A Parent's Guide to Supporting Your Child's ACT Journey

A Parent's Guide to Supporting Your Child's ACT Journey

As a parent, being actively involved in your child's academic development is key to their success. This especially rings true when your child embarks on their ACT exam prep journey to achieve the best possible composite score for college admissions.

By understanding this standardized test's importance, setting goals, creating productive routines, leveraging resources, and supporting their emotional needs, you can help pave the way for them to maximize their potential on test day when students take the ACT at designated test centers.

Getting Started with ACT Preparation

One of the most valuable things you can do is guide your child in establishing organized, thoughtful preparation from the start.

1. Create an ACT study binder or digital folder to include helpful preparation documents, resources, goals, guidelines, and other tools that foster accountability during this process:

  • Printable calendar mapping out planned prep schedules and milestones
  • Goal tracking sheets to monitor progress
  • Checklists highlighting areas needing work
  • Guidelines for taking practice tests effectively
  • Practice test score analysis worksheets
  • Customized improvement plans for each subject area
  • Lists of online and printed resources to utilize
  • ACT website shortcuts and program login info
  • Articles on relevant topics like reducing test anxiety

2. Purchase official guidebooks that offer the best representation of real ACT exam questions in each subject:

  • The Official ACT Prep Guide is the main resource covering all subjects with detailed explanations
  • ACT workbooks focus on specific skill sets like math, science, or English

3. Explore free and affordable resources to supplement official materials:

4. Help your child become familiar with ACT functionality via online orientations:

  • Timed test-taking capabilities
  • Online testing tools and keyboard commands
  • Proper ways to provide answer choices
  • Accompany them on an in-person tour of a testing center:
  • Guidelines and procedures for test day
  • Navigating check-in and assigned seating
  • What items are prohibited within stations
  • Experience the actual testing environment

5. Schedule occasional sessions with tutors or coaches to gain expert guidance:

  • Help develop personalized strategies to raise scores
  • Provide motivation and accountability during the preparation
  • Give constructive feedback on practice test performance

Creating a Supportive Study Environment

Consistency forms the cornerstone of disciplined ACT exam prep. Help your child create a routine balancing daily study of different ACT subject areas with obligations and activities, accounting for focus spans and energy levels at different times of the day.

Communicate openly about challenges and expectations while celebrating wins, no matter how small. Enable them to self-correct by evaluating prep effectiveness regularly using practice tests. Structure and positivity from you teach self-management.

Parental Involvement in the Learning Process

While independent practice is essential, actively participating in your child's study efforts allows you to mentor their progress:

  1. Have weekly or bi-weekly touchpoints to discuss ACT prep progress
  2. Review content covered recently using informal quizzes
    • What mathematical concepts were studied this week?
    • What English grammar rules did your child struggle with?
  3. Leverage practice questions to strengthen test-taking skills
    • Take turns solving sample science passage problems and explaining the methodology
    • Analyze their approach to breaking down complex math or word problems
  4. Pinpoint areas of difficulty and knowledge gaps together
    • Journal tough English punctuation or rhetoric concepts
    • Note science topics requiring deeper content review
    • Target zones in geometry requiring more problem-set practice
  5. Collaborate on strategies to address challenges and optimize preparation
    • Adjust the study plan to devote 30 minutes more to science
    • Use mindfulness exercises to improve focus
    • Take an online reading comprehension course to increase retention

Guiding in academics and life teaches resilience, work ethic, and accountability. Your informed perspective helps them self-identify growth opportunities when preparing for the standardized ACT exam across core high school subject areas.

Ways to demonstrate this commitment as a parent guide for ACT include:

  1. Sharing motivational stories of times you overcame obstacles through perseverance
  2. Explaining how improving weaknesses develops grit and responsibility
  3. Highlighting study plan priorities on a whiteboard for shared visibility
  4. Using online calendars to embed reminders for practice test completion
  5. Celebrating discipline towards test prep goals, however small
  6. Debriefing on what worked or needs to change after practice exams
  7. Committing to be present - even just to listen - during this journey

The consistent involvement shows your child the dedication required to succeed at challenging long-term goals, whether admission exams or situations later in their academic and professional careers.

Leveraging Technology for Enhanced Learning

Today's digital solutions allow personalized, engaging ACT exam prep. Help your child tap into these assets by guiding them through the official ACT website and online platforms to take full-length practice tests.

Identify highly-rated apps enabling targeted skill drilling. Discuss how smartphone tools provide preparation opportunities during small pockets of downtime.

Another useful gadget is a digital pacing watch designed specifically for ACT and other non-ACT Standardized tests. These provide accuracy in pacing per section, with features like built-in timers and alarms signaling when to move on.

Have your child practice with one of these watches to master time allocation abilities critical for peak performance in a timed standardized test setting.

Blending tech assets like these into the routine amplifies learning and mimics real testing environments.

Supporting Emotional Well-being

The ACT journey often parallels an emotional rollercoaster, especially when balancing school, friends, family, and hobbies. Keep an eye out for frustration, diminishing interest, or burnout.

Mitigate these by scheduling relaxing activities, sharing motivational resources applauding grit, and reminding them that challenges prepare us for future obstacles.

Your reassurance and presence help them maintain balance and a positive mindset when feeling overwhelmed by standardized test prep.

Encouraging a Healthy Lifestyle Balance

While ACT prep warrants devotion, the obsessive focus often backfires. Ensure your child's schedule allows downtime with friends, family, and extracurricular activities that alleviate stress.

Have them detail weekly plans allotting areas you feel lack attention. Share examples from your life demonstrating work-life balance. Collaborate on stress relief tactics like journaling, exercise, or meditation. Promoting roundedness develops skills to juggle college's increasing responsibilities.

Celebrating Milestones and Achievements

The lengthy ACT prep journey naturally lends itself to milestones worth celebrating together, like:

  • First full practice test completion
  • Targeted composite score goals met
  • Mastering challenging skills
  • Hitting an improved average across practice exams
  • Completing a round of test simulations within the timeframe
  • Monthly check-ins tallying wins

Develop consistent ways you both mark progress points together, however nominal:

  • Track milestones hit on an accomplishments chart displayed visibly as a motivator
  • Share photos proudly on social media touting grit during this journey
  • Use mini reward treats like favorite snacks or recreational activities after achievements
  • Schedule relaxing dinners/activities when hitting major milestones
  • Virtually recognize diligence towards test prep goals during family video calls
  • Compile congratulatory notes celebrating grit in a journal to read later

Recognizing diligence through small acts of gratitude and wins renews perseverance to keep powering through on the ACT journey, especially during the most intense preparation periods in the junior year leading up to test day.


By taking an active role as their guide, mentor, and champion in this standardized test preparation process, you provide the best foundation for them to realize their full potential on test day when ACT scores are reported to colleges and universities as part of the competitive admissions process.

As they navigate this journey, Testing Timers' watches can help optimize their preparation and test day performance.

Testing Timers solve key challenges students face taking the ACT and other standardized exams by improving time management abilities and reducing test anxiety. Check out how Testing Timers watches facilitate more effective practice at www.testingtimers.com.