Noctiluca Editorial: It’s just a test, but it’s important

Noctiluca Board

With the ACT just around the corner for juniors and seniors, the Noctiluca felt the need to share some tips and strategies.

While important, the ACT isn’t everything. An accurate prediction for college performance can be found in GPA, transcripts, attendance, extracurricular activities, academic accomplishments and the overall work ethic of a student. A student’s worth shouldn’t be based on the ACT score alone. That said, the test is an important part of college admissions. The Noctiluca interviewed various students around Appleton North to provide tips and a general plan for those getting ready to take the test come February.

Two of the students who were interviewed were Lucy Morris and Hersh Pareek. Both advised on how important it is to prepare. According to Hersh, “It is vital to eat breakfast before testing. Being hungry during a test is probably not how you want to feel.” He encourages to eat a nutritious breakfast before taking the test, such as yogurt, fruit, and/or eggs.

Lucy also advises that one’s focus level needs to be as high as possible when testing. In order to stay focused Lucy suggests to, “sleep at least eight hours the night before test day. You don’t want to take a 3-hour test without getting enough sleep or you’re going to lose focus really fast.”

According to Hersh, avoiding stress is key during the test, and only comes with preparation. “You don’t want to stress out on test day because stress creates a mental block.”

Another upperclassman interviewed was Carlyn Davis. Carlyn offers ACT Tutoring after school and the first thing she suggests for students to do is to find a strategy that works for them.

However, to find out whether you want to improve your score, Carlyn recommends they take a practice ACT test before taking the official one. If students find that they need to improve their score, she acknowledges them to dedicate two hours to studying per day until the day of the test. Even though studying sounds like a “no-brainer,” students are apt to underestimate how much time is necessary to improve their ACT score.

Taking the ACT is stressful, so hopefully, these strategies will help you prepare and relieve the stress for the ACT. Good luck!

Carlynn provided a few strategies to use while taking the test.

“If you can, I recommend bringing a watch (one accepted by ACT) on test day to help pace yourself. You don’t want to take too much time on one question or passage.”
“If you’re running out of time while taking the test, pick a ‘letter of the day’ to fill in remaining bubbles in the last minute.”
“Bring 2-3 pencils with you AND a calculator. You never know what could happen. It’s nice to have a backup.”
“Pick the letter “A” for ELA when the time is running out of time because it’s more likely to be “NO CHANGE” than anything else.”