There’s a First Time for Everything

Juniors shares preparations for December 11th ACT

Ayesha Khan, Editor in Chief

With the Dec. 11th ACT closely approaching, Tori Gelles, among several juniors, will be taking her first official ACT.

“I decided that I wanted to get one practice in before we do the one at school so that I can make sure I’m really good with my timing,” she said. “I’m also starting to look at colleges right now so taking the ACT in December helps me know my options.”

Although the decision was initially brought up by Gelles, her parents agreed this would be the best choice for her. 

“It was kind of a group decision,” she said. “I was the one who first thought of it because as I was looking through colleges, I was like, ‘It’d be really helpful to know what score I need,’ and my mom thought that it would also be a good option so that we can have an idea of how much more I need to study.”

Being a high-level student and athlete means having to balance her time more deliberately. 

“I usually prioritize my actual schoolwork over my ACT stuff, but to make sure I am doing that, I try to set aside time on top of my extracurriculars and my schoolwork so that I can get the best score possible,” Gelles said. “I try to dedicate maybe 30-45 minutes each week just to practicing, and then I’d say every two weeks I take a practice test just to make sure.”

As the deadline approaches and the semester comes to a close, preparations vary slightly. Nevertheless, Gelles tries to maintain balance within her schedule, still prioritizing her personal well-being.

“I’ve been studying a little bit more each week,” she said. “I’m more stressed out than normal knowing that it’s coming up, with finals also, but I’ve been trying to stay consistent to not overwork myself.”

Despite the worry that accompanies demanding times like these, Gelles has discovered tactics that have allowed this process to be more manageable and effective. 

“Start studying early,” she said. “Make sure you set aside time so that you know how to pace yourself, and be hard on yourself with your time — just make sure you’re really working hard and trying to simulate your testing environment as much as possible.”