Studying hard for the ACT test is definitely not always the best way to get a high score. When I explain that the parents, they are as shocked as their teenagers are happy! The fact is that just working hard is no guarantee of a high ACT test score and at times, working hard studying can actually lower your score.
How To Study for the ACT Test
The most common mistake students make is, when in their finest moments of dedication and self-discipline, they resolve to spend a certain number of hours and days studying for the ACT test. This is totally backwards.
No professional athlete, for example, just resolves to spend a certain amount of time training without focusing specifically on what areas need to be focused on. The dedication and self-discipline should be committed to learning certain skills that will result in a high ACT test score, regardless of the time required. The goal is a high score: not a lot of time studying.
When NOT to Study for the ACT Test
The two most important times not to study for the ACT test are the night before the test and anytime you have been at it for an hour. Studying the night before the test just stresses you out and hurts your ability to go to sleep relaxed, at the very time you need a very good night's sleep.
Studying for more than an hour is a waste of time, as your mind needs a break in order to retain what you are studying. If you covered important information during the second or third hour of your marathon study session, that is information not likely to come to you on test day.
The best way to study for the ACT is to take a look at your current score, whether it is from a practice test or a real ACT, and determine what areas you need to study first. Usually, you'll find that the best way to study is by not studying the subject matter of the test, English, Math Reading and Science, but rather studying HOW to be an efficient test taker.