Daniel Bethke’s guide to the ACT


Kate McCartney

Daniel Bethke is already studying hard for his next ACT testing date in June.

Kate McCartney, Feature Editor

The ACT is a college entrance exam undoubtedly dreaded by many high school students. However, do not get discouraged just yet because LHS junior and Statesman Perspectives Editor, Daniel Bethke offers the inside scoop on how to ace the ACT.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 52% of 2018 high school graduates in the United States took the ACT. Bethke is among this growing percentage and on his first time taking the test in February, he earned a composite score of 33 (on a one-36 scale). 

“Going into the ACT, I wanted to do my best, but I also realized it is very likely I would probably be taking it again,” said Bethke. “So I prepared to the fullest extent possible, but didn’t try to overwhelm myself because I had other activities going on.”

Bethke’s approach to studying was not by the book, but he found what worked for him and that is what largely contributed to his success. 

“My study schedule wasn’t based around time, I mostly based it around doing one or two sections per day. I did a lot of practice questions and practice tests, but not only just taking them, also going over my answers,” said Bethke. “I spent time redoing the questions that I got wrong to really see why I got them wrong. It takes a lot of work but I think the payoff is worth it.”

With any academic task, it is important to pace yourself and relax when necessary, and the ACT is no exception.

“There’s a sweet spot. You don’t want to study too early because then you’re going to inevitably procrastinate, so I would start at least a month or two before your test,” said Bethke. “It is also helpful to give yourself a break; the day before the test I barely studied at all just to clear my mind and set the mood.”

Although Bethke emphasizes that resting one’s mind is essential, he also has many do’s and don’ts for getting back into the groove. 

“I would say don’t waste time ‘pseudo studying.’ Don’t buy a review book you’re not going to use and don’t watch videos unless you’re actively engaged in them,” said Bethke. “You have to be honest with yourself and find what works best for you, but one thing is to not feel pressured to take writing because writing is an enigma. Regardless, just don’t revolve your life solely around the test.”

Whether you are already a pro at the ACT, or looking to take it for the first time soon, hopefully Bethke’s tips can help clear up some grey areas when it comes to taking the daunting exam.