Taking a test is naturally nerve-racking, but taking something like the American College Test (ACT) takes those nerves on a whole different level. Even for experienced test-takers, the exponentially harder and more complicated test questions on this college admission test may still throw them off guard. For students who are first-time takers of a test under this caliber, I can only imagine the amount of pressure and stress this could induce.
The good news is, there are tons of ACT review centers and classes available that offer comprehensive lessons and materials to help students take their test-taking skills to the next level.
But with hundreds of centers and tutors out there, claiming to have the best of the best, choosing the one can get a little bit tough. That is why you need to check if the one you are eyeing has these qualifications:
- An established team of seasoned educators that are passionate about what they are doing. Their skills should not end at being able to tutor and mentor their students well. They should also be knowledgeable in the nature of the test that their student is looking to take. This is very important as there are some major differences between the two different college admission tests. The ACT focuses more on the field of Advanced Math and Science while its counterpart, the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), focuses more on Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary.
- An environment that is conducive for learning. Since the students would be spending a lot of time reviewing inside their chosen center, it should be a place that promotes and encourages teaching and learning.Each class should have at least a 1:5 teacher to student ratio since smaller classes are proven to be more interactive.Bonus: It is a great sign if the review center also offers flexible schedules, like an online class alternative or a private tutoring service option to cater to those students that have a tighter schedule.
- Authentic review and test materials. This one is crucial when choosing the right review center. A good center should be able to provide you with comprehensive review materials, but a great one would also be able to give you access to a realistic testing environment and materials. Meaning to say, the reviewers and practice test questions should be similar to the test questions and choices that you can find on the actual test.Having access to the said materials is pretty much the only way to accurately measure your improvement rate, and it is also the best way to assess the kind of lessons that you need to review on more intensely to get your desired ACT score.
- An interactive online platform. Students these days do not limit their learning experience within the four walls of a classroom. So, their ACT classes shouldn’t either. Their review materials should be available online for the students to download and access remotely.
- A guarantee that they can help you achieve your desired score. The best way to know if a learning center can keep up with its promises is by checking on its previous students. Were those students able to achieve their desired ACT score? How many ACT passers came from that review center?Ask these questions before enlisting yourself in any of your prospect centers and ask for solid proof. You can also do your own digging by looking through online reviews and customer testimonials to see the experiences of their previous students.Once that is done, pose your own goals and see how they make a tangible plan on working on achieving that with you.
- Reasonable rates. All the factors that I mentioned above are quintessential, but they should all be bundled together at a reasonable price point. What you can do is compare two or more review centers and see which one offers the best service at a competitive price.
If you want to scout the East Bay for ACT classes that could tick off all those checkboxes, refer to the checklist I posted above. You may even add some of your own preferences. It could be in terms of personal referrals, its location, et cetera. Just always keep in mind that whichever learning center you choose is going to be with you throughout your entire journey to entering college. So, take your time and choose wisely.
But do not let this process stress you out! At the end of the day, tutors and classes can only help you so much. Some ACT passers even swear by doing all the preparation by themselves! The biggest responsibility still lies in your ability to focus your time, energy, and effort into acing this test. So whether you end up working with a learning center, a private tutor, or all by yourself, just practice, review, and give it your best.