Activate Success Blog

ACTivate Success, LLC. aims to help students reach their maximum potential through improving ACT scores for college admissions and scholarship opportunities as well as empower students with knowledge and skills necessary in daily classroom activities.

ACTivate Success, LLC. aims to help students reach their maximum potential through improving ACT scores for college admissions and scholarship opportunities as well as empower students with knowledge and skills necessary in daily classroom activities.

New Year!

Hello Everyone!

Can you believe that the 2015-2016 school year has already started?  As school starts getting busier and busier, it will be easy to forget about signing up for the ACT.  Many times we hear from students, especially Juniors, that they "forgot" about signing up for the ACT in the fall.  It's usually in the Spring when everyone starts to panic about taking the ACT.

We like to tell everyone, especially Juniors and Seniors, that it's really important to start taking the ACT in the fall.  It's good to not wait until the spring to take your first test.  If you're a Senior trying to raise that score one more's imperative that you take a fall ACT. 

The first ACT offered is Saturday, September 12, and the deadline to register (without a late fee) is THIS FRIDAY!!  Do not wait until it's too late.  Our ACT Prep class will start this Sunday, so it's not too late to join us.  Email or give us a call and see how we can help you succeed.  Our class size is limited to 10.  You can register on this site and bring your payment with you to the first session.  Once you've registered your spot is secure.

If you have any questions please let us know!!  Hope to see you all Sunday!


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Calling all Seniors....

If you are a Senior and are still needing to improve your ACT scores, make sure you sign up quickly! Many schools have a cut off make sure you check with them to see when that is.

We are about to start our next round of classes.  Contact us today and see how we can help you reach your goal!

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November Class Dates...Register Now!

Are you wanting to take the December ACT?  The test is on December 13 and the registration deadline (without a late fee) is November 7.  Make sure and register NOW!

Since you're already online registering for the test, why not go ahead and register for our ACT Prep Course that will start the week of November 9?  We have two options for your to choose from.  You can choose to meet Sunday afternoons (2-4) or Tuesday evenings (5-7).  We meet in Lebanon, easy drive from almost anywhere in Middle Tennessee.  The following are the dates that each class will meet:

Sundays: November 9      Tuesdays: November 11                                                                                                November 16                    November 18                                                                                                November 23                    November 25                                                                                                November 30                    December 2                                                                                                  December 7                      December 9

Can't make a class?  We also offer individual tutoring.  Contact us today and see how we can help you!

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Next ACT Prep Study Session...Coming Soon!

Are you registered to take the ACT on October 25?  If not, it's not too late!!  Registration closes for this ACT on September 19, so head on over to and register.  After you register for the test, send us an email and see what we can do to help you.  Our next round of group review sessions start on September 21.  Space is limited to get your name in now.  You won't be sorry you signed up. 

Make this next ACT the last one you take.  Call or email us today to see how we can help!!

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Free Practice Tests

Remember when you were learning how to ride you bike and your parents told you that the only way you would learn is to just keep trying??  Well, the ACT is kind of like that.  The more you practice, the easier it will get.  That doesn't mean that you will see the exact questions from the practice tests, but you will see questions like them.  The key to working these practice tests is that you have to time yourself!!  Don't give yourself all the time you need...set a stop watch and see what you can get done in the time that the test allows. 

Here are two different websites that offer free practice tests.  Take these tests and see how you do.  Are you struggling on a certain section?  Email us and see how we can help!

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If you've taken the ACT before, you know that Science is the very last test on the ACT.  By the time you reach this subject, you will have probably decided that you no longer want to go to college and that you're ok with living at home with your parents for the rest of your life.  This is not an option.  Seriously.  Your parents said to tell you that.

The Science test is not that bad.  It's a fast test.... 40 questions in 35 minutes.  There are 7 passages total...3 Data Representation, 3 Research Summaries and 1 Conflicting Viewpoint.  The biggest challenge is timing.  My biggest advice to you on this is to NOT read the passages.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The passages are long and they are full of confusing words.  Instead, once you get to a new passage, go straight to the questions.  Most of the time, the question will give you a reference from the passage such as a chart or table number.  The only passage that won't have many questions like that is Conflicting Viewpoints.  On this passage, it might be easier to SKIM the article and underline the main ideas in each viewpoint.  

Remember, the Science test is not trying to see how much science you remember from your classes, it's seeing if you can grasp the idea scientific thinking...can you tell whether data supports a particular you understand why one experiement is done a particular way.  The best way to study for this test is to practice, practice, practice.  Find some old ACT tests and time yourself.  You'll be glad you did.


