Learn the best ACT tips to increase your score!

The Incredibly Predictable Format of the ACT




 
 
In this post, we’re going to talk about just how predictable the ACT is and how you can take advantage of its predictability. The good news about the ACT is that it’s incredibly predictable—almost everything about it stays exactly the same every single year: the number of questions, the types of questions, the topics of the questions, the number of passages, the types of passages, etc. And, as with most things in life, the more you know about the ACT before you take it, the better you’ll do on it. You’ll be able to have a specific game plan for each test, for how to approach each passage and question, and for how to make the most of the limited time you have. The best way to defeat your enemy is to know everything there is to know about your enemy. So, here is a summary of the incredibly predictable format of the ACT:

Section #1: The English Test

The ACT always begins with the English test, which is 75 questions and 45 minutes long. There’ll be five passages with 15 questions each. About 40 questions will be on Mechanics & Usage, or basically grammar, and about 35 questions will be on Rhetorical Skills, or basically effective writing. We’ll review these different types of questions in other videos. The good news about the English test is that it’s the “easiest” out of all the sections and the least rushed. Most students finish with plenty of time left. The bad news is that since it’s “easier” than the other sections, it’s graded a little more strictly, so you don’t want to make any careless or silly mistakes. A lot of students go through the English test too quickly—they rush through it and make way too many careless mistakes.

Section #2: The Math Test

After the English test is the math test, which is 60 questions and 60 minutes long. The questions generally go from easier to harder, but this isn’t a definite rule—there’ll be some easier questions scattered throughout the test, so make sure you’re able to get through the entire test. On the math test, there’ll be about 14 pre-algebra questions, 10 elementary algebra questions, 9 intermediate algebra questions, 9 coordinate geometry questions, 14 plane geometry questions, and 4 trigonometry questions. The good news for the math test is that although time is more of an issue on the math test than on the English test, if you know your math concepts well, you shouldn’t need to worry too much about time. The bad news is that you need to study and know a lot of math content to do well on this test. But don’t worry, we’ll help you review this content in a later session.

Section #2.5: 10 Minute Break

After the math test, there’ll be a 10-minute break. We recommend that you bring a snack to eat during this break to refuel for the second half. Make sure you use this break to recharge, and don’t let anything that happened during the first half of the test affect your focus for the second half.

Section #3: The Reading Test

After the 10-minute break is the reading test, which is 40 questions and 35 minutes long. The reading test consists of 4 passages with 10 questions each, and the passages always show up in exactly the same order: Prose Fiction, then Social Studies, then Humanities, and then Natural Sciences. The good news for the reading test is that you don’t need to study or know anything beforehand for the reading test because all of the answers are right there in the passages. But, the bad news is that time is a huge issue for the reading test. Most students run out of time and have to guess on a lot of questions, which lowers their score significantly. In previous videos, we’ve already talked about the importance of building up your reading speed and comprehension by reading a lot. In a later session, we’ll also explain the best strategies you can use to make the most of your time and get a good score on the reading test.

Section #4: The Science Test

After the reading test is the science test, which is also 40 questions and 35 minutes long. The science test consists of 7 passages: 3 of them will be Data Representation passages with 5 questions each, 3 of them will be Research Summary passages with 6 questions each, and one of them will be a Conflicting Viewpoints passage with 7 questions. The science test isn’t really a science test. It’s actually really similar to the reading test, just with more passages and more technical information that you need to sort through. Like the reading test, the good news for the science test is that you don’t need to study or know anything beforehand—again, all the answers are right there in the passages. But again, the bad news is that the science test is difficult because of how little time you have to do so many different passages. Again, most students end up not finishing, having to guess on a lot of questions, and getting a pretty low score because of that. Like with the reading test, building up your reading speed and comprehension is the best way to prepare for the science test, but we’ll also explain the best strategies you can use to succeed on the science test in another session.

Section #5 (Optional): The Writing Test

If you signed up for the writing test, there’ll be a five minute break after the science test, followed by the writing test. The writing test is 30 minutes long and you have to write one essay. In this essay, you need to defend a position with a well-organized essay, as well as address potential counterarguments against your position. The ACT is looking for a very specific kind of essay, and we’ll show you how to give the ACT what it’s looking for in other videos.

Final Thoughts

So, this is basically the entire ACT. There’s really nothing about it that should surprise you if you prepare for it the right way. A major key to doing well on the ACT is knowing it well enough to approach it with confidence and with a clear game plan, which we’ll show you how to do in other videos. So, be confident! The ACT is not this wild beast that you can’t understand or handle. It’s actually a super predictable test and you can know everything you need to know about it before you actually take the test.

By |March 21st, 2014|ACT Information, ACT Tips|0 Comments

Suggested Reading List for the SAT – Articles, Websites, and Books



Here is a list of college-level/nonfiction articles and books you can read to get your reading ability to SAT level. The key to finding good texts to read to prepare for the SAT is to find material that challenges you and that is similar to what you might see on the SAT, which is primarily non-fiction. These readings might be challenging and unfamiliar to you, but that’s the point.

I’ve tried my best to find books that most people find enjoyable to read. Good luck!

Suggested Reading List:


These websites contain articles at a higher reading level than most news websites. The reading level of these articles is college-level, which is the level of reading you will see on the ACT.

Website articles:

national geographic

news.nationalgeographic.com (National Geographic)

National Geographic publishes articles about geography, history, and world culture.

 
 

the economist

economist.com (The Economist)

The Economist publishes articles related to the economy. It targets highly educated readers.

the new yorker

newyorker.com (The New Yorker)

The sections you can browse on this website are News, Culture, Politics, Science & Tech, and Business.

foreign affairs

foreignaffairs.com (Foreign Affairs)

Foreign Affairs publishes articles about American foreign policy and global affairs.

 

new york times

nytimes.com (The New York Times)

On the left side of the page, you can choose topics such as World, U.S., Politics, Business, Technology, Science, and Health.

Non-fiction books


These books are all non-fiction, which is what most of the reading on the SAT will be. This is just an introductory list—feel free to look for any other non-fiction book that interests you.

The point is to find books of different genres that push you to become more familiar with non-fiction. The more you read books you are currently unfamiliar, the less unfamiliar the SAT reading will seem to you.

The books here are all enormously popular books that you will probably actually enjoy reading. Nonfiction does not need to be boring or painful!

freakonomics by stephen dubner

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

This is an extremely popular book that applies economics to real life in a way that is fascinating and fun to read. It is broken up into small sections for quick and enjoyable reading. We highly recommend this book.

