Tips for Taking the ACT


The ACT can be very stressful, but with proper preparation and the right mindset, your goal-score can be achieved!

The ACT can seem very stressful, as substantial pressure is placed on its importance. It’s initials literally stand for American College Testing. Many high school students are greatly overwhelmed by its preliminary difficulty and overbearing guidelines. Although this standardized test may seem impossible to prepare for, there are actually several doable ways in which a student can get ready for this exam.

Most students understand that a good amount of sleep, proper nutrition, and partaking in classic multiple choice test strategies, (like the process of elimination, choosing “c,” going with your gut, etcetera), are essential. However, how does a student really prepare for this nerve-wracking test?

To start, if you don’t have a lot of time to prepare, just go with classic strategies that you already know. Click on this link if you would like a quick reiteration of those techniques! Keep in mind to go with your strengths, answer everything, and use common sense.

However, if you are aiming to really study and do well, more techniques are needed. Firstoff, use high-quality materials rather than low-quality ones. It’s all about quality, not quantity. It’s best to use materials approved by ACT and/or by other good test preparation companies. Don’t settle for less. Don’t take a bunch of practice tests that are nothing like the real thing, take practice tests that are challenging and take your time.

Secondly, totally understand your mistakes. Ruthlessly go over your weaknesses and don’t come up with excuses. Find a pattern to the weaknesses you have, and continue to point them out until your weaknesses become easy to point out and fix. Also, get rid of making careless errors by taking the extra time to read the question and answers. It’s better to not have extra time at the end than to have extra time and end up missing questions you should not have missed.

As you get better at taking the test, (by taking practice tests and the real ACT itself), you will end up mastering having extra time at the end. This is crucial for checking answers you are unsure about. Going back to a question with a fresh mind can be the difference between scoring a 29 or 30. Make it a goal to have five minutes left to spare during each test. Don’t freak yourself out. This comes with practice. Practice makes perfect!

If you would like more in-depth information, click this link for awesome advice from someone who scored a 36 on the ACT!

Now we will hear from some seniors who have scored a 30+ on the ACT.

Aleasia Ryan said that she focused most on time management skills during the ACT.

Brailey White said “early on, I took it a couple of times, but I wasn’t quite happy with my result. The next time I took it, I purchased the booklet and my graded scantron in order to see exactly what questions I missed. I then studied the concepts of the questions I had missed. This increased my score by a couple of points.”

Kassandra Ramos mentioned “I took a few practice tests on my own a week or two before and went to the ACT prep class the school hosts before the ACT sometimes.”

Corinne Myers said “I took quite a few practice tests, and looked up strategies to get a 30.” She also mentioned that she went to the ACT practice session the school hosts before the ACT.

If you would like to hear more tips on how to get a 30+ on the ACT, check out the banners at the front of the school, find the seniors whose names are displayed, and talk to them!

The ACT may seem very daunting, but don’t fear. With practice and confidence, this standardized test can be mastered.