Request Tutoring Info
Please enter name
Please enter email
Please enter phone
Please enter details

A NYC Tutor's Guide to ACT Testing

Does ACT prep sound like a bore? It did to me too, but, now that I am in college, I am doing ACT tutoring because I understand just how important ACT prep classes, an ACT prep course, or an ACT tutor are to getting into the school of your dreams.   

Many ACT tutors will say that studying for the ACT is about knowing how to take the test more than it is about knowing the material, and I couldn’t agree more. My ACT prep tutoring focuses on helping students to find the answers that are there hidden within the test and how to use process of elimination to make an educated guess or to know when a question should be skipped or saved for later.   

As an ACT prep tutor, I recognize that every student learns differently, and so, when teaching students how to take the ACT, I focus on finding the test taking methods that work best for each student.   

ACT scores can be scary, but it, usually, isn’t a bad idea to take the test again. There are many ACT test dates and opportunities for ACT registration. However, this can be a pain and some colleges require that all ACT scores be revealed rather than allowing what is called super-scoring where only the best scores from each section are sent, so, in order to account for this, I highly recommend that all students who are able take a practice ACT to get used to the test before the real thing.   

My own ACT prep with students will also include numerous practice tests to familiarize students with the ACT test format.   

There has always been a big push to study ACT vocabulary, but flashcards full of ACT words was not an approach that I used when I studied for the ACTs, and my ACT practice does not and never will include that sort of useless, rote memorization.   

Instead, I prefer to use ACT practice questions that include ACT vocabulary so that students can learn ACT words in context rather than from a card.   I, also, want to make students understand just what it means to have a “good” or a “bad” ACT score. ACT prep courses can, often, be stress inducing rather than stress reducing especially when ACT vocab is such an essential part of the curriculum. Even an ACT online course can negatively affect a student’s confidence.   

In an attempt to ease students, I will, when going over a practice ACT test, not only explain to them the ways in which they can improve their score but also give them some perspective on what their ACT score means in a broader sense. The idea behind this approach is that ACT testing can mislead students into thinking that they are not smart or not good enough when really the problem has nothing to do with intelligence and everything to do with getting used to a very specific type of standardized testing.   
To help students be better acquainted with the ACT test format, I will introduce different ACT tips as we go along and I become more knowledgeable about a specific student’s strengths and learning style.   

Having spent some horrible hours with ACT prep books back when I was in high school, I have come to learn that the best ACT prep book is a person (be that a tutor, a teacher, a parent, or a friend) who has taken and who understands the ACT on a personal level.   

ACT questions are designed to be tricky. ACT tutoring is intended to reveal the secret behind the trick. ACT test prep ensures that a student sees the same trick enough times to be able to identify it and immediately remember its secret.   

While ACT prep books can help with revealing secrets, because they are written down, they aren’t very good at adapting their explanations to different audiences. A practice ACT, the real ACT, they will be the same for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will understand them in the same way. My job as an ACT tutor is to make sure that you get the tricks and you see the secrets in the way that makes the most sense to you.
Alexander M
Columbia English, Spanish, & Chinese Tutor
Columbia University
More posts