That brings us to our list of DOs!
DO practice, practice, practice.
How does that saying go? Anything worth doing is worth doing right. Louis Armstrong wasn't just born awesome at jazz. Michael Jordan didn't just strap on tiny baby Nike sneakers and start dunking as soon as he could toddle (or did he?). If you want to be good at something, you have to practice. (Pssst. We can help.)
DO come prepared.
What to bring:
- Your printed admission ticket— after you register for the test, you will need to print it. If you lose it before test day, don't worry. You can log in to your account and print another one before the test.
- A photo ID—preferably a driver's license or student ID.
- No. 2 pencils—that one's pretty self-explanatory, we think…
- A calculator—check the ACT website to make sure your model isn't prohibited.
- Remember, cell phones are not allowed. Back in the cretaceous period before smart phones, people used "watches" to keep track of time. You might consider bringing one to help pace yourself.
DO mark up the test booklet.
Take notes. We're not saying you should be writing love sonnets on the ACT exam. In fact, we're definitely saying that you should not do that. However, it is a fantastic idea to annotate the margins of the booklet with key facts, figures, ideas, or vocabulary that may come in handy. Basically, be an active reader. Actively reading a text is a good way to keep yourself focused and in tune, even when some of the inevitably dull passages turn up.
DO guess intelligently and with purpose.
You're not penalized for guessing, but before you go crazy with that No. 2 pencil and tempt the hands of fate or good conscience, try to narrow down the possibilities. There are usually at least one or two answers that are definitely, no doubt about it, incontrovertibly wrong. They're "duds," if you will. If you can get rid of these dud choices like the vegetables you so skillfully avoided as a child, possibly leading to the dog's inexplicable obesity, you'll have a much better chance of guessing correctly.
DO keep calm and carry on.
On test day, relaxation is key. We know that's easier said than done. There's actual strategy involved here, too. Take it easy and give yourself plenty of time to wake up, get ready, and meander (as opposed to rush maniacally) to the test center.
Make sure your mode of transportation is reliable. We always take extra precaution with Papa Shmoop. Even though we remind him when we need to leave, he tends to lose track of time, and then yells at us to jump in the car when we're already five minutes late.
DO stay positive.
We're not saying that you have to be Little Miss Sunshine. You already know that tests are not always the most thrilling of adventures, so we're not going to spit in your face and tell you it's raining. Still, if you focus on how torturous this test is going to be and how badly you're going to do on it, chances are your experience will be really torturous and horrible and you may do badly (self-fulfilling prophecy, anyone?). Belief affects behavior, simple as that.
So, think positively. Leave little sticky notes all over your house reminding yourself of how awesome you are, give yourself a pep talk as you're driving to the exam, and even try smiling while you're taking it.
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