 
 
 

the world is flat by thomas friedman

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, by Thomas L. Friedman

This book examines the events in the twenty-first century that completely changed the world. It has been highly recommended countless times by countless people. You will learn A LOT of useful things from this book.

 
 
 

the total money makeover by dave ramsey

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness, by Dave Ramsey

Learn how to manage your money and build wealth from one of America’s most well-known financial coaches. This is an extremely practical book that can heavily influence your future and how you look at money!

 
 

the lean startup by eric ries

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, by Eric Ries

Whether or not you plan to start a business, this book is a fascinating read about what makes ideas and businesses successful. This book will give you ideas for how you can make a difference and influence others with original ideas that people are interested in.

 
 

getting things done by david allen

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen

The title of this book pretty much speaks for itself. In a world where time always just seems so limited, this is an invaluable book about how to make the most of our time and enjoy our lives at the same time.

 
 
 

the success principles by jack canfield and janet switzer

The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, by Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer

Again, this title is pretty self-explanatory. In this book, the authors spell out “the 64 timeless principles used by successful men and women throughout history.” Applying these principles could very well change the way you live your life.

If you found Best ACT Prep helpful, please support us by leaving a review below. We would really appreciate it!

By |January 26th, 2014|ACT Tips|0 Comments

Suggested Reading List for the ACT – Articles, Websites, and Books



Here is a list of college-level/nonfiction articles and books you can read to get your reading ability to ACT level. The key to finding good texts to read to prepare for the ACT is to find material that challenges you and that is similar to what you might see on the ACT, which is primarily non-fiction. These readings might be challenging and unfamiliar to you, but that’s the point.

I’ve tried my best to find books that most people find enjoyable to read. Good luck!

Suggested Reading List:

These websites contain articles at a higher reading level than most news websites. The reading level of these articles is college-level, which is the level of reading you will see on the ACT.


Website articles:

national geographic

news.nationalgeographic.com (National Geographic)

National Geographic publishes articles about geography, history, and world culture.

 
 

the economist

economist.com (The Economist)

The Economist publishes articles related to the economy. It targets highly educated readers.

the new yorker

newyorker.com (The New Yorker)

The sections you can browse on this website are News, Culture, Politics, Science & Tech, and Business.

foreign affairs

foreignaffairs.com (Foreign Affairs)

Foreign Affairs publishes articles about American foreign policy and global affairs.

 

new york times

nytimes.com (The New York Times)

On the left side of the page, you can choose topics such as World, U.S., Politics, Business, Technology, Science, and Health.

Non-fiction books

These books are all non-fiction, which is what most of the reading on the ACT will be. This is just an introductory list—feel free to look for any other non-fiction book that interests you.

The point is to find books of different genres that push you to become more familiar with non-fiction. The more you read books you are currently unfamiliar, the less unfamiliar the ACT reading will seem to you.

The books here are all enormously popular books that you will probably actually enjoy reading. Nonfiction does not need to be boring or painful!

freakonomics by stephen dubner

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

This is an extremely popular book that applies economics to real life in a way that is fascinating and fun to read. It is broken up into small sections for quick and enjoyable reading. We highly recommend this book.


 
 
 

the world is flat by thomas friedman

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, by Thomas L. Friedman

This book examines the events in the twenty-first century that completely changed the world. It has been highly recommended countless times by countless people. You will learn A LOT of useful things from this book.

 
 
 

the total money makeover by dave ramsey

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness, by Dave Ramsey

Learn how to manage your money and build wealth from one of America’s most well-known financial coaches. This is an extremely practical book that can heavily influence your future and how you look at money!

 
 

the lean startup by eric ries

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, by Eric Ries

Whether or not you plan to start a business, this book is a fascinating read about what makes ideas and businesses successful. This book will give you ideas for how you can make a difference and influence others with original ideas that people are interested in.

 
 

getting things done by david allen

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen

The title of this book pretty much speaks for itself. In a world where time always just seems so limited, this is an invaluable book about how to make the most of our time and enjoy our lives at the same time.

 
 
 
 

the success principles by jack canfield and janet switzer

The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, by Jack Canfield and Janet Switzer

Again, this title is pretty self-explanatory. In this book, the authors spell out “the 64 timeless principles used by successful men and women throughout history.” Applying these principles could very well change the way you live your life.

 
 

getting things done by david allen

This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works

This book contains a lot of short articles that are perfect for preparing for the types of passages you might see on the ACT, especially the Natural Science passage. The articles are short enough that you can read one when you have some extra time.

 
 
 

If you found Best ACT Prep helpful, please support us by leaving a review below. We would really appreciate it!

By |January 22nd, 2014|ACT Tips|0 Comments

The ACT is Ridiculously Predictable


Why We Should Approach the ACT with Confidence

One thing about the ACT that should give you tremendous confidence is that it is ridiculously predictable. So many things about the ACT stay exactly the same year after year—the subjects covered, the number of questions, the types of questions, the kinds of passages, and so on.

If we were playing a sport—let’s say basketball—and we knew exactly what the other player was going to do, it’d be really easy to win. You’d just stand where you knew he was going to go, and either steal the ball or block the shot. It’s the same with the ACT. Since we know exactly what the ACT is going to give us, we can prepare very specifically for what we will see on the ACT.
In this session, we’re going to break down the basics of what to expect for the ACT. In later sessions, we’ll talk more specifically about each section of the ACT.


The Format of the ACT

The ACT always begins with the English test. This test is 45 minutes long and consists of 75 questions. There are five passages on this test and 15 questions for each passage. About 40 of these questions will be on grammar, and about 35 questions will be on rhetorical skills. We’ll talk more about these types of questions in a later session.

After the English test is the Math test. This test is 60 minutes long and consists of 60 questions. The questions generally go from easier to harder, although this isn’t an absolute rule—there’ll be some easier questions scattered throughout the test. There will be about 14 pre-algebra questions, 10 elementary algebra questions, 9 intermediate algebra questions, 9 coordinate geometry questions, 14 plane geometry questions, and 4 trigonometry questions. The Math test contains a lot of content, but don’t worry—we’ll review the concepts you need to know in another session.

After the Math test, there’s a 10 minute break. You can eat a snack during this break to refuel for the second half.

After the 10 minute break is the Reading test. This test is 35 minutes long and consists of 40 questions. There are four passages on this test and 10 questions for each passage. The four passages always show up in the same order: Prose Fiction, then Social Studies, then Humanities, then Natural Sciences. Certain questions will be answered explicitly from the passage, and other questions will have answers that are implied from the passage. The big issue with the Reading test is time, but we’ll give you strategies to help overcome this issue in a later session.

