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If you’re a high school junior or senior, or you’re the parent of one, you know the college rush crush can be bewildering and stressful. To get into the college of your choice means a whirlwind of applications, university visits, admission interviews and exams. However, there are steps that students can take to have the best chance at success.
Steve Kappler, assistant vice president of career and college readiness and head of postsecondary strategy at ACT offers these tips to help navigate the world of college entrance exams:
* Test what you’ve learned: Some exams are designed to test aptitude and reasoning, but the ACT exam shows what you’ve learned in the classroom over the last 3 or 4 years. Use what you know to make your college dreams to come true.
* Free test prep: ACT has free online tools and test-taking tips that help you prepare for and know what to expect on the exam. ACT even offers a question of the day to keep you practicing as the test date approaches.
* Don’t stress, it’s okay to guess: On the ACT, you do not lose points for incorrect answers, which is what happens on some other college entrance exams. So if you don’t know the answer, take your best guess on the ACT: it can’t hurt your score.
* Send your scores: Let schools know you are interested in them. The myth that certain schools only accept certain tests is just not true. All four-year colleges and universities across the country accept ACT scores. Your scores help colleges see if you are ready to succeed in first year courses on their campus.
* Writing – yes or no: Not all colleges require students to submit writing scores. The ACT Writing Test is optional. Save yourself time and money by checking to see if the schools you hope to attend require writing.
* Apply for financial aid and scholarships: Many scholarships are extremely competitive, so start researching early. Use your ACT scores to apply for financial aid and scholarship opportunities. There are numerous online resources dedicated to helping students find the financial support they need for college.
Most importantly of all though, students and parents need to register for the ACT, the nation’s most-taken college entrance exam, in order to help achieve the best chance for success. Registration for the June 14 test date runs until May 9, with late registration available until May 23. Fall test dates are also available in September and October. For more information or to register, visit ACTStudent.org.