Any students who are planning to attend college are likely very aware of the challenges of the ACT. Preparation typically begins in early high school, and the test is usually taken by students in their junior or senior year of high school. However, it's never too early to start preparing for the ACT, and one of the ways students can do it easily is with the ACT prep app.

What Is the ACT?

The ACT is a standardized test that evaluates high school students on their mastery of mathematics, English language usage and writing skills. The test is administered to students who are hoping to apply to college. Similar to the SAT, the ACT tests students knowledge of mathematics, language facility, writing and grammar skills that they should have acquired over their four years in high school. Unlike the SAT the ACT has a science section.

The test is used to help admissions evaluators at institutes of higher learning make their admissions decisions. Unlike the SAT which has a maximum score of 1,600, the highest that you can score on the ACT is 36. The test is divided into four sections, and your final ACT score is an average or a composite of your scores on the total four sections.

The sections are mathematics, English, reading and science. There is an additional writing test that is optional that is not utilized as a part of your composite score but is an independent score. While the ACT is something that most students with strong academic records can do well at, it is very challenging to get a perfect score.

Statistically, less than 2 percent of students achieve a perfect score. However, your ACT score can be a critical piece of your college application. Regardless of whether or not you are expecting to get a perfect score, shooting for a perfect score is a good strategy to make sure you really do your best.

How Do You Prepare for the ACT?

There are a number of ways to prepare for the ACT. Many students prepare for the ACT online by taking practice tests, using online quizzes and targeting the areas where they need to improve so that they can quickly and skillfully increase their scores. For students who prefer a paper-based approach, there are workbooks and ACT prep books that they can use to home in on the areas where they are having trouble and practice the subjects they are comfortable with.

Many students begin their ACT test prep by taking a practice test. That assessment can help them to pinpoint exactly where they are at that moment in time. This practice test is a great way to gauge what you know well, and what you need to work on. Most students find that a practice test is the most useful tool for helping to plan their ACT preparation program.

Aside from working independently, many students choose to enroll in an ACT prep course. Kaplan ACT prep is very popular, as is the Princeton Review. However, if you're interested in preparing on your own, or don't have the money for Kaplan ACT prep, another great tool for preparing for the ACT is the ACT prep app.

What Is the ACT Prep App?

For students who have access to smartphone technology or a tablet, downloading an ACT prep app is a great way to make sure that you can prepare for the ACT wherever you happen to be. While there is no one ACT official app, there are several apps that contain practice questions and periodic assessments, so you can prepare for the test no matter where you are.

Khan Academy's ACT prep app is a great way to brush up on the mathematic formulas, theorems and other concepts that you'll need to know for the ACT. Likewise, Magoosh's ACT flashcard app allows you to prepare by offering practice questions in English, reading mathematics and science. While the SAT is a different test from the ACT a lot of the same material is covered. The College Board's SAT app has a lot of practice questions and is an ACT prep app for students who want to improve their score.

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About the Author

Ashley Friedman is a freelance writer with experience writing about education for a variety of organizations and educational institutions as well as online media sites. She has written for Pearson Education, The University of Miami, The New York City Teaching Fellows, New Visions for Public Schools, and a number of independent secondary schools. She lives in Los Angeles.