Searching for an ACT tutor? Wondering if getting an ACT tutor is worth it? While it’s true that an ACT tutor is not right for everyone, and it’s possible to succeed on the test without one, a tutor can be a significant advantage for some students and make all the difference in earning the score they want. Most colleges require the ACT or SAT for admissions, so unless you are applying only to colleges that do not require the SAT and ACT, you’ll need to take one of these tests. If you’ve chosen the ACT, consider hiring an ACT tutor to help you better prepare for the unique content and structure of this challenging test. In this blog, we’ll look at how difficult the ACT actually is, how an ACT tutor can help you, whether they are worth it and how to find the best ACT tutor for you!

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5 min read

How Hard is the ACT? How an ACT Tutor Helps Students Do You Need an ACT Tutor? How to Find the Best ACT Tutor For You FAQs

How Hard is the ACT?

The ACT (American College Testing) is one of the common standardized tests used in college admissions in the United States. High school students can choose to take either the SAT or ACT, or both, when applying to colleges. Both tests are considered challenging, though the level of difficulty can depend on an individual student’s strengths and level of preparation.

How hard is the ACT exactly? It is not an easy test, but its difficulty lies mainly in the structure and content of the test.

The ACT is comprised of 4 different sections and 215 questions in total. You’ll have just under 3 hours to answer all these questions, meaning you’ll have under a minute per question. This intense time constraint is one of the reasons why the ACT is a challenging test. Another factor is the test’s different sections: ACT English, ACT Math, ACT Reading and ACT Science. Students who struggle with mathematics might find that answering 60 math problems in 60 minutes is a little tough, whereas a student who is not an avid reader might wish for more time in the reading comprehension section.

The ACT is a fast-paced test with many different sections and requires a good amount of knowledge of the content to ace it. However, it has a predictable structure that can be practiced. This is where an ACT tutor can make the difference in your studying and test prep. A good ACT tutor can help you learn the content and structure of the ACT and practice the most effective test-taking strategies so you can earn your desired score.

How an ACT Tutor Helps Students

There’s a few key ways in which an ACT tutor can help you succeed and overcome the specific challenges of the ACT.

Do You Need an ACT Tutor?

Plenty of students shy away from hiring an ACT tutor because they can be expensive, or they’re not sure a tutor will actually help them score any better on the test than if they stick to self-studying.

Not everyone needs an ACT tutor to succeed on the test, but getting extra help during your test prep does have some significant advantages. For instance, if you want to get into Ivy League colleges or other competitive programs, or maybe you’ve checked out college acceptance rates and average ACT scores, and you have a specific score you need to meet to get into your dream college. An ACT tutor can work with you to create a personalized study plan that helps you meet those goals.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not you really need an ACT tutor, here are some questions you can ask yourself first before taking the plunge and hiring one:

  1. Do I struggle with time management? Whether you struggle with keeping yourself organized, staying focused when you’re studying or you’re an anxious test-taker and the time constraint is distracting to you, a tutor can give you some techniques to handle anxieties and practice effective timing with you. They’ll be able to show you how to break down questions and understand them better so you can improve your timing without sacrificing accuracy.
  2. Are any of the content sections (English, Math, Reading, Science) a weak spot for me? If you’re concerned about one or more of the sections in particular, an ACT tutor can create a personalized study plan to help you by spending a little more study time on that problem area. By understanding why it’s a weak spot for you and how to approach that section, you’ll be better equipped come test day and may achieve a better score than you would have on your own. If the ACT’s content doesn’t work for you, you can ask yourself should I take the SAT instead, which has no science section but more mathematics.
  3. Do I have test anxiety or do exams stress me out? If the prospect of college applications and standardized tests stress you out, it can be a huge help to have an ACT tutor in your corner helping you manage your stress and provide you with tools and resources to tackle the ACT challenge.
  4. Do I have good study resources for self-study? There are plenty of ACT test prep books, videos and tips out there, and these can work great for some students. Students who don’t have ready access to top-notch prep materials or who want help applying the tips and strategies readily available, might turn to an ACT tutor as a resource. An ACT tutor will have access to more study resources and usually better-quality study resources and advice for students. They can also walk you through applying the knowledge and test strategies you’ll find in test prep books and other resources.
  5. Do I have trouble staying focused or motivated to study? If your answer is yes and you hate studying, an ACT tutor can be a useful tool. A tutor will help give you accountability for your learning and studying, keep you focused, set a desired score goal or study goal and be able to track your progress towards that goal. With an ACT tutor’s help, you can take a more active role in your studying and the outcome of your test.

A high ACT score can help you get into college with a low GPA! Here’s how:

How to Find the Best ACT Tutor For You

If you’ve decided an ACT tutor is right for you, that’s great! The next issue is trying to find the best one for YOU. There are so many ACT tutors and SAT tutors out there, and they are all clamoring to be the best and to help students.

However, when searching an ACT tutor, it’s important to remember you want to find a tutor of good quality and one that works for YOU. The right ACT tutor for you may not be the best, most expensive or high-profile one you can find. Here’s some things to look for when choosing whether a tutor will work for you:


1. Are ACT tutors worth it?

They absolutely can be worth it for students, especially if you are struggling with time management, test anxiety or a certain section of the test. Not everyone needs an ACT tutor to succeed on the exam, but it has been shown that a tutor’s help can have a positive impact on increasing your test scores.

2. What is the best way to study for the ACT?

The best way to study for the ACT is to take regular practice tests to first gauge where your weaknesses are and from there regularly gauge the progress you’re making. Content review and learning effective test-taking strategies to improve your timing and efficiency are also important.

3. What does an ACT tutor help with?

ACT tutors help you with content review, time management, stress management and answer strategy. ACT tutors are helpful because they can show you effective test-taking strategies, rather than just reviewing the concepts you can expect to see on the test.

4. How many hours per week should I study for the ACT?

The ideal ACT study schedule can vary depending on the individual student and how high of a score you are aiming for. For example, if you want to score above a 30 on the ACT, you’ll need to commit to more hours of studying per week, and studying for 3 months or more. 

5. How much do ACT tutors cost?

ACT tutors usually charge by the hour, but professional test prep services may have packages or prep courses with set hours and amounts. Each service will be different, so it’s important to check the prices and services offered thoroughly before committing to anything.

6. What is a good ACT score?

Generally speaking, an overall ACT score of 24 and above is considered a “good” score. A score of 24 means you’ve scored in the 75th percentile, or that you’ve scored higher than 75% of other students who’ve taken the test. 

7. How do I find the best ACT tutor?

When looking for the best ACT tutor, you want to in general check that they are professional and have effective services with good reviews. You also want to make sure they are flexible and will work with your schedule, budget and study timeline. Check out a tutor’s or service’s teaching philosophy to see if it aligns with your learning outcomes. 

8. Is SAT harder than ACT?

The truth is, it really depends. Some students find the SAT harder, others find the ACT harder. How difficult the test is for you depends on the content and structure of each test and your own strengths and weaknesses. If you’re unsure which one to take, try a few practice exams of both the SAT and ACT and determine which one works best for you.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting


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