I wrote a post on the SAT and test-taking tips, words of encouragement and the weight of the SAT. A student pointed out to me that it would only be fair to write one on the ACT…and he was correct! So here it goes…
To all of my students who have set their alarm to wake up and take the ACT tomorrow,
If this is one of your last tests you will take to set a strong score for your college applications, keep this in mind…the ACT is ONE component of your application. ONE indicator of your academic performance. Don’t give it any more weight than is necessary. Oh and while we are at it, forget that average score in your mind of the college you’re applying to. You have already done the work. You have already studied, taken practice exams and the day is almost here to take the actual test. So rest assured. There is nothing between tonight and tomorrow morning that will change your knowledge base. Well, nothing except giving yourself a confident, collected mind.
So instead of staying up tonight and taking a look at one more practice test, why not try this…do something mindful, something other than ACT prep. You’ve already put in the work. So binge on Netflix, listen to a podcast, write, read, listen to music or go see a movie (The Girl on the Train was suspenseful, that’s a great distraction!) and then get some sleep. Nothing beats getting decent sleep.
Envision yourself being successful tomorrow. Did you know that Michael Phelps replays winning his races in his mind? He would visualize every stroke, his turns and ultimately, his victory. When it came time to dive into the water, he went into this sort of autopilot-mode that set him on a champion trajectory. It sounds silly, but envision yourself doing well on the ACT and envision yourself managing your time well. If we head into the ACT thinking we’re going to be mediocre or we’re going to be horrible, well, that is what you’re setting yourself up for! Our self-talk is so important! Be confident.
Last, but not least, after you finish the ACT, go do something fun or mindless. When Sunday or Monday rolls around, set a new goal for yourself and your college applications. Goals are the key to breaking the college application process into smaller, manageable pieces.
Best of luck my Seniors!