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A Parent’s Guide: How to Help Your Child Study for the ACT

As a parent, you want the best for your child’s future, and one crucial step towards a bright academic future is performing well on standardized tests like the ACT. Preparing for the ACT can be a challenging journey, but with your guidance and support, your child can excel. In this article, we will explore effective strategies and tips on how to help your child study for the ACT, with a special focus on math tutoring.

Understanding the ACT

The ACT is a college admissions test that assesses a student’s readiness for college-level coursework. It consists of four sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science, with an optional Writing section. Each section is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, and the composite score is the average of these four section scores.

Start Early

Successful ACT preparation begins with a well-thought-out timeline. Encourage your child to start early, ideally during their junior year of high school. Starting early allows them to pace their study schedule, identify strengths and weaknesses, and make gradual improvements.

Create a Study Plan

A study plan is crucial for staying organized and focused. Sit down with your child to develop a realistic plan that covers all four ACT sections. Allocate more time to the areas where your child may need extra help, such as math.

Math Tutoring

Math is often a challenging section for many students. If your child is struggling with math, consider enrolling them in math tutoring. A qualified math tutor can provide personalized instruction, help clarify concepts, and offer practice problems to reinforce skills. Mentioning the importance of math tutoring in the ACT preparation process can make a significant difference.

Utilize Online Resources

The internet offers a plethora of free and paid resources for ACT preparation. Encourage your child to explore online platforms that offer practice tests, study guides, and video tutorials. These resources can help reinforce their learning and offer a variety of practice problems.

Official ACT Prep Materials

The ACT organization provides official prep materials, including the “ACT Online Prep” program and the “ACT Academy.” These resources are designed to align with the test’s content and format, making them highly valuable for focused preparation.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice tests are invaluable for familiarizing your child with the ACT format and timing. Make sure your child takes full-length practice tests under timed conditions to simulate the real exam experience. Regular practice builds confidence and improves test-taking skills.

Review and Analyze Mistakes

After taking practice tests or completing practice problems, review incorrect answers. Help your child understand why they made mistakes and how to avoid repeating them. Encourage them to maintain an error log to track patterns in their mistakes.

Stay Calm and Manage Stress

The ACT can be a stressful experience for students. Encourage your child to practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing and mindfulness to manage test anxiety. Ensure they get enough sleep and eat well in the days leading up to the test.

Encourage a Growth Mindset

Emphasize the importance of a growth mindset. Encourage your child to view challenges as opportunities for growth rather than failures. A positive attitude can boost confidence and motivation.

Plan Test Day

Help your child prepare for test day by ensuring they have all the necessary materials, including identification, admission ticket, pencils, and a calculator. Make a checklist and go over it together.


Preparing for the ACT is a significant endeavor, but with the right guidance and resources, your child can perform at their best. Remember to emphasize the importance of math tutoring if your child struggles in this area, as it can be a game-changer in their ACT preparation journey. By starting early, creating a study plan, utilizing online resources, and practicing diligently, your child will be well-equipped to tackle the ACT with confidence. In the end, their hard work and your support will pay off as they take their first steps towards a successful college journey.