After the Reading test is the Science test. This test is 35 minutes long and consists of 40 questions. There are a total of seven passages on this test: 3 Data Representation passages that are 5 questions each, 3 Research Summary passages that are 6 questions each, and 1 Conflicting Viewpoints passage that is 7 questions. The Data Representation passages are about interpreting visual data such as charts and graphs, the Research Summary passages are about analyzing the results of experiments, and the Conflicting Viewpoints passage is about analyzing two different points of view on a certain subject. Like the Reading test, time is what makes the Science test difficult, but again, we’ll give you strategies for this test in a later session.


There is an optional Writing test after the Science test, with a 5 minute break in between the Science and Writing tests. This test is 30 minutes long and consists of one essay. For this test, you need to know how to support a clear position using a five paragraph essay, as well as address potential counterarguments against your position. The ACT is looking for a very specific kind of essay, and we’ll show you how to write this kind of essay in a later session.

There is No Reason to be Surprised!

So, that’s basically what the entire ACT looks like. The more we know about it beforehand, the less intimidated it’ll seem to us. As we continue through these ACT prep sessions, be confident knowing that if we prepare correctly for the ACT, we won’t be surprised by anything that shows up on it.

If you found Best ACT Prep helpful, please support us by leaving a review below. We would really appreciate it!

By |January 4th, 2014|ACT Tips|0 Comments

Speed Reading: Tricking Our Eyes and Mind to Read Faster


Speed Reading Technique: Meta-Guiding

In this post, we’re going to talk about speed reading, and a simple technique we can use to “trick” our eyes and mind to read faster. This technique is called “meta-guiding,” and the concept behind it is simply that our eyes naturally follow motion, so we can use our finger to “trick” our eyes to move faster across the page. By using our finger, we are basically giving our eyes something to focus on—this helps direct our attention, as well as prevents us from going back and rereading what we’ve already read. If we continually move our finger faster and practicing this, our mind will eventually catch up to how fast our finger is moving and our reading speed will increase.

Don’t Read Every Word


A key part of this technique is that in order to read faster, we can’t read every word. In actuality, we almost never need to read every word of a text—we only need to understand the main point or points that it is communicating. On the ACT, you don’t need to, and you shouldn’t, read every word of a passage—you only need to read enough to find the answer to a question.

So when we use our finger to read faster, it’s okay if we don’t comprehend everything. If our comprehension is at about 70%, that’s great, both for the ACT and for a good majority of the reading you will do in the future. As you practice this speed reading technique, just try to figure out the main point of the text you are reading—don’t try to read and understand every word.

Example Videos: Speed Reading/Meta-Guiding

Now we’re going to look at some examples of how we can use our finger to “trick” our eyes and mind to read faster. In these three videos, I use this “meta-guiding” technique at three different speeds. If your speed is currently slower than this, that’s okay—the point is that you can gradually build up your speed with constant practice.

In this first video, I move my finger at a “normal” speed. It takes me about 20 seconds to get through this paragraph of text. This is actually a good reading speed for the ACT, but it never hurts to practice getting faster.

[hana-flv-player video=”http://bestactprep.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/speed-reading-slow.mp4″ width=”400″ height=”auto” description=”” player=”5″ autoload=”true” autoplay=”false” loop=”false” autorewind=”true” /]

In this second video, notice how I move my finger significantly faster. It takes me about 10 seconds to get through this same paragraph of text. I’m definitely going to comprehend less for now, but the point is that if I keep on pushing myself by doing this, eventually my mind is going to catch up to how fast my eyes are moving and I’ll comprehend more and more at faster speeds.

[hana-flv-player video=”http://bestactprep.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/speed-reading-fast.mp4″ width=”400″ height=”auto” description=”” player=”5″ autoload=”true” autoplay=”false” loop=”false” autorewind=”true” /]


In the third and final video, I move my finger across the text at a very fast pace. On the ACT, if you’re looking for a specific piece of information in the passage, you can move your finger more quickly to locate something specific that you’re looking for.

[hana-flv-player video=”http://bestactprep.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/speed-reading-very-fast.mp4″ width=”400″ height=”auto” description=”” player=”5″ autoload=”true” autoplay=”false” loop=”false” autorewind=”true” /]

Speed Reading for the ACT

For the ACT, this speed reading technique will help you in two ways: 1) First, you can use it to get faster at reading in general before the ACT, and 2) Second, you can use it on the ACT to read passages faster and with more focus, as well as find specific pieces of information faster.

The speed reading technique we learned in this session is a very useful technique that will not only help you do better on the ACT, but also help you save time in college and beyond college.

If you found Best ACT Prep helpful, please support us by leaving a review below. We would really appreciate it!

By |January 4th, 2014|ACT Tips|0 Comments

The Importance of Reading Ability for the ACT


The Most Important Skill to Develop for the ACT

More than anything else, your reading ability is the key to doing well on the ACT. Think about it:

1) The English test consists of five reading passages
2) The Math test contains a large percentage of word problems that require good reading comprehension to figure out what they mean and what they’re asking for
3) The Reading test consists of four college level reading passages
4) And the Science test consists of seven passages with very unfamiliar content


The Best Thing to Do to Prepare for the ACT

Because reading is such a large part of the ACT, we believe that the single best thing you can do to get a higher score on the ACT is to regularly read college level, non-fiction articles and books for at least an hour a day. Now, you might be thinking, “I don’t have time to read that much!”

Finding Time to Read

But if you really think about it, the issue is not that we don’t have the time to read—it’s that we don’t make the time to read. Most people choose instead to fill up their time with things like movies, TV shows, Facebook, Twitter, and other activities. Now, we don’t need to give these things up, but we can definitely cut back on them to make room for more reading in our lives.

For the rest of this post, we’re going to talk about why it’s completely worth it to give up an hour a day to read, as well as why you should be reading college level nonfiction articles and books to prepare for the ACT.

Why College Level Reading?

So first, why is it important to read college level articles and books? Two reasons: Reason Number 1) The passages you will see on the ACT are college level readings. Basically, if you can’t read difficult college-level passages at a good pace, you aren’t going to do well on the ACT because you’ll run out of time. Regularly reading college level articles and books will gradually develop your ability to read college level texts with better speed and comprehension. In our next session, we’re going to talk about a simple speed reading trick that can help you read faster.

And Reason Number 2) Being able to read college level texts is important both for college and for getting a job. The reading that you do won’t just help you do better on the ACT. It’ll also help you succeed in college and be more qualified for better jobs. In college, there is a lot of reading to do, so the reading you do now will help make college a lot easier when you get there. Also, because of how quickly everything is changing in this world, in order to keep up with it all and be competitive in the workplace, you need to constantly be reading to stay updated. So again, the reading that you do now will also prepare you to be more successful in the job market.


