Tag: writing test

6 Quick Ways to Boost Your ACT Score

By Rachel Brandt
Magoosh

If time’s running out before your official ACT, don’t worry! Even if you haven’t had the chance to prepare for this college entrance exam as well as you’d have liked, there are still a few things you can do in the last two weeks (or even better, in the last month) before your exam to improve. Take a look at a few of the key short-term test prep strategies to boost your ACT score.

For the ACT and SAT writing tests, try one of Wow’s test prep packages!

1.   Learn the ACT test format. One of the best things you can do before ACT (or SAT) test day (even if test day’s tomorrow!) is to go over the format, especially if you haven’t taken a practice test before. Why? One of the hardest things about the ACT can be the time pressure—you may have less than a minute to answer a question. Because of this, knowing the instructions in advance alone can give you the chance to maximize your scores.

2.   Get the most out of your ACT practice tests. A lot of students don’t realize that it’s not enough just to take the exams and take a look at your scores. Go back over your ACT tests and spend several hours (yep, hours) reviewing the answers—both what you got right and what you got wrong. How has your progress been? Where are you still scoring lower than you’d like? When time’s short, you need to focus on the most pressing areas before test day.

3.   Know how to approach multiple-choice questions. Another quick way to boost your score fast is to use the multiple-choice test format to your advantage. If you don’t know the answer, eliminate any answer choices you can and then guess. There’s no penalty for wrong answers on the ACT, so it won’t hurt and it might help!

4.   Read through the free Magoosh ACT study guide. If you want a thorough yet readable way to learn about what you’ll see on the ACT, and master some of those question types that have been bugging you, this is the guide! If you can take a few weeks to work through it, all the better—but it’s not so long that you couldn’t read it in a day if pressed.

5.   Check out apps to help with your test prep. It’s one way to bring ACT prep with you everywhere, and the best apps are mostly free or very cheap. What should you check out? Flashcards and this test prep app. You want to brush up on a particular subject before the ACT? Yup, there’s an app for that.

6.   Be realistic. Your score won’t shoot up 15 points overnight. On the other hand, a lot of students will notice an appreciable increase in their score by taking the test again. Why? There’s time to prepare for it, for one thing. For another, now you know exactly what to expect. So go into your exam knowing that you’ll do your absolute best, but that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t hit your ACT score range for your dream school on the first test.

There are ways to prep for the ACT in a matter of days and ways to prep for it in a matter of months. However, these short-term strategies can help push your score and might just make the difference between a disappointing score and a score you’re proud of. And remember: no matter how little time you have, there’s always something you can do to boost your ACT score—even if it’s just to relax and get a good night’s sleep!

Don’t Fret Over Writing Test!

Try one of Wow’s test packages; we’ll use simple, engaging exercises to help you master the elements of writing and rhetorical analysis that ACT and SAT rubrics demand. Well beyond simple grammar tips, these lessons will change the way you think about reading and writing. Learn what test readers want to see and make the most of your time on test day.

4 Tips to Master the SAT/ACT Writing Test

By Kim Lifton
President
Wow Writing Workshop

SATAre you registered for the upcoming SAT (March 14) or ACT (April 18)? In either case, you should brush up on your essay writing skills before you take either test. Time management and focused practice can make or break your writing score.

The SAT writing test is 25 minutes; the ACT is 30 minutes. For both tests, you will be asked to answer a prompt with an opinion you can support. Regardless of your personal experience or your viewpoint, you will be able to respond.

More Than a Writing Test!

The SAT and ACT essays are not just writing tests; they are thinking tests, designed to evaluate how quickly you can organize your thoughts and get a first draft down on paper. While you need to follow the rules of written English, the real challenge comes in using your time wisely and expressing your thoughts clearly.

Be clear, concise and direct. Write legibly, on every line. You will have space to make notes and organize your thoughts.

Secrets to Mastering the SAT and ACT Writing Tests:

  1. Know your audience: Two readers will grade your SAT or ACT writing test essay, each on a scale of 1 – 6. You do not need to restate the prompt. Your audience has the prompt in front of them.
  2. Outline: Create a high-level outline for your essay. Write topic sentences and list examples. These are notes only. One of your points should be a counter-argument.
  3. Make sure you have a clear introduction: Use a nice opening (e.g., a quote, anecdote or statement). Remember, you need a thesis to support your position. It doesn’t matter which perspective you choose.
  4. Use body paragraphs: Use specific examples, and introduce one example at a time. Start a new paragraph for each new example.

Want to know how to write a fabulous counter-argument, and wrap up your essay with a conclusion that will help you score more points?

PRACTICE! PRACTICE! AND PRACTICE SOME MORE!

Wow isn’t just the national expert on the college admissions essay; we also have inside information on all aspects of the college admissions process.

Our interactive ACT and SAT writing webinars are yours when you sign up for Wow Silver. You’ll get all the writing prep and timed writing practice you need.

You’ll also get scoring rubrics and tips for both tests, plus an option to have Wow professionals score your SAT or ACT writing tests! If you are already a member of WowWritingWorkshop.com, you can upgrade to Silver here.