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Thomas Broderick

Fun ACT Prep Activities

Good morning/afternoon/evening, Magooshers. To start off, I know it may seem a little disingenuous to think that all ACT Prep activities are ‘fun.’ It’s hard work, and studying for the ACT asks students to focus on their deficiencies. No one likes focusing on their deficiencies. No one.

Even so, it’s not impossible to make ACT Prep activities engaging, and yes, even a little fun from time to time. Having led an ACT Prep class for two years back in my teaching days, I tried just about everything to engage students and keep them motivated in what were some of the driest lessons I ever taught. So if you’re a fellow educator, or just a student trying to find the motivation to study, take a look at these activities that (hopefully) will bring a little fun to your study plan.

Turn ACT Prep Activities into a Game

If you happen to be the studious type, you probably have some studious friends and/or acquaintances. If they’re serious about the ACT, too, invite them to an after school or weekend study session that ends with a battle of minds. In short, use your study time to help each other with whatever concepts you want, and then challenge you and your friend to a timed practice test in English, Math, Reading, or Science. Whoever does better (or improves the most from their last practice test) wins. The prize? The loser has to buy lunch or dinner. But really, it can be anything.


Sandwich- Fun ACT Prep Activities -Magoosh


Even if a game isn’t on the agenda, having another brain around will likely help you better understand the concepts that have left you scratching your head in the past.

Track/Reward Progress

As I’ve mentioned before about the ACT, it’s very important to track your progress when preparing to take the ACT. It gives you the chance to catch any parts of your ACT study plan that aren’t working. To up your motivation for tracking progress (and studying), make a series of goals, and reward yourself each time you meet one.

For example, you make a goal to increase your ACT Math score. For each point you improve, you get to eat an ice cream. Though the reward can be anything, try to set modest goals, at least at first. You’ll receive the reward more often, and feel more motivated to improve.


Cat- Fun ACT Prep Activities -Magosh

So what if you’re tricking yourself into a Pavlovian response. It works!


One last thing about rewards: plan to give yourself one after the ACT is over. Though not something you will do during ACT Prep, visualizing a post-ACT reward will put you in a better frame of mind throughout your study sessions and the test itself.

Final Thoughts

Are there other ACT Prep activities out there? Sure. The two above are just examples that worked for me and my students. I challenge you to go find (or invent) a few activities of your own. Happy studying, Magooshers.

About Thomas Broderick

Thomas spent four years teaching high school English, social studies, and ACT preparation in Middle Tennessee. Now living in Northern California, he is excited to share his knowledge and experience with Magoosh's readers. In his spare time Thomas enjoys writing short fiction and hiking in the Sonoma foothills.

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