ACT Prep Tips

Will you be taking the ACT soon? Before you start preparing for the exam, read these ACT prep tips!

ACT Facts

The ACT is a national college admission examination that comprises of 4 subject areas – math, science, English, and reading (with an optional writing section).

There are 215 multiple choice questions and it takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete the exam. If you elect to take the writing section, it takes just over 4 hours to complete the exam. (If you want to get adjusted to the exam format, search online for free ACT practice tests).

The ACT exam results are accepted by all United States colleges and universities. Your ACT exam results play an important role in the college admissions process. That’s why important that you pay attention to the following ACT prep tips.

If you start preparing for the ACT early by taking some free ACT practice tests and reading these free ACT prep tips, you’ll know exactly what to expect on exam day.

ACT Prep Tips

  • 1. Read the instructions on the cover of the booklet, the directions for each section, and each question CAREFULLY. If you breeze over any of this information, you might miss some important details that could harm your exam score.
  • 2. Don’t spend too much time on one single reading passage or question. The ACT exam is a timed test, so if you spend too much time on any one section of the exam, you could risk running out of time. Remember: Pace yourself!
  • 3. Use a pencil with a GOOD eraser. Since your exam answers will be recorded on a scranton, it’s important that you have a good eraser to thoroughly erase answers when you change them. You don’t want the computer to get confused and mistakenly read one of your old answers, causing you to get the question wrong. You should avoid mechanical pencils, ink pens, and white-out.
  •  4. Answer all the easy questions FIRST, and then go back to the more difficult ones. When you revisit the difficult ones, eliminate as many incorrect answers as you can, and then make an educated guess.
  • 5. Don’t leave any questions blank! Your exam score is based on the number of questions you answer correctly. Unlike the SAT, you ARE NOT penalized for guess on the ACT.
  • 6. Review your work. If you’re lucky enough to finish the entire exam before time expires, go back and check your work. When you review your work, you might catch mistakes or pick up on details that you didn’t notice the first time around.
  • 7. Plan before writing the essay. If you decide to take the writing section of the ACT, it is important that you carefully consider the essay prompt BEFORE you start writing. Think about how you are going to organize your ideas. It might also help to put together a quick outline, identifying the main ideas for each paragraph.

I hope you utilize these ACT prep tips! In addition to these tips, you can also increase your chances of scoring well on the ACT by taking ACT prep courses or free ACT practice tests. Your ACT exam score will play an important role in the college admissions process.

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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