Why Nonfiction?

Next, why is it important to read nonfiction? For basically the same two reasons: Reason Number 1) Most of the reading you will see on the ACT will be nonfiction. 3 out of the 4 passages on the ACT Reading test are nonfiction, and all 7 of the Science test passages are nonfiction. The more familiar and comfortable you are with reading nonfiction texts, the less foreign and intimidating the ACT passages will be to you.

One of the major problems that students face with the ACT is that the passages on the ACT are basically unenjoyable and uninteresting passages. Because most students only read fiction (if they read at all), there is a huge barrier to reading the kinds of boring, nonfiction passages that show up on the ACT. To overcome this barrier, you need to make it a habit to regularly read nonfiction articles and books about topics that are currently unfamiliar to you.

Final Thoughts

To conclude this post, we just want to say that the only way to spend an hour a day reading challenging and unfamiliar articles and books is if you understand that doing this is worth the time and effort. And it most certainly is—there is nothing better you can do for your future, for college and for future jobs, than working to develop your reading ability now, because reading is just so central to pretty much everything in life.

But the only person who can motivate you is you. You need to decide that spending this amount of time reading is worth the investment.

If you found Best ACT Prep helpful, please support us by leaving a review below. We would really appreciate it!

By |January 4th, 2014|ACT Tips|0 Comments

Getting Motivated for the ACT


The First Step to Preparing for the ACT

Before we do anything else, it’s important to first make sure that you’re actually motivated to spend time and effort preparing for the ACT. As with most other things in life, if you’re not motivated, you’re not going to do it.

Five Reasons to be Motivated for the ACT

In this post, we’re going to give you five reasons to be motivated to spend time and effort preparing for the ACT:


  1. First, preparing for the ACT is not something you are doing for your parents or for your school—you’re doing it for yourself and for your own future. Getting a good score on the ACT will open up doors to countless colleges and jobs that would not have been available to you otherwise. When you spend time and effort preparing for the ACT, you are giving yourself the best chance possible at going to the college you want to go to and getting the job you want.
  2. Second, colleges take ACT scores seriously. It’s one of the most important factors that colleges look at in the admissions process because it’s really the only way that colleges can compare students objectively. Every student who takes the ACT takes the exact same test in the exact same way. In contrast, the grades that you get in high school are heavily dependent on factors that colleges can’t control, such as the quality of the teachers you had, the difficulty of the curriculum, the kind of homework assigned, etc. Colleges know what an ACT score means—they can’t truly know what a student’s high school grades truly mean. This is why the ACT is such an important part of your college application.
  3. Third, doing well on the ACT can help you get a great head start in college. Many colleges will give you exemptions or credit for certain classes if you get a certain ACT score. Not having to take these classes can save you valuable time, energy, and money.
  4. Fourth, doing well on the ACT can earn you thousands of dollars in scholarships. This is money that you do not need to pay back, and money that will give you a head start financially over other students after you graduate from college.
  5. And finally, developing your reading ability to prepare for the ACT will be something that will benefit you for the rest of your life—reading quickly and at a high level is a skill that will help you succeed in college, get a job, advance in a job, and much more. Our next session will focus on just how important your reading ability is for the ACT.


So, as you continue preparing for the ACT, try to keep this idea in mind: “The time and effort I spend preparing for the ACT is for myself and for my own future, and the payoff will be absolutely worth it. I’m going to make sacrifices now, so I won’t have any regrets in the future.”

If you found Best ACT Prep helpful, please support us by leaving a review below. We would really appreciate it!

By |January 4th, 2014|ACT Tips|0 Comments

ACT Strategies: Tricks to Master the ACT


ACT Strategies are Just as Important as Your Knowledge of the Content!

The ACT is not a normal test. If there was no time limit for the ACT tests, all that would matter would be your knowledge of the content.

However, because the ACT is a timed test, you simply cannot take the ACT the way you would take a normal test. You need to be smart about how you manage time, how you skip questions, how you bubble your answers, etc.

Many students get much lower scores on the ACT than they should, simply because they did not practice these ACT strategies. How you take the ACT is just as important as what you know.

Our ACT Strategies Work


There are so many different “best ACT strategies” out there, and some of them are just plain bad. Make sure you use the true best ACT strategies that will help you maximize the time you have, as well as give you the highest chance of picking the correct answers.

The purpose of these articles is to give you an advantage over other students in the way that you take the ACT. There is a certain way you should skip questions, and even some passages. There is a certain way you should bubble. There is a certain way you should guess. There is a certain way you should manage time for each of the different sections of the ACT.

We know our ACT strategies work because Best ACT Prep founder Michael used them himself to score a 34 on the ACT when he was just in high school, which is in the 99th percentile of all ACT test-takers. There is no better proof than this, which means that you can save time looking around and experimenting by trusting in the effectiveness of our strategies.

Articles on the Best ACT Strategies

ACT strategies and tricks

General ACT Strategies

ACT Tips: Top 10 ACT Strategies

What are the best test taking ACT tips and strategies for the ACT test? Learn the top 10 ACT tips and tricks to master the test and maximize your ACT score. Because many students do not know and use these valuable test taking tips when they take the ACT, using them will give you an advantage over most other students taking the ACT, as well as help you get higher ACT scores without doing anything extra.

ACT Strategies and Tips for Each ACT Test

ACT English Tips: Strategies for the ACT English Test

Learn the best ACT English tips and strategies that will help you maximize your score on the ACT English test. Learn how to manage time, how to approach each question, and more. Although the ACT English test is the least rushed out of all four tests, there are still specific test taking strategies that will help you get more questions correct and maximize your score.


ACT Math Prep: Strategies for the ACT Math Test

Learn the best ACT Math prep tips that will help you maximize your score on the ACT Math test. Learn how to manage time, how to approach each question, and more. The ACT Math test should not be rushed if you know your math concepts well. However, even if you struggle with certain math concepts, knowing these effective ACT strategies for the Math test will help you get the highest score possible.

ACT strategies and tricks

ACT Reading Strategies: Tips for the ACT Reading Test

Learn the best ACT Reading strategies that will help you maximize your score on the ACT Reading test. Learn how to manage time, how to approach each question, and more. The ACT Reading test is a fast-paced test, so it is vital to know and employ these valuable ACT Reading test taking strategies. Most students do not finish the entire test because they do not use these strategies. This does not need to be true for you.

