How to ACE the ACT and MME


Emily Pauling, Staff Reporter

Hey Juniors! Are you thinking about your upcoming ACT and MME tests yet? No? Well, you should be! The ACT determines a lot about your future and what you can and can’t do, while the MME reflects what you’ve learned, determines how much money our school can get in the future and may or may not give you some benefits your Senior year! Want new stuff? You have to do well. Want to skip your midterms? You have to do well. Want to get into the University of Michigan? State? You have to do well.

Now that I’ve freaked you out, I want you to take a deep breath and calm back down. You still have time to prepare for this beast, so there’s no need to stress if you take the right steps. Believe it or not, it’s probably best that you should start prepping for this now, if you haven’t done so already. I know how it is though. You’re probably thinking, why bother? There’s nothing to study for on this test, so I’m just going to wing it. Well… yes and no. Yes, a lot of it is basic knowledge. But you need to practice.

You can find practice tests in a lot of locations, especially on the ACT site itself, Some cost money, some are free. I myself purchased a book, which really was a big help in instructing me what I needed to do to increase my score. Trust me, you don’t want to be forced to take the ACT several times. It gets pretty costly.

“But what specifically should I focus on doing?” you ask. Well, I’ll tell you what I did to prepare for the ACT, and hopefully that will help for both.

  1. Study your math equations and other skills
  • You should probably study up on a lot of these. Know how to calculate the areas of things like cylinders, squares, and parallelograms, as well as the difference between πr² and 2πr. I know I forget them.
  • Know sine, cosine, and tangent, because you’re going to need those. Remember your SOHCAHTOA, guys!
  • Know your basic algebra as well. And if you don’t know, either guess or come back to it!
  1. Make sure to know some vocab words and English usage
  • For the English, Reading, and Writing sections, you’re going to need to know some fancy words in order to score high. The more ornate, ostentatious, and garnished words you know, the more likely you are to get a better score.
  • When you’re writing, throw in some of those vocab words whenever you can. That tricks them into thinking that you know what you’re talking about, as long as you use them correctly.
  • Study up on how to form sentences correctly. Commas, semicolons, hyphens, you name it. They’ll be on there. Find out how to use each of them correctly and you’re golden. Also quickly review different forms of words. (“It’s” does not equal “its” which does not equal “its’”)
  • Practice reading things through quickly. The Reading portion goes faster than you know, and you need to manage your time well in order to get through it all. You only have half an hour.
  1. Study how to read charts and graphs accurately
  • They call it The Science Portion, but it’s really The Charts and Graphs with a Little of Science Portion. Practice looking over graphs for important information without looking too deeply.
  • And whatever you do, AVOID READING THE SCIENCE DESCRIPTIONS. Basically they seem to be put there to confuse you. If the question you’re on calls for it, go ahead and scan for the answer. But when just looking over the portion, the descriptions will only serve to slow you down and make you panic.

So yeah, that’s basically it. And now you’re like, “Why should we trust you, you’re not an expert. You’re just some Senior.” Yes. Yes I am. But I am also a Senior who took the ACT four different times. I am also a Senior who got a 1 or a 2 on all of my MME test sections. And I am also a Senior who ended up with a 31 and a full ride to U of M Dearborn. So trust me, I know a thing or two.

Before this ends, I’ll leave you with a few last-minute tips.

  • Get a lot of sleep the night before!
  • Some people feel that they should dress well to do well. You can either do this, or dress comfortably. Either works.
  • Some people like to wear a watch. This way, you don’t have to look at the clock all the time.
  • Eat a good breakfast!
  • Pace yourself, but never take too long on one question. Just come back to it. In the last five minutes you can just fill in whatever you can.
  • Don’t freak out, relax, and you’ll do fine.

Good luck guys!