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Just Kate

Tools to study independently for ACT

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DS (16) is taking the ACT next month in order to be eligible for dual credit classes this fall. I’d like him to do a bit of studying prior to the test. Where could he go for test taking tips and practice questions? 
 

Thanks!

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I’m replying to myself. 😂

I just found Magoosh. It looks like it inexpensive but good for self-study. Anyone with experience?

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EMy son took ACT last October and did very well. He used the library books and some online practice tests we found. Sorry I did not save the online sites. You can find a lot on your own. At first he and I thought he would probably have to take it two or three times to get a satisfactory score because he generally does not test well for the Iowa standardized tests and also he only got a 26 for both PreACT he took in 9th grade and also in April last year, 6 months before he did the full ACT. We were literally shocked how well he did. So he is not going to take it again. 

Oh, I forgot that I did buy two books for him. One is  English and the other is for science. Let me see if I can find the Amazon link. 

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Guide-ACT-English-3rd/dp/0997517883/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=ACT+English&qid=1589945236&sr=8-4

https://www.amazon.com/Love-ACT-Science-innovative-standardized/dp/0996832203/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=ACT+science&qid=1589945367&sr=8-3

we used this book from the library: https://www.amazon.com/Official-2019-2020-Practice-Online-Content/dp/1119580501/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=ACT+prep&qid=1589945524&sr=8-3

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Just Kate said:

DS (16) is taking the ACT next month in order to be eligible for dual credit classes this fall. I’d like him to do a bit of studying prior to the test. Where could he go for test taking tips and practice questions? 
 

Thanks!


Is there a reason you wouldn't use The College Board's online prep if you wanted self study? If you buy their "Official" prep guide, it comes with online resource code.

https://www.amazon.com/Official-ACT-Prep-Guide-2020/dp/1119685761/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=act+prep+guide&qid=1587132499&sr=8-4

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If he's only a month out from taking the ACT, I probably would not suggest PrepScholar or Kaplan or something that costs $, although that's one possibility.  I suggest that he looks on the ACT web site to see if they have anything Free available, and also I suggest that he use https://www.khanacademy.org/ which is Free. IMO Khan Academy is especially good for the SAT (if he is also going to take the SAT) because they have an official tie-in with the CollegeBoard. He should link his CollegeBoard account to his Khan Academy account, so he gets the best results from Khan Academy. Good luck to him with the ACT!

If I were going to spend $, based on another very recent thread, PrepScholar had 2 or 3 people who seemed to have very good results from the money they spent on it. What I don't know is whether or not you can get one of their programs for only one month. Check it out.

My DD had access (I think for 90 days) for a Kaplan program that was tied to ACT. I think it was $100 USD. They had a lot of videos the students could watch and occasional sessions where the students could ask questions of the Instructors. My DD found being able to ask those questions very helpful. That was in 2018. She found the Kaplan course somewhat better than Khan Academy (which she used for the SAT) because of the ability to ask questions of Instructors in live sessions.

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5 hours ago, BlsdMama said:


Is there a reason you wouldn't use The College Board's online prep if you wanted self study? If you buy their "Official" prep guide, it comes with online resource code.

https://www.amazon.com/Official-ACT-Prep-Guide-2020/dp/1119685761/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=act+prep+guide&qid=1587132499&sr=8-4

Nope! No reason at all. I just wasn’t sure what folks who’ve BTDT would recommend. Thanks for the suggestion!

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2 hours ago, Just Kate said:

Nope! No reason at all. I just wasn’t sure what folks who’ve BTDT would recommend. Thanks for the suggestion!

 

OP the thing is that the CollegeBoard / Khan Academy combination, which is Free, is best for the SAT.  If your DC is preparing for the ACT those are very different examinations. He should prepare for the ACT if he is going to take the ACT. Some students like my DD do about the same on the SAT and on the ACT. Other students do much better on one of the tests than on the other one.  The test taking strategies are different also. 

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PrepScholar has lots of studying and test taking strategy on their site for free.

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If nothing else, he should take a few official practice tests.

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Yes, have him try a few official practice tests and go over every. single. problem, right or wrong, to be sure he understands why the answer is what it is.  Do this even with subjects in which he scored well.  It's much easier to raise the score in an area that's already a strength, and every additional point helps his composite!      

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More practice tests 

https://blog.prepscholar.com/printable-act-practice-tests-5-free

“Below are all seven currently available PDFs for official ACT tests. Even though some practice tests are old (dating as far back as 2005), the format of the ACT hasn't changed much since then (except for the introduction of a redesigned Writing section in 2015), so you're basically still taking the same test from more than a decade ago.

Each test includes a full answer key so you can grade your test.“

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13 hours ago, klmama said:

Yes, have him try a few official practice tests and go over every. single. problem, right or wrong, to be sure he understands why the answer is what it is.  Do this even with subjects in which he scored well.  It's much easier to raise the score in an area that's already a strength, and every additional point helps his composite!      

Just to clarify, an answer key alone doesn't give explanations.  If the online practice doesn't include explanation about the answers, try to find one of the official ACT red practice books.  Your library probably has at least one, even if it's older.  

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The best explanation and test prep ideas are in the ACT black book.  You need the exams from online or from the separate red book.  Much more focused and helpful than you average prep book.  My daughter gained 4 points in English on the ACT from the explanations in their book with just about an hour of work!  (Some strange rules grammar rules they have, especially what they call comma sandwiches.) We had used other prep books with minimal impact, this one was the most helpful. She had already done the practice tests and was just studying form their explanations on questions missed. 

https://www.amazon.com/ACT-Prep-Black-Book-Strategies/dp/0692027912

Longer term, I like the PrepScholar for studying, but with only a month, practice tests and the black book.

There is a SAT black book as well that is also well worth the $.

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Books by Erika Metzer are also great for language prep, though not sure if doable in one month. 

But I thought no ACT or SAT will be held in June? Am I missing something? We are in the North East and everything here is still very much in the lockdown. 

ACT board had a message that they will issue an update on May 26th. I wonder if some parts of the country will be able to take it and some not. 

 

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My daughter did practice tests in one book and she watched these videos for the science section. She discovered there isn't time to read everything, so in that section, she read the questions first and looked for the answers. It was her highest section score. '

 

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