Should I take an ACT prep course?
Many students find ACT prep courses to be very useful. While some students do well by reading and practicing for the ACT on their own, many others feel that having a live instructor available to present and teach the information makes it easier for them to learn. In a world where every field is becoming more and more competitive, students need every advantage they can get. If taking a prep course can increase your score by one or two points, it can make the difference between getting into that coveted program or not, or getting that scholarship or not.
Will my score automatically go up if I take an ACT prep course?
No! An ACT prep course is like any other class. If you go to class, goof off and don’t pay attention, you will not get much out of it. Much like anything else, you get out of an ACT course what you put into it. If you pay attention, do the assignments and ask questions, you can learn a great deal of valuable information which will help you succeed on the ACT.
Are all ACT prep courses the same?
There are many reputable prep courses… and there are those who aren’t reputable. There are major companies which are known to be honest and helpful (Princeton Review, Kaplan, Sylvan Learning Center) and there are other courses available, often run by high schools or community colleges. Do your homework and be careful before you pay several hundred dollars for a prep course. Ask around! Find former students and see if their scores improved after the course. Talk to the instructor and find out about his or her qualifications. Ask teachers and councillors at your school for recommendations.
What about a private tutor?
If you feel that you need one-on-one instruction, you may be considering a private tutor. There are not many private tutors who have a great deal of experience with the ACT. However, if you are struggling in a specific subject area, getting a tutor to help you in that particular area could be valuable. Each student is different. If you feel that you have a major deficit in one of the subject areas tested on the ACT, you should get some extra help. Start with your teachers. They may be willing to help you for a short period or time for little or no cost. If your teachers are unavailable, ask them if they can recommend a course of action. Teachers and other school staff often have a lot of information about who the best tutors are and the type of help that you need.