Tips and Tricks to Survive the ACT’s

Tips and Tricks to Survive the ACT’s

Take this advice to help you mentally and physically prepare for the ACT or any other form of standardized testing.

Maybe you’re a junior, or maybe you’re a senior. Maybe this is your first time taking the test, or maybe it’s your fifth. Maybe you’re a great test-taker, or maybe you’re a terrible one. Regardless of where you stand, everyone could use some extra advice to help get through the ACT’s.

Taking Care of Your Body

Take it easy

In the days leading up to the test, be sure to not do anything too strenuous. This is not to say that you should stray from your typical activity routine -- in fact, it’s important to stay active and healthy. However, doing anything that will cause fatigue or soreness is not suggested, as the exhaustion will detract from your focus on the paper in front of you.

Go to sleep early

Rest is of utmost importance, as it gives both your body and mind an opportunity to shut down and recharge so you can be at peak performance the next morning. Know when you have to be awake by, and plan your bedtime accordingly. Remember: You need at least eight hours of sleep to function at your highest level.

Bring snacks and water

During the test, you will have an allotted ten minutes to eat, drink, or use the bathroom. Taking this time to eat WILL make a difference, and provide the necessary boost to keep you going. Pack a water bottle as well as a nutritious snack (I personally recommend Cliff Bars -- they taste good and are a great source of protein).

Mental Preparation


There are a variety of online tools to help you prepare; in addition, the makers of the ACT have published an official test prep guide, titled “The Real ACT Prep Guide”. DO NOT put off studying until the night before -- create a study schedule to adhere to so you can consistently practice, and focus on areas that you find challenging.

Think positive

It sounds silly, but it’s true. You can’t do well if you don’t believe you will, so be confident and repeat some positive affirmations to yourself.

Don’t stress

I know there’s a lot of pressure on you to do well, but please don’t let it get to you. Take deep breaths, remind yourself that it’s gonna be OK, and don’t overthink it too much. You’re going to ace it.

During the Test

Pace yourself

It’s easy to lose track of time during the test, so be aware of how many minutes you have left. It helps to designate a certain amount of time for each page, so you can assure that you will not surpass the time limit.

When in doubt, guess

The ACT gives you credit for the answers you get correct, but does not penalize you for those that are incorrect. Therefore, if you’re uncertain about a question or don’t have enough time to finish, just guess. You can choose your lucky letter or use deductive reasoning, just fill it in -- there’s ¼ chance of it being correct, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s better than nothing.

Write out your work

The work you include on the test packet will not be scored, so it’s best to just write out your steps. This will reduce the odds of making a careless mistake, and will help you better organize your thoughts and ideas. If you’re dealing with a reading passage, annotate the text.

Check your answers

If you have the time, double check the answers you filled in. There’s a lot of pressure during timed tests, and you don’t want to lose a point over a careless slip-up.

Only focus on the relevant information

Many of the answers can be found buried beneath excess information, so know how to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not. This can especially be applied in the Science and Reading sections of the test.

Good luck to all my fellow test-takers!! You are going to do great.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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50 Things to Do When You're Bored and Completely Alone


For people like me, spring break is a time where you come home and have absolutely nothing to do. You're parents work all day and you're either sibling-less or your siblings have already moved out. Most of your friends are on the semester system, so your breaks don't line up. You're bored and completely alone.

Although while being alone sounds boring, sometimes it's nice to just hang out with yourself. There is a plethora of unique and creative things you can do. Netflix marathon? That's overdone. Doing something productive or worthwhile? You do enough of that in school anyway. Whatever the reason is for you being alone, I have assembled a list of unique things to do to cure your boredom.

SEE ALSO: 50 Things To Do Instead of Finishing Your Homework

  1. Have a solo dance party.
  2. Teach yourself how to do an Australian accent (or any accent for that matter).
  3. Learn how to play harmonica (or any instrument for that matter).
  4. Buy an at home workout DVD.
  5. Bake a cake (and eat the whole thing for yourself).
  6. Take a rollaway chair and ride it down the driveway.
  7. Paint a self-portrait.
  8. Plant some flowers in your backyard.
  9. Become a master at air-guitar.
  10. Perform a concert (just for yourself).
  11. Write a novel.
  12. Become an expert on quantum mechanics.
  13. Give yourself a new hairdo.
  14. Knit a sweater (if you don't know how, learn).
  15. Make a bunch of origami paper cranes and decorate your house with them.
  16. Make homemade popsicles.
  17. Reorganize your entire closet.
  18. Put together a funky new outfit.
  19. Make a short film.
  20. Try to hold a handstand for as long as possible.
  21. Memorize the lyrics to all of your favorite songs.
  22. Create a website.
  23. Go on Club Penguin and troll a bunch of children.
  24. Become your favorite fictional character.
  25. Become your favorite animal.
  26. Practice your autograph for when you become famous.
  27. Create a magical potion.
  28. Learn a few spells.
  29. Learn how to become a Jedi.
  30. Put the TV on mute and overdub it with your own voice.
  31. Make paper hats with old newspapers.
  32. Become a master at jump roping tricks.
  33. Create music playlists based on random things, like colors.
  34. Find a chunk of wood and carve something out of it.
  35. Find something that doesn't have a Wikipedia page and create one for it.
  36. Create a full course meal based on whatever's in your kitchen.
  37. Teach your pet a new trick.
  38. Take a bunch of artsy photographs.
  39. Make a scrapbook.
  40. Learn a bunch of new words and incorporate them into your speech.
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  42. Make your own board game.
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Cover Image Credit: Josh

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High School Seniors Should Be Excited For College, Not Scared

Even though it seems stressful and it is a big new place, it will be some of the best memories you will have for life.


Going into the summer after my high school graduation, all I could think about was college, and how I was going to prepare to go to a new school and move away from home. Just know, it is not as stressful as you prepare yourself for it to be. You don't need to worry about not having any friends or not knowing how to get to all the different buildings because you have to remember everyone else on campus has been in the exact same position you are in, and there are tons of people on campus to help you.

One of the things I was most worried about was classes and how to know which classes to take. My advice is to go to counseling and plan out your classes before you register. Planning out classes will drastically help you stay on track and the counselors will help you make a balanced schedule that you can actually handle.

Another piece of advice would be to not bring as much stuff for your dorm as you think you will need. By all means, bring the essential things that you will need, but remember a dorm room is very small and you share it with another person. You won't have a ton of space for extra stuff and you want to have space to move around and actually live in your dorm.

Finally, if you are concerned about meeting people and making friends, just try and be as outgoing and open as possible. Everyone else in the dorms is just as nervous as you are too meet people, it really helps to try to branch out. Joining clubs or greek life also helps you meet people around campus with common interests as you.

College is not something to be scared of. Even though it seems stressful and it is a big new place, it will be some of the best memories you will have for life.


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