Emily Yan’s Guide for How to Take the ACT Like a Pro

Emily Yan gives some ACT testing advice for students preparing for the test.

Emily Yan gives some ACT testing advice for students preparing for the test.

Evelyn May, Writer

The ACT is quite possibly one of the most important tests in a student’s academic career. Scores earned on the test are sent to colleges and can determine not only whether or not a student is accepted into a certain college, but also whether or not they can earn any scholarship money. Many juniors take the test more than once in hopes of reaching their goal score, or even a perfect score. 

 Junior Emily Yan scored the coveted perfect 36 on the ACT this summer. According to her, preparation is the key to success on the test. She spent close to a year and a half prepping for the exam. 

“I would start with kind of setting a goal score,” Yan said. “Then sit down, take a full-length timed test, see where you fall, see which categories are kind of pulling your score down, and then work specifically on that.”

Yan also warns against getting caught up in getting a perfect score, as a lot of luck is involved in addition to the preparation.

“Don’t get stuck in that cycle of ‘Oh, I have to get a perfect’ because, a lot of times, that’s just not possible,” Yan said. “It’s just so much luck.”

Perfect scores are few and far between, and according to Yan, it’s important to keep that in mind while setting a goal score. It’s also important to remember that what a ‘good score’ is and how it depends on the schools or programs you’re applying to, and near-perfect scores aren’t always necessary. Besides, after college applications are finished, ACT scores don’t carry much weight, so there’s no need to beat yourself up over it if the score you get isn’t what you expected. 

“No one ever puts their ACT score on their job resume,” Yan said. “So, definitely take it seriously, but if it doesn’t go as well as you thought, that’s OK. Some people just aren’t good at tests. That doesn’t necessarily say anything bad about you.”