ACT For Dummies: Book + 3 Practice Tests Online + Flashcards, 7th Edition
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As a parent, you may wonder what you can do to help your student study for the ACT. Well, wonder no longer! Here are ten specific steps for helping your child do his or her best.

studying for the ACT ©Stock-Asso/

Give him awesome test-prep materials

If you bought a study prep guide for your child, you did him a huge favor. Taking full-length practice tests give your child an edge over other juniors and seniors who haven’t prepared. Nicely done!

Encourage her to study

Help your child work out a study schedule and give her incentives to stick to it, such as picking out the family’s dinner menu for one week or allotting her a larger share of the family’s talk and text minutes.

Supply him with a good study environment

Make sure your student has a quiet study area where he can concentrate without being disturbed by siblings, pets, friends, TV, the computer, or his cellphone. Quality study time is time spent without distractions.

Take practice tests with her

You’ll be better able to discuss the questions and answers with your child if you take the practice tests, too. Pretend you’re a test proctor and be the official timer for your student when she takes the full-length practice tests. After she’s done, read through the answer explanation with your whiz kid and help her discover which question types she may need to improve on. Then look up those particular topics for a refresher on the rules that govern them.

Model good grammar for him

Help your child recognize mistakes in English usage questions by speaking properly with him and gently correcting his grammar mistakes in your conversations. Before you know it, he’ll be correcting you!

Help her memorize math formulas

The online Cheat Sheet has a list of tips your student needs to know for the test; check it out at and search for ACT Cheat Sheet. Quiz her to make sure she remembers them.

Encourage him to read

One of the best ways to improve reading scores is to actually read. Go figure! Incorporate reading into your family’s schedule and set up times to read short passages together and discuss their meanings.

Explore colleges with her

Your child’s ACT score becomes more important to her when she realizes what’s at stake. Taking her to college fairs and campus visits can foster her enthusiasm for college and make taking the ACT more relevant.

Get him to the test site on time

If the test site is unfamiliar to you, take a test drive before the exam date to make sure you don’t get lost or encounter unexpected roadwork on the morning of the test. That day, make sure your kid’s alarm is set properly so he rises with plenty of time to get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast, and confirm he has the items he needs to take with him to the exam.

Help her keep a proper perspective

Remind your student that although the ACT is important, it isn’t more important than her schoolwork or being good to her family. Her exam score isn’t a reflection of her worth (or your parenting skills). It’s just one of many tools that colleges use to assess students’ skills and determine whether they’re a proper fit for their freshman classes.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Lisa Zimmer Hatch, MA, and Scott A. Hatch, JD, have been helping students succeed on standardized tests since 1987. They have written curricula and numerous test-prep guides, and have taught internationally through their online forums, live lectures, DVDs, and study programs.

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