Juniors: Practice Test
Juniors, have you taken a practice test yet? Most parents already know that practice tests should be taken under “test conditions,” but most aren’t aware of a couple other things that should occur.
Practice tests are typically offered at tutoring centers for between $20-$35 a sitting, which is a great deal. It is unlikely that any tutoring center is making money off of these administrations: they’re generally understood in the industry as a way to get students “in the door.”
To keep in mind when arranging for a practice test:
- The best practice test that can be taken for the ACT is the actual test. However, the next date is September, which can be too far away to be of use. The cost is also greater and the waiting period is longer. You also will be unable to get the actual missed questions to them (only available in Dec., Apr., and Jun.).
- Ideally, a practice test should be taken close to when you will begin prep. This will allow the tutor to get a best idea of where the student currently sits on the scale.
- It’s best if the practice test is taken with the tutoring company you’ll be working with. This allows the tutor to see the actual missed questions, as well as understand which section may have been particularly difficult on that round. If, for example, the student is taking the 73G, the English section may have been particularly hard, but if they took the 72C, the English section may have been a bit easier.
If you are unable to take a practice test under ideal testing conditions and/or you have no idea which practice test you took, don’t despair! A strong tutor will still be able to perform an assessment and see where your actual abilities are in a matter of a few hours.
Practice tests just happen to be the quicker, cheaper way to get an idea of where you (or your child) is performing. Remember, it is highly unlikely that any tutoring center is making money off of their practice tests. They are solely used to “get you in the door.”