ACT Science Tips: Strategies for the ACT Science Test

Learn the best ACT Science tips and strategies that will help you maximize your score on the ACT Science test. Learn how to manage time, how to approach each question, and more. The ACT Science test is the most rushed out of all four tests. For this reason, the ACT strategies you use for this test are extremely important. Most students have difficulty finishing the ACT Science test and thus their score suffers. These ACT strategies for the Science test will help you get every point possible on this test.

Next Step

Now that you know the ACT strategies to use for each section of the ACT, it is now time to take ACT practice tests to help pinpoint and overcome areas of the ACT you struggle with. Maybe you struggle with timing, or maybe you struggle with certain grammar or math concepts. Taking ACT practice tests can reveal these areas that you need to work on.

For the largest collection of ACT practice tests on the web, visit the ACT Practice Test Page: Links to ACT Practice Tests.

By |December 19th, 2013|ACT Tips|0 Comments

ACT Preparation: Introduction to ACT Prep



ACT preparation can seem like an intimidating and overwhelming process. The ACT is a big test, and there is just so much information out there that it can be difficult to sort through it all.

We are here to help!

To help save you time and stress, we have put in one place all the best and most important information you need to know for the ACT preparation process. This section of our ACT preparation articles is focused on helping you understand the basics of the ACT: what it is, what the test actually looks like, when you can take it, what ACT scores mean, and more.

The List of Our Introductory ACT Preparation Articles

What is the ACT Test: An Overview of the ACT

As you begin to prepare for the ACT, you might be wondering, “Just what is the ACT test?” Start here to find out everything you need to know about the ACT test.
ACT preparation

ACT Testing Dates 2013-2014

When are the ACT testing dates for 2013-2014? Find the testing dates here, as well as the special dates that provide the Testing Information Release (TIR) form.

ACT Format: The Sections and Timing of the ACT Test

The ACT format stays the same year after year. Learn what to expect from each section of the ACT. The more you know about the ACT, the better you will do on it.

How Long is the ACT Test: Total Time of the Test

Find the answer to, “How long is the ACT Test?” here. How long is each section? How long will the entire test take? If I take the writing section, how much more time will this add?

What is a Good ACT Score: Average ACT Scores for Colleges

Just what is a good ACT score? The ACT score that you aim for will depend on the college(s) you apply to. The national average ACT score is 21, but certain colleges will allow lower scores, while other colleges will require higher scores.

ACT Score Chart: Raw Score, Scale Score, and Percentile

This ACT score chart shows the relationship between raw score, scale score, and percentile. Use this chart to find out how to convert your raw scores into an ACT composite score and what percentile this score corresponds to.

How to Study for the ACT Test

Learn how to study for the ACT. Studying the wrong way can actually hurt your score, and studying the right way can significantly boost your score. Start here to learn how to study the right way for the ACT.

Suggested Reading List for the ACT – Articles, Websites, and Books


The best way to prepare for the ACT is a read A LOT. Here is a list of great articles and books to read to help you get your reading ability to ACT level. The websites here contain articles that are at a college reading level, and everything listed here is non-fiction, which is the kind of reading you will see most often on the ACT.

ACT preparation

Next Steps in the ACT Preparation Process

This section of our articles is meant to be a starting place. After you gain a better understanding of the ACT, check out the other major sections of Best ACT Prep:

ACT Study Guide: Content and Concepts to Know for the ACT

Go here for information about how to prepare for each individual section of the ACT.

ACT Strategies: Tricks to Master the ACT

Go here for the best test taking strategies to use for each individual section of the ACT, as well as some general tips for the ACT.

ACT Practice Test Page: Links to ACT Practice Tests

Go here for the largest collection of free ACT practice tests, as well as suggestions for how to effective use each practice test.

By |December 19th, 2013|ACT Tips|0 Comments

ACT Study Guide: Content and Concepts to Know for the ACT


How do I study for the ACT?

Okay, so we know that the ACT is a big deal. But how do I study for it?

Studying for the ACT can seem like an overwhelming process. The ACT is an enormous test, and it covers a lot of material. If you are not smart in how you study for the ACT, you could end up wasting a lot of time and getting extremely frustrated with the resulting confusion.

Here’s how we can help

We have gathered together all the best information about what you need to study and know for each particular section of the ACT test. Our ACT study guide includes the information about the different tests that the ACT provides, as well as helpful insights that we provide about the content of each test. These articles will let you know exactly what you need to study to do well on each section of the ACT.

ACT Study Guide for the English Test


ACT English Test: Format and Content

Our ACT study guide for the English test lists out all the grammar and writing skills you need to know to maximize your score on this test. There are certain tricky grammar rules that you should memorize before you take the ACT!

ACT study guide

Learn the format and content of the ACT English test to be fully prepared for the ACT. The ACT English test is 45 minutes, contains 75 questions, and covers two major topics: 1) Usage and Mechanics, and 2) Rhetorical Skills.

ACT Study Guide for the Math Test

ACT Math Test: Format and Content

Our study guide for the Math test, lists out all the math concepts you need to know to maximize your score on this test. There is a lot of content on the ACT Math test, so make sure you put forth time and effort to learn these math concepts.

Learn the format and content of the ACT Math test to be fully prepared for the ACT. The ACT Math test is 60 minutes, contains 60 questions, and generally goes from easier to harder.

ACT Study Guide for the Reading Test

ACT Reading Test: Format and Content

This study guide describes the different kinds of passages and questions that will show up on the ACT Reading test. Although you do not need to bring in any outside knowledge to this test, you do need to be prepared for the format and timing of this test.

Learn the format and content of the ACT Reading test to be fully prepared for the ACT. The ACT Reading test is 35 minutes long, contains 40 questions, and consists of four different passages.

ACT Study Guide for the Science Test

ACT Science Test: Format and Content

This ACT study guide explains the different kinds of passages and questions that will show up on the ACT Science test. Like the ACT Reading test, although you do not need to bring in any outside knowledge to the ACT Science test, you definitely need to be prepared for its format and timing.

Learn the format and content of the ACT Science test to be fully prepared for the ACT. The ACT Science test is 35 minutes, contains 40 questions, and consists of seven passages.


Next Steps: Strategies and Practice Tests

Now that you have worked through this ACT study guide and know the format and concepts for each section of the ACT, it is time to learn the best test taking strategies for each of the ACT test sections. Because the ACT is not a normal test, learning how to take the ACT is just as important as studying the concepts tested by the ACT. This is because the time limitations of the ACT will not allow you to spend the time you would like to answer every question.

ACT Strategies

The next step of this ACT study guide is to visit the ACT Strategies: The Best ACT Test-Taking Tips page to learn and practice the test-taking strategies that are specific to the ACT test.

