The Big 3 for the ACT
The ACT. Who would have thought that three little letters could make such a difference in your college search and choice?
Never fear, Illinois State’s Office of Admissions is here to make this big deal a little less stressful.
Fun fact: In the Illinois State 2014 freshman class, the average ACT scores were between 22 and 26!
1. WHEN YOU SHOULD TAKE THE ACT, AND WHY
Most high school students will take the ACT the spring semester of their junior year. This is ideal because you will receive your scores before the Illinois State admission application opens. From here, you may opt to retake the ACT over the summer or in early fall to try for a higher score. If you’re considering a career in education you will want to be sure to take the ACT +Writing as you could gain exemption from the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP). The TAP is required to become licensed to teach.
2. DON’T DRILL THE CONTENT
While it’s important to get familiar with the test’s content, there are other ways to prepare as well. There is no way to predict the specific content or the questions you will encounter, but you can practice the style of the test and the time that you have to complete each section. If working with an ACT study book, be sure to find one with a “Test taking tips” section. These provide some insights into how the test works to help you earn a higher score. Also, many community colleges and high schools have practice exams that will help you get a feel for the timing. ACT even provides preparation tools as well.
3. TRY IT MORE THAN ONCE, BUT DON’T GO OVERBOARD
The ACT is something that you can take as many times as you want. However, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. It is probably a good idea to take the exam twice, but usually not more than three times. Be sure to consult ACT’s guide to testing again to get the facts. Plus, the ACT costs money so take it wisely.
Good luck as you prepare and take the ACT. If you have any questions about how Illinois State used the ACT in admission decisions, contact one of our counselors.
Paige Prehoda is a social media specialist in the Office of Admissions. She can be reached at plpreho@IllinoisState.edu.