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The reading portion of the ACT includes 4 passages with 10 questions each.  You have 35 minutes to complete this portion of the test.  Sound stressful??

It doesn't have to be!  One of the keys to the reading test is your timing.  Time yourself on practice tests...and remember that accuracy is more important than bulk.  Do your strongest passage first and if you have to, skip the questions that are taking up all of your time ( least GUESS something...don't EVER leave the question blank!).

If you have a hard time remembering what the passage is about, take a minute to jot down a main idea on the outside of the passage.  Remember, you CAN write in your ACT booklet.  Underline the main ideas and important words.

Obviously, you have to READ!!  Read a book for fun, not just something you were assigned at school.  Join a book club.  Seriously.  Find something you're interested in and R.E.A.D.  It will pay off in more ways than just the reading portion of the ACT.  Promise.

For those of you with smart phones, download the free app Elevate . Make reading a game and learn to pace yourself under a timed situation.  Don't worry....we won't tell anyone that you're actually having FUN while learning....  

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Round 2....MATH!!

Let's face it...this math section can be tough. However, there are some things you can do to make it easier on you. The main thing is to know your target score....not sure what a target score is?? Contact us today and find out!

There are 3 strategies that can save you time when working out math problems. 

- Plug In (pick a number, do the problem with your number, put the number into the choices)

- Backsolve (make the middle number the answer to the question, do the problem and see if it fits, if C fails, figure out if you need a bigger or smaller number and repeat). Remember, on the math section all of your answers are in order. Use that to your advantage!

- Guesstimate (even though the ACT gives the disclaimer "not drawn to scale", A-List Services looked at 19 past ACT tests and found that only 6% of their math problems were not drawn to scale.   In other words, if it looks like an acute angle, it probably is).

Obviously, these strategies won't guarantee you a 36 on the math portion of the ACT...but they CAN help you save time.

Good Luck!

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First Up....English!

I don't know if it's just me, but the thought of answering 75 English questions in 45 minutes kinda stresses me out...heck, I'm a MATH teacher and the thought of answering 60 math questions in 60 minutes also stresses me out. 

We'll talk about math tomorrow, but for now, here are a few general strategies that can help you through the English portion:

- Read the whole sentence (not just the underlined word).

- Read the whole paragraph (even though the question might ask about a single sentence, the sentences around it can be important to finding the correct answer).

- Read the whole passage.

- Read all the choices.

- Eliminate and Guess (remember, there's no penalty for wrong answers...but you're on a time limit so eliminate answer choices quickly).

You got this!!  We'll head into math land tomorrow....

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Know Your Goal!

The ACT is a timed test made up of 4 sections in this order: English (75 questions in 45 minutes), Math (60 questions in 60 minutes), Reading (40 questions in 35 minutes), and Science (40 questions in 35 minutes).  There is also an optional writing portion which consists of 1 essay in 30 minutes.

This sounds like a lot of problems to work in a short amount of time...and the reality IS!!  However, there are different things that you can do to help you make good use of your time.  One of the things you can do is KNOW YOUR GOAL.  That sounds like common sense, but really, if you know what score you're going for, you can eliminate a lot of your stress.  What is your overall composite goal?  Once you know that, you can break down each section (after all, your composite score is the average of your four test scores, rounded to the nearest whole number).

We'll cover each section in the blog this week.  Tomorrow will be English....

See you then.

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Do you REALLY need to study for the ACT???

As a teacher, one of the things that I hear often is "I can't really study for the ACT".  This not entirely true. Sure, it would be hard to cram for all of the math knowledge you need in just a few weeks. HOWEVER, there are things that you can do to help you improve your score. One of the easiest things you can do is to start timing yourself taking practice tests. This doesn't seem like a big deal, but when you're sitting in a room trying to solve 60 math questions in 60 minutes, timing is everything!  Try taking one subject area each night during the week and time yourself. This will help you learn how to pace yourself and should release SOME of the stress on test day!

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Seniors...Time is NOT on your side!!

Seniors, listen up!  I know you are probably SO excited about your Senior year.  Very soon, your life will consist of football games, homecoming floats and making memories with your friends. However, don't forget about signing up for the ACT.  If you are still trying to improve your score, it is crucial to sign up for these first few tests. You don't want to wait too late and take the chance of being put on the waiting list for your dream college.  There is still time to register for the first test (September 13) and still time to enroll in our first group review session. 

If you have already reached your goal, think about taking advantage of our college admissions help. Our teachers will help you with those pesky entrance essays. Don't wait until the last us today to see how we can help you!

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