ACT Practice Tests

After you have finishedact study guide these two ACT study guide steps, you will want to start taking ACT practice tests to determine and work on your areas of weakness. Following these steps to prepare for the ACT are crucial for you to get the the highest ACT score possible. For more information about ACT practice tests, visit the Practice ACT Test Page: Links to ACT Practice Tests page.

By |December 19th, 2013|ACT Tips|0 Comments

How to Study for the ACT



To prepare for the ACT effectively, you should know how to study for the ACT. There is a right way to study and a wrong way to study. Studying for the ACT the right way can significantly boost your ACT score, and studying for the ACT the wrong way can actually harm your score.

How to study for the ACT the wrong way

There are several things you can do to study for the ACT the wrong way.

One wrong way to study for the ACT is to only study for the content of the ACT. The ACT is a timed test, so it is equally important to practice getting used to the timing of the ACT. It is possible to know everything the ACT tests and still get a bad score simply because you ran out of time and could not answer all of the questions.

Another wrong way to study for the ACT is to simply take lots of ACT practice tests. While practice tests can be helpful, taking them in the wrong way can reinforce bad habits or be a discouraging experience that hurts your confidence approaching the ACT.

How to study for the ACT the right way

Studying for the ACT the right way involves preparing for both the content and strategy of the ACT, as well as taking ACT practice tests the right way.

One thing you must study to prepare for the ACT is the content that the ACT English and Math tests covers.

How to Study for the ACT English Content

The ACT English test covers many grammar and writing concepts. There are two primary ways to learn these concepts in preparation for the ACT English test:

  1. Study the specific grammar and writing concepts that will show up on the English test. A list of these concepts can be found on the ACT Study Guide – English: What English concepts do I need to study for the ACT? page.
  2. Read a lot of articles and books that use proper English grammar. The better you are at reading, the more easily you will be able to identify proper grammar and the errors that will show up on the ACT English test.

How to Study for the ACT Math Content

The ACT Math test covers math concepts from pre-algebra, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, plane geometry, coordinate geometry, and trigonometry. Again, here are two primary ways you can learn these math concepts to prepare for the ACT Math test:
how to study for the ACT

  1. Learn these math concepts from math classes in high school. The ACT is designed so that a student who has completed Algebra 2 can answer every question on the test.
  2. Study the specific math concepts from the list of concepts that the ACT provides. You can find a list of these ACT math concepts on the ACT Study Guide – Math: What Math concepts do I need to study for the ACT? page.

How to Study for the ACT Reading and Science Tests

Studying for the ACT Reading and Science tests involves gaining and understanding of how these tests are designed, rather than studying for specific concepts.

To learn more about studying for the different sections of the ACT, visit the ACT Study Guide: Content and Concepts to Know for the ACT page.

How to Study for the ACT: ACT Test Taking Strategies


Because the ACT is a timed test, studying ACT test taking strategies is just as important as studying the content of the ACT. If you do not take the test in the right way, your score will be far lower than if you simply took the test strategically. The strategy for each specific section of the ACT is slightly different, and there are a variety of other test-taking strategies to consider when taking the ACT.

For more information about ACT strategies, visit the ACT Strategies: Tricks to Master the ACT page.

How to Study for the ACT: Taking ACT Practice Tests

As with many other things, with the ACT, practice makes perfect. However, studying for the ACT requires more than simply taking ACT practice tests. You must also know which ACT practice tests to take and how to take them. Taking inaccurate ACT practice tests can lead to inaccurate predications of how well you will actually do on the ACT, and taking ACT practice tests in the wrong way may simply reinforce bad habits.

For more information about the best ACT practice tests and how to use them effectively, visit the ACT Practice Test Page: Links to ACT Practice Tests page.

By |December 14th, 2013|ACT Tips|0 Comments

ACT Format: The Sections and Timing of the ACT Test



The ACT format stays the same every year, so it is important to know beforehand what to expect. The ACT rewards preparation, so make sure you avoid surprises by learning the ACT format before you take the test.

The ACT Format: Section #1 – English Test

ACT format english
The ACT English test is 45 minutes long and contains 75 questions. There are five passages and fifteen questions for each passage. These passages do not differ in difficulty level or content tested.

The questions on the ACT English test fall into one of two categories: 1) Usage and Mechanics, or 2) Rhetorical Skills. Usage and Mechanics questions relate to grammar and the rules of the English language, and Rhetorical Skills questions are about writing effectively.

Generally speaking, students have no trouble finishing the ACT English test in the time frame given for this test.

The ACT Format: Section #2 – Math Test

ACT format math
The ACT Math Test is 60 minutes long and contains 60 questions. The questions at the beginning are generally easier, and the questions at the end are generally harder, although there may be easier and harder questions scattered throughout the test.

The questions on the ACT Math test cover pre-algebra, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, coordinate geometry, plane geometry, and trigonometry. The ACT math test is designed so that an Algebra 2 student can solve every problem on the test.

Many students have trouble finishing the ACT Math test, although if you know your math concepts well, you should not have too much trouble finishing this test in the 60 minutes time frame.

The ACT Format: 10-minute Break

After the ACT Math Test, there is a 10-minute break before the Reading and Science tests. You may eat a snack during this 10-minute break to help gain energy for the rest of the ACT test.

The ACT Format: Section #3 – Reading Test

ACT format reading
The ACT Reading test is 35 minutes long and contains 40 questions. There are four passages that always appear in the same order: 1) Prose Fiction, 2) Social Studies, 3) Humanities, and 4) Natural Sciences. There are 10 questions for each passage.

The questions on the ACT Reading test fall into one of three categories: 1) Specific Detail, 2) Evaluation, or 3) Main Idea. Specific detail questions are answered by the text directly, Evaluation questions require judgments based off of the text, and Main Idea questions are about the text as a whole.

The ACT Reading test is designed to be difficult to finish. To do well on this test, you must use good test taking strategies and be able to read at a relatively high level and speed.


The ACT Format: Section #4 – Science Test

The ACT Science test is 35 minutes long and contains 40 questions. There are seven passages that appear in random order:
ACT format science

  1. 3 Data Representation passages – 5 questions each
  2. 3 Research Summaries passages – 6 questions each
  3. 1 Conflicting Viewpoints passage – 7 questions

The Data Representation and Research Summaries questions are fact questions that are answered by the passages directly. The Conflicting Viewpoints questions are theory questions that require analysis of the passage.

The ACT Science test is designed to be difficult to finish. To do well on this test, you must use good test taking strategies and be able to read at a relatively high level and speed.

