely.  In other words, you have to have the skill of reading exactly what’s on a page, and taking in everything that’s stated directly in the text, without taking in anything that’s not.  Well, it turns out that the kind you need to do on the ACT is almost the exact opposite of the kind of reading students are trained to do in HS.” –  Mike Barrett, author of: The ACT prep Black Book

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