ACT Going Digital - Tips for Success

From study materials for the ACT's digital format to guidance from experienced educators, Horizon Education equips students with the tools and strategies needed to excel on the ACT

As technology continues to evolve, so too does the landscape of standardized testing. In response to this shift, the ACT® – a college entrance exam for many college-bound students – has embraced the digital age with the introduction of the optional digital ACT®. This transition from paper-based to computer-based testing brings both challenges and opportunities for test-takers. With proper preparation and strategic approaches, students can adapt and excel in this new format. 

Key Strategies for Mastering the Digital ACT®

  • Become Familiar with the Digital Interface: One of the most significant adjustments for students is the transition from pencil and paper to a digital platform. Take practice assessments to become comfortable with the digital interface. Understand how to navigate between questions, use highlighting, response masking, and manage time effectively within the digital environment.
  • Practice Time Management: Time management is crucial in any standardized test, and the digital ACT® is no exception. With the ability to navigate freely between questions, it's essential to develop a pacing strategy that allows students to complete all sections within the allocated time. Regularly practice timed sections to hone ability to work efficiently under pressure.
  • Utilize Available Tools Wisely: The digital format offers various tools, such as highlighting, response masking, and a built-in calculator. Learn to leverage these tools effectively to enhance problem-solving and comprehension skills. However, be cautious not to over-rely on them, as excessive use may consume valuable time.
  • Adapt Test-Taking Strategies: Some strategies that are effective in a paper-based format may need adjustments for the digital ACT®. For instance, while students can still jot down quick notes, the ease of erasing and editing on a digital platform may change how they approach certain types of questions. Experiment with different approaches during practice sessions to determine what works best.
  • Stay Focused and Manage Distractions: Testing in a digital environment can introduce new distractions, such as technical glitches. Practice mindfulness techniques to maintain focus during the exam. Become familiar with the test environment beforehand, and if possible, simulate test conditions to minimize surprises on exam day.
  • Review and Analyze Practice Tests: Regularly reviewing performance on practice tests is essential for identifying areas of strength and weakness. Analyze mistakes to understand the underlying concepts or strategies that need improvement. Adjust study plans accordingly to prioritize areas where a student needs the most improvement.
  • Stay Calm and Confident: Lastly, approach the digital ACT® with confidence and a positive mindset. Trust in preparation and the ability to adapt to the digital format. Remember that while the medium may have changed, the fundamentals of effective test-taking remain the same.

Horizon Education offers comprehensive resources and support to help students navigate the transition to the digital ACT® successfully. From practice tests and study materials specifically tailored for the digital format to guidance from experienced educators, Horizon Education equips students with the tools and strategies needed to excel on test day. With our assistance, students can approach the digital ACT® with confidence, knowing they have the preparation and support necessary to achieve their best results.

Horizon Education’s Digital ACT® Support with Key Strategies:

  • Digital Practice Assessments: Students will have access to digital practice assessments designed to replicate the format and interface of the official exam. By immersing themselves in these simulated testing environments, students can familiarize themselves with the digital platform, thus reducing test-day anxiety and enhancing their overall performance. These practice assessments serve as invaluable tools for time management, allowing students to refine their pacing strategies and prioritize tasks within the allotted time frame. Through repeated exposure to realistic exam conditions, students can build confidence in their abilities and approach the ACT® exam with a heightened sense of readiness and assurance.
  • Real-time Performance Feedback: Harnessing the power of digital gradebooks, educators will receive instantaneous feedback on student performance during practice lessons and practice sets. Through this system, teachers can track individual student progress in real-time, pinpointing areas of both strength and weakness with precision. This approach empowers educators to adapt their teaching strategies promptly, ensuring that each student's unique needs are met effectively. 
  • Coursework: Horizon curriculum will include interactive modules tailored to equip students with strategies essential for navigating the digital ACT® format proficiently. These modules will delve into specific skills and question types, offering guided practice lessons, interactive individual sessions, and targeted practice sets. Through these resources, students will not only develop a comprehensive understanding of the exam format but also hone their problem-solving techniques and critical thinking skills. The interactive nature of the coursework ensures active engagement, facilitating retention of essential concepts.
  • Immediate Class and Student Data Analysis Reports: After students have completed practice assessments, educators and administrators will gain access to immediate, comprehensive data analysis reports, ensuring swift and informed decision-making and action. These reports will offer detailed insights into student performance, presenting subsection details for a nuanced understanding of strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, the reports will facilitate tracking student growth over time, enabling educators to tailor instructional strategies effectively. This prompt access to data-driven insights empowers educators to enhance student outcomes.
  • Simulated Testing Environment: Providing a simulated testing environment gives students the opportunity to undertake full-length digital practice assessments under timed conditions. By replicating the actual exam experience, students can immerse themselves in an environment closely mirroring test-day conditions, thereby acclimating to the pressures and expectations they'll face. This immersive approach not only helps students build stamina for the duration of the exam but also cultivates a sense of familiarity and confidence in their ability to navigate the digital format proficiently. 
  • Technical Support: Comprehensive technical support resources will be readily available to teachers and administrators. In the event of any technical issues or concerns, educators can access troubleshooting assistance through various channels, including chat support, support email, and an online support center. This proactive approach ensures that any potential hurdles encountered during the implementation of digital assessments can be swiftly addressed, minimizing disruptions to the learning process. 
  • Student Data Reports: In addition to providing educators with comprehensive data analysis reports, students will also receive personalized data reports to monitor their progress and set goals for improvement. These reports will offer insights into their performance across different skills and question types, empowering students to identify areas of strength and weakness. By actively engaging with their performance data, students can take ownership of their learning journey, setting specific goals and tracking their progress over time. This process not only fosters a sense of accountability but also promotes intrinsic motivation as students strive to achieve their academic objectives. 
  • Accessibility Accommodations: Ensuring inclusivity and equal access, the digital platform is designed to accommodate students with diverse learning needs and abilities. In addition to its user-friendly interface, the platform offers a range of accessibility features, including text-to-speech functionality, adjustable font sizes, and alternative methods of interaction. These accommodations are tailored to support students, empowering them to engage fully with the educational content and assessment materials. By providing such accommodations, students are not only afforded equal opportunities for success but are also encouraged to become comfortable using tools that cater to their individual needs. 

The transition to the digital ACT® introduces new challenges for test-takers, but with the right strategies and preparation, students can thrive in this evolving testing environment. By familiarizing themselves with the digital interface, practicing effective time management, and adapting their test-taking strategies, students can approach the digital ACT® with confidence and achieve their academic goals. With Horizon Education's support, students can maximize their potential and succeed in the digital ACT® and beyond.

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