ACT Prep: How to Avoid This Major Challenge

ACT Prep: How to Avoid This Major Challenge

ACT Prep: How to Avoid This Major Challenge

With the SAT going digital in 2024, many students wonder if taking the ACT is the right choice.

At MEK, we know that research is essential when making an important decision, such as whether to take the ACT or SAT. Therefore, we want to give you as much information as possible to help you make the most informed decision based on our decades worth of experience.

Due to the differences in logistics and structure, SAT and ACT test prep requires different approaches. And as we helped students along their ACT Prep journey, we noticed one major problem that needed to be addressed. That is the issue of urgency and motivation around ACT Prep.

Urgency and Motivation: The Challenge of ACT Prep

There are a variety of factors during ACT Prep that contribute to a students’ lack of motivation and sense of urgency when preparing for the exam. 

What’s causing this challenge to ACT Prep?

Canceling Your SAT Score vs. Canceling Your ACT Score

Both the SAT and ACT allow you to cancel your score. However, the timing of when you receive your scores and when you are able to cancel them differs between the two tests.

For the SAT, students are able to cancel their scores within the one-week window after the student tests. However, students won’t receive their actual score until two to three weeks after they take the exam. And students cannot cancel their scores after they’ve received them. This means that students are canceling their score based on how they think they did as opposed to how they actually performed. More importantly, students are motivated to be more serious about test prep because they only have a small window to cancel their score.

For the ACT, students can cancel their score before or after they receive their scores, which creates a lack of permanence. When students know they can cancel their score any time they want, they lose that sense of pressure and motivation during the preparation phase. This can equate to not taking test prep seriously, ultimately not performing well on the exam, and canceling the score because they know they can take it again.

The ACT Superscore Option

Another impediment to motivation and urgency around ACT Prep is the option of the ACT SuperScore.

What’s a SuperScore?

Superscoring is when a student who has taken the ACT more than once, averages together their four best subject scores from all of their ACT test attempts.

When students know they can take the test more than once and use the best scores from each test attempt, they tend to lose urgency and motivation during the preparation phase because the stakes of taking the test are relatively low. The lack of pressure to do well, while lessening test anxiety, can also equate to decreased motivation.

Test-Optional Colleges and Universities

As more and more colleges and universities become test-optional, the number of students taking these tests decreases, thus lessening the pressure of high performance.

While these schools do take test scores into account when reviewing applications, they are not required for admission. For students, hearing the word optional is a huge temptation, especially for students who have worked hard and are feeling overwhelmed by the college application experience. This gives them the ability to take one more thing off their plate. Unfortunately, if they are preparing to take the ACT as an extra bonus to their application package, they might not take prep seriously because if they don’t reach their goal, they don’t have to submit their score. There’s no consequence.

How These Factors Affect ACT Prep

Where we see the consequence of these factors is in the ACT Prep classroom.

Instead of the idea that they must do well on their next ACT test date, students can think, “If I don’t do well on this test, I can just take the next one. And if I don’t do well on that test, too, I can just not submit my scores on my college application.” From a classroom management standpoint, this lack of pressure often appears first in the form of inconsistent attendance and lack of participation. Why should students feel the need to perform when the outcome has no stakes?

We believe in helping students build confidence and alleviate anxiety around test-taking experiences. But students, as well as adults, often need the pressure of an impending deadline or the college/university goal to motivate them to strive for better.

So, how do we fix this problem?

The Solution 

For students applying to top colleges and universities, a top ACT score can set you apart from the rest of the applicant pool.

College admissions have become even more competitive in recent years with an influx of students applying to top schools and those top schools accepting significantly fewer students than previous years.

That’s why along with high GPAs, participation in extracurriculars, and an impressive personal statement, a top ACT score shows schools your critical thinking skills and work ethic. College admissions officers know what it takes to prepare and achieve on these exams. And with less students taking these tests, you’ll be sure to get the attention you’re looking for if you submit your score.

How MEK Can Help You on Your ACT Journey

MEK has created a new, innovative answer to ACT Prep with our ACT Connect by MEK Review.

ACT Connect is a self paced, online program great for motivated, self starters who thrive in a virtual setting. You’ll complete a series of modules that teach you subject specific ACT content, test-taking strategies, focused content application, and test review.

You’ll complete specialized assignments to hone your skills based on each lesson and receive hands-on practice with full-length or subject specific official ACT simulation exams, giving you the experience that will help you build confidence for test day.

Let our expert ACT instructors with a combined 36 years of experience, walk you through their best practices and teach you how to think like the people who make the test.

For students who need a more guided approach to ACT Prep, we offer ACT Private Test Prep Tutoring both in-person at our Closter and Palisades Park campuses and virtually through our Canvas Platform. You’ll receive the one-on-one support and personalized ACT Prep materials and timeline to get you to your goal.

Getting Started

Our ACT Connect by MEK Review website is open for enrollment! You can register for an account directly on the site, and click Enroll to choose the package that is right for you. You can read about our different packages here.

After you enroll, you will be notified via email within two (2) business days regarding your access into the site. After you receive this email, you can get started on your test prep right away!

We are so excited for you to start your ACT Prep journey with ACT Connect by MEK Review! Our library of resources, including our expert teachers and proven materials, is our greatest pride, and we are looking forward to sharing it with you.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding ACT Connect, please contact us at

MEK Review

MEK Review is the top learning center in North Jersey, dedicated to helping students of all ages begin an incredible success story. With our guidance, students have gained acceptances into the best schools in the country, earned top test scores, prepared for difficult admission tests, and transformed into their best selves in the classroom. To find your perfect solution, explore our programs or book your free consultation with an expert counselor!


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