3 Moves to Help Your Student Tango with the ACT

Two weeks pass, and ACT scores should be posted. Your child, eager and frightened, logs on to the ACT website to find their composite score. You watch their face, almost as eager as they are for the results. But your heart sinks as their expression stiffens and eyes glaze—their score must not have been what they hoped and worked for.


Scores aren’t final. You remind them that they can improve on the next test. In the meantime, you brainstorm strategies to get that score where they want it. It's time to put a little hop in their step, and think a move ahead.

Think of it like learning a new dance-- it's awkward and janky at first, but once they have the techniques down and learn their partner's nuances, they will move smoothly.

 So what should you consider in order to help your child maximize their score and get into the school they want? Here are three big "dance" steps for preparing for the next ACT test.

1. Practice, Practice, Practice... Tests.

This is the best thing a student can do independently. It’s the deliberate practice before the big recital. This will help your child figure out their skillset and weak points in a context in which there’s not so much pressure. Great dancers cannot perform without a little practice first. One can acquire practice tests from a lot of places, here are three:

ACT.org-- the test is available electronically here.
 ACT Prep Books-- found in your local bookstore.
 Our very own The House website..

2. Go for the Goal

For argument's sake; let's say your child received a 25 composite. Your child aiming for a 36, while noble, is not always plausible. Learning an entire ballet after only knowing Swan Lake is rough. Setting the bar at a reasonably higher score (say, a 27 or a 28 on the next practice test) will decrease overall stress for your child and allow for realistic growth to occur.

Targeting specific subject areas will help your child’s overall composite score. For instance, if their score breakdown was 30 English, 23 Math, 31 Reading, 29 Science, it is apparent that Math is their Achilles’ heel.

Therefore, your child should give Math more attention in their studies and preparation. There’s no need to study more than need be, however; that is not to say one should solely focus on their weak point, either. Each part needs proportional care and attention. If your child needs help figuring out how to balance their studies, our chicago tutors can be great guides for how to best tackle the toughest section for them.

3. What’s the Best Prep?

Each student is unique, and functions best in differing ways.

  • Studying alone. While it may have its different appeals, such as a flexible schedule and no one to answer to,  this option may be more difficult for many students. The implication of working alone is that your child is fully capable of handling creating a study schedule, reviewing a variety of information, and keeping the motivation.
  • Private Tutors are a great option for students who need one-on-one help with scheduling and assistance with the subject area with which they are struggling. Tutors can keep students accountable for their work. We have plenty of tutors with rock star personalities!
  • ACT Prep Classes in Chicago are offered through many schools and private companies. They are a great way to keep your child on task, and provide an outlet for discussing concerns and strategies with other students. At Chicago Academic, we offer small and large ACT Prep Classes to accommodate for your child’s learning style and your financial needs. 
The ACT is a tricky dance partner-- it has a lot of moves and twirls-- but with enough practice, your child will turn that Fred Astaire of an exam into a cutesy, much less intimidating Shirley Temple.
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Topics: ACT Test Prep in Chicago, ACT tutor in Chicago, ACT Test Prep Classes In Chicago

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