Students reflect on how they prepare for the ACT

Lauren Chevalier


Jessie Wille

Students use many different methods to prepare themselves for the ACT.

Estelle Beutz, Staff Writer

For many students, there is nothing worse than waking up at 7:00 a.m. on a treasured Saturday morning to take the ACT. Students spend three hours racking their brains to solve problems in the hopes that their score will get them into their college of choice.

In order to improve these scores, students will use different testing techniques and strategies. It can be beneficial to go into the ACT “blind”–without previous experience–in order to find out what they need to work on. Some students who go in blind find that they are pleased with their score and don’t need to do any tutoring or classes in addition. “I just wanted to try it my first time without tutoring to see how well I could do, but I got a solid score on my first try so I only took it once,” senior Joe Dunn said.

Many students who go in blind however, will want to improve their scores. It is most popular for students to see a tutor in order to teach them techniques while taking the test. “I use a tutor named Mrs. Swanson, and this has improved my ACT score, so I think it is pretty beneficial,” junior Katie Tucker said.

On the other hand, some students don’t want to be discouraged by a lower score if they take the test with no initial preparation. “ I took a practice ACT and did not do as well as I wanted, so I prepared before I took the real test. I didn’t have to go in blind, my tutor is named Kristen Greene. Her daughter is a freshmen here at,” senior Mary Hoyt said. 

Much of the art of taking the ACT has to do with mastering the correct techniques and time management. It is popular for tutors to tell their students that all the points on the ACT are worth the same, so if one is extremely difficult they should move on. Also, tutors can give valuable information like how the toughest questions are towards the end of the section on the test.“I would recommend [a tutor] because I think there are a lot of tricks about testing to learn and their insight is very beneficial,” Tucker said.

Whether by using a tutor or other study methods, it’s clear that BSM students have many tools available to help them prepare to take the ACT. However, while these scores are an important tool for determining college readiness, students should always remember that a test score is never a full measure of who one is as a student, or as a person.