There’s an old saying in boxing: everyone has a plan until that first punch. Maybe the ACT won’t be quite as harrowing an experience, but it’s still a day of nerves and pressure. If you want to perform your best, then you need to do more than simply study. You need ACT test day tips and strategies for maximizing confidence. Here are three little-known ways to get in the zone.

Tip #1: Simulate the Day of the Test

Before NASA sends astronauts to unfamiliar territory, they first simulate the environment of space here on earth. It’s not an exact duplicate of their experiences, but the simulation helps astronauts to master their skills well in advance of the real event.

A similar approach is behind one of the most powerful ACT test day tips: a simulated test. If you’re working with a tutor, have them give you a sample test. Do your best to mimic the actual environment of the day of the test, including:

• No access to smartphones and no distractions.
• Sitting upright and straight, using the same equipment (a No. 2 pencil) as you will on the day of the test.
• A time limit, to get used to prioritizing your answers.

These three variables alone will change the way you study. Even better, they’ll help you get used to the idea of handling the test itself. If you have any troubles with the sample test, you can then use those troubles to identify weaknesses and shore up your confidence when the ACT finally arrives.

Tip #2: Don’t Cram

Many students have a false sense of confidence about cramming. They believe that if they simply stay up and memorize a few facts, they’ll be ready for the test itself. In reality, it’s far more effective to plan well in advance. This allows you to not only commit more facts to memory but also ensures that your priority the night before the test is to get a good night’s sleep.

Sleep is vital to learning. Not only will it give you a distraction-free experience for the exam itself, but long-term planning including plenty of sleep will help you commit more of your ACT preparation to memory. Cramming is largely ineffective because it’s a recipe for forgetting most of what you’ve read, leading to less confidence on exam day.

Tip #3: Take an ACT Prep Course

You can take a class for anything. That’s the beauty of learning. And what many students forget is that there are ACT Prep Courses—like those offered here at Jantzi Test Prep—that help you make sense of these exams and instill more confidence when the day of the ACT finally arrives.

Whether you’re a student looking for ACT test day tips or a parent looking to give scholarship chances a boost, a prep course can be the answer. Ours is backed by the Jantzi Guarantee, which means that when the course is completed in good faith, you’ll see an improvement in test scores—or your money back. Register for a course today!