The ACT Format: Section #5 (optional) – Writing Test

ACT format writing
The ACT Writing test is 30 minutes long and requires the writing of one essay. You must choose one of two positions given and defend it effectively in essay form.

To do well on the ACT writing test, you must be able to organize a good five paragraph essay and support your main points using good examples. It is also important to address potential counterarguments to your position.

Learn More about the ACT Format

To learn more about the ACT test format, visit the ACT Test Descriptions page.

By |December 14th, 2013|ACT Information, ACT Tips|0 Comments

How Long is the ACT Test: Total Time of the Test



A common question people have is, “How long is the ACT test?” There are a number of factors to consider when answering this question:

How long is the ACT test with just the English, Math, Reading, and Science tests alone?

If we added up the amount of time you would spend actually taking the ACT test, here is what the breakdown would look like:

Time Actually Taking the ACT

ACT Section Time
ACT English Test 45 minutes
ACT Math Test 60 minutes
ACT Reading Test 35 minutes
ACT Science Test 35 minutes
Total 175 minutes, or 2 hours 55 minutes

how long is the ACT test

As you can see, the amount of time you will actually be taking the ACT English, Math, Reading, and Science tests is 175 minutes, or 2 hours 55 minutes. However, this is not the total time you will be spending at the ACT test center, due to several other factors.

Four of these factors are 1) taking the ACT Writing test, 2) check-in procedures, 3) administering the test, and 4) breaks.

How long is the ACT test with the optional ACT Writing test included?

The optional ACT writing test is 30 minutes, which will make the time you spend actually taking the ACT look like this:

Time Actually Taking the ACT with the ACT Writing Test

ACT Section Time
ACT English Test 45 minutes
ACT Math Test 60 minutes
ACT Reading Test 35 minutes
ACT Science Test 35 minutes
ACT Writing Test 30 minutes
Total 205 minutes, or 3 hours 25 minutes

The total time you will spend taking the ACT with the optional ACT Writing test included is 205 minutes, or 3 hours 25 minutes. However, again, this is not the total amount of time you will be spending at the ACT test center.


How long is the ACT test in terms of actual time spent at the ACT test center?

When you take the ACT, you will stay at the ACT test center longer than the times listed above. This is because in addition to the time spent taking the different ACT tests, time will also be spent checking in, passing out materials, filling out information on the answer sheet, and reading instructions. There is also a 10-minute break between the Math and Reading tests and a 5-minute break between the Science and Writing tests.

Taking into account all of these additional factors, plan to be at the ACT test center a total of about 4 hours 15 minutes for the ACT test without the Writing option, and about 5 hours for the ACT test with the writing option.

If you take the ACT test at 8:00am, expect to leave the test center at about 12:15pm for the ACT test without the Writing option.

If you take the ACT test with the Writing option, expect to leave the test center at about 1:00pm.

Be Prepared Physically and Mentally for the Length of the ACT Test

Person yawning
It may surprise you to learn just how long is the ACT test—four to five hours is a long time to spend taking a test. Because of how long the ACT test is, it is very important that you come prepared both physically and mentally for the test.

Make sure you get enough sleep the night before, make sure you eat a good breakfast the morning of the test, and make sure you are mentally prepared to stay focused throughout the entire time of the ACT test. Losing focus can cause your score to drop, but the positive side is that since most students will experience fatigue during the ACT test, if you come prepared to stay alert and focused throughout the entire test, you will have an advantage over most other students.

Visit the ACT Website’s FAQ for More Information about the ACT

While it is less detailed than our articles, the ACT Newsroom has information about how long is the ACT test, as well as answers to other questions.

By |December 14th, 2013|ACT Information, ACT Tips|0 Comments

What is the ACT Test: An Overview of the ACT



what is the act test

The first question parents and students ask as they begin thinking about the ACT is, “Just what is the ACT test?” This page will help you answer that question.

What is the ACT test?

The ACT is a nonprofit organization that creates and administers the ACT test, which is a “college admissions and placement test.” The ACT test is taken by more than 1.6 million high school students every year.

Why is the ACT such an important test?

When people ask, “What is the ACT test?” they are usually wondering about why it is such an important test. The ACT is an important test in the college admissions process for at least two reasons:

1. The ACT is standardized across the country and world


One answer to the question, “What is the ACT test?” is that it is a standardized test, which means that it is one test given to all test takers in the exact same manner. Because the ACT is standardized, colleges can use ACT scores to compare students from all over the country and world in a manner that is fair. Colleges know exactly what the ACT tests and how the ACT tests it, so colleges can trust that the ACT takes place in a predictable, controlled environment.

In contrast, a student’s grades in high school, GPA, and class rank are heavily dependent upon the school the student goes to. Just because a student received good grades in high school does not necessarily mean that he or she is ready for college—it is possible that the student simply had easy teachers, had an easy curriculum, or any number of other factors that colleges cannot control.

Generally speaking, colleges place more value upon a student’s ACT scores because they know what the score means.

2. The ACT is an indicator of college readiness

Although there are many criticisms directed towards the ACT (some of them justified), the ACT is a definite indicator of a student’s college readiness, whereas, again, just because a student performed well in high school does not necessarily mean he or she is ready for the rigor of college.

Doing well on the ACT requires a certain level of academic ability, and a certain work ethic to prepare effectively for it, so that a student’s ACT score can give colleges a good sense of whether this student is ready or not for the rigor of college classes.

A low ACT score likely means that the student’s reading level and problem solving abilities are not very high, or that the student did not take preparing for the ACT seriously. The ACT actually does give colleges a better picture of a student’s college readiness than some would like to admit.

How does ACT scoring work?

ACT score

Many people who ask, “What is the ACT test?” want to know how ACT scoring works and what ACT scores mean.

ACT scores range from 1 to 36. The average ACT score is about a 21. Getting a little more than 50% on the ACT will result in a score of about 21, and getting about 75% of the questions right will result in a score of about 26. Depending on which college you want to attend, you may need to aim for a certain ACT score.

For more information about ACT scoring, visit one of these pages:

What is a Good ACT Score: Average ACT Scores for Colleges

ACT Score Chart: Raw Score, Scale Score, and Percentile


What is the ACT Test Format?

There are four sections on the ACT: English, Math, Reading, and Science. There is also an optional writing test.

The English test is a 45 minute test that contains 75 questions (5 passages).

The Math test is a 60 minute test that contains 60 questions (that go generally from easier to harder).

The Reading test is a 35 minute test that contains 40 questions (4 passages).

The Science test is a 35 minute test that contains 40 questions (7 passages).

The Writing test is optional and takes 30 minutes.

For more information about “What is the ACT test format?” visit this page:

ACT Format: The Sections and Timing of the ACT Test

For more information about “What is the ACT test’s true length?” visit this page:

How Long is the ACT Test?

When can I take the ACT?

Calendar
The ACT is administered six times each year: September, October, December, February, April, and June. The December, April, and June dates are slightly different because you can request a Test Information Release (TIR) form to check over your answers. This is an extremely helpful feature because it will allow you to determine the types of questions you missed, so you can work to fix the areas you struggled with.

You may send your ACT score to up to four colleges when you take the test, although this may not be a good idea if you want to only send your best score to colleges. Generally speaking, it is better to submit scores yourself.

To learn more about the ACT test dates, visit this page:

ACT Testing Dates 2013-2014

Next Steps

Now that you can answer the question, “What is the ACT test?” feel free to explore the rest of Best ACT Prep for more information about the ACT.

By |December 12th, 2013|ACT Information, ACT Tips|0 Comments

ACT Tips: Top 10 ACT Strategies



These top 10 ACT tips and strategies will give you an advantage over other students who do not know or use these tips. Most students treat the ACT as a normal test, just like the tests students take in high school.

However, the ACT is not a normal test. The ACT rewards students who utilize good ACT tips and strategies related to effective test taking. Knowing the content is not enough. You also need to know how to take the ACT and how to approach the ACT with a specific game plan. In fact, some of the best ACT tips are actually counter-intuitive to how you might take a regular high school test.

ACT Tips: Tip #1 – Read, Read, Read!


Reading is the foundation of the ACT test. The English test consists of five reading passages, the Math test contains many story problems, the Reading test consists of four challenging reading passages, and the Science test contains several passages that contain unfamiliar reading material.

Specifically, most of the raeding on the ACT is college level non-fiction. If you cannot read college level non-fiction well, your performance on the ACT will suffer significantly because you will both run out of time and have immense difficulty interpreting the passages and questions on the ACT test.

Therefore, begin making it a habit to read a lot. Reading at least an hour a day will result in more improvement to your ACT score than you might imagine.

ACT Tips: Tip #2 – The First Step to Defeating Your Opponent is Knowing Your Opponent

The second of the top 10 ACT tips is to know the ACT well. The more you know about the ACT, the more prepared and confident you will be. Also, knowing the ACT will help you avoid any surprises.

Learn the details of each section of the ACT: how long they are, how many questions are on them, how much time you have for each passage/question, what kinds of questions show up, etc.

To learn the details of the ACT test, visit the ACT Format: The Sections and Timing of the ACT Test page.

ACT Tips: Tip #3 – Make Sure Time is Your Friend, Not Your Enemy

ACT tips and strategies

For most students, time is an enemy that ruins their ACT score—most students run out of time, especially on the Reading and Science tests, long before they are finished with the test.

This can actually be good for you, because if you learn how to manage time well during the ACT, you will have that much of an advantage over the other students who take the test. Being prepared to deal with the time limitations of the ACT test sections can help you stand out among the crowd of ACT test-takers.


ACT Tips: Tip #4 – Know When to Skip a Question

The next of our ACT tips is to know when to skip a question. One reason why many students run out of time on the ACT is because they spend too much time on one difficult question. Learning how to skip questions will help you make sure you get to every question on the test so you do not miss any easy points.

On the English test, do not skip any questions your first time through the test.

On the Math test, skip questions that either will take a long time or you do not know how to do at first glance.

On the Reading test, consider skipping the Prose Fiction section to do last. Also, skip the questions without specific references or that deal with the passage as a whole to do last within each particular passage.

On the Science test, skip the Conflicting Viewpoints passage to do last. Also, skip around within each particular passage, doing the easiest questions first.

ACT Tips: Tip #5 – Just Because You Answer a Question Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Come Back to It

Mark down or circle the numbers of questions you answer, but are unsure about, to come back to at the end of the test. This will allow you to 1) not spend too long on one question, and 2) help you know which questions should be checked over at the end.

Most ACT prep books and guides do not teach this important ACT test taking strategy!

ACT Tips: Tip #6 – Bubbling is an Art, Not an Afterthought

Make sure you have a plan for bubbling. Bubbling the wrong way can be catastrophic—you might bubble in the wrong number for every question, or you might run out of time before you bubble in all your answers.

For the English test, bubble after every passage (15 questions at a time).

For the Math test, bubble after every two pages (left and right sides).

For the Reading test, bubble after every passage (10 questions at a time).

For the Science test, bubble after every passage (5, 6, or 7 questions at a time).

For all passages, when you hear the five minute warning, begin bubbling questions one at a time.

ACT Tips: Tip #7 – Answer Every Question / Make Sure Every Bubble is Filled

ACT tips and strategies

The seventh of the top 10 ACT tips is to make sure you do not leave any question blank. The ACT does not penalize for guessing, so definitely answer every single question and make sure every single bubble is filled before the end of the test.

Even guessing correctly on one question can make a big difference on your final composite ACT score! If you do not guess, you are giving away free potential points.

ACT Tips: Tip #8 – If You Must Guess, Guess Wisely

There are good ways to guess and bad ways to guess.

Good ways to guess include first eliminating wrong answer choices and choosing the answer that you feel is closest to being correct. If you need to fill in random answers at the end of a test, choose the same letter for every question. It is more likely that you will answer at least one question correctly if you always choose the same letter.

Bad ways to guess include not even considering the answer choices and filling in random answers. If you choose different letters for all of your guesses, you have a higher chance of getting them all wrong.

In any case, try to take the ACT test in a way where you never need to make blind guesses!

ACT Tips: Tip #9 – Figure Out Your Weaknesses, and then Overcome Them

ACT tips and strategies

After you learn how to take ACT practice tests effectively, take practice tests to determine areas of the ACT you are weak in. Analyze the results of the ACT practice tests you take. Then, work specifically to overcome these areas of weakness.

Common areas of weakness for students are the math content, certain grammar rules, managing time, and not doing questions in a good order.

ACT Tips: Tip #10 – Study Grammar and Math

Make sure you know your grammar rules and math concepts before you take the English and Math tests. Unlike the Reading and Science tests, the answers for English and Math are not found within the test—you must bring in outside knowledge to these tests.

Be prepared by learning the concepts that the ACT covers for the English and Math tests.

For a list of English concepts that the ACT covers, visit the ACT English Test: Format and Content page.

For a list of Math concepts that the ACT covers, visit the ACT Math Test: Format and Content page.

ACT Tips and Strategies for Each Section of the ACT

For more specific information about the best ACT tips and strategies for each section of the ACT, visit these pages:

By |November 28th, 2013|ACT Tips|0 Comments