How To Earn A Good ACT Score

If you plan to go to college, then you’ll most likely have to take the ACT exam.

The purpose of this post is to provide you with practical ACT test day tips, guaranteed to help you earn a good act score. It will be broken down into 3 sections:

  • General ACT Tips
  • ACT Writing Tips
  • ACT Multiple Choice Tips

Ready?  Let’s get started…

How To Earn A Good ACT Score

  • General ACT Tips

1. Read the directions on the cover of the test booklet and at the beginning of each test carefully. I know that this may seem like a no brainer, but with all of the build up and anxiety, it can sometimes be easy for students to breeze over or misinterpret the test instructions, which could potentially lead to a not so good ACT score.

2. To earn a good ACT score, you must pace yourself. If you read a question and you have no clue what the answer is, don’t panic!  Skip the question and come back to it later.  You don’t want to spend too much time on any one question.  Answer the easy questions first, and come back to the harder ones later if you have time.

3. Pay attention to the 5 minute warning. If you have a lot of unanswered questions, it’s probably a good idea to start guessing. Remember, you are not penalized for guessing on the ACT test. You will only get credit for questions that you answer correctly. The more questions you answer, the better chance you have at earning a good ACT score.

4. Use a soft lead No. 2 pencil with a GOOD eraser. You’ll want to erase any pencil marks completely and cleanly without smudging.  This will avoid any scoring errors which may prevent you from earning a good ACT score.

5. On more challenging questions, eliminate as many incorrect answers as you can, then guess.  If you can eliminate 2 out of the 4 answers, you’ll have a 50/50 chance of answering questions correctly and earning a good ACT score.

  • ACT Writing Tips

1. To earn a good ACT score on the writing section, you must plan. Before you begin writing your essay, try to write out a brief outline.  You should be able to identify some main topics.  This will help you fill in the details as you write the essay.

2. When trying to earn a good ACT score, essay formatting is key. Don’t skip lines or write in the margins. You want your essay to be clear and legible.

3. The introduction sets the tone for the remainder of the essay.  Make sure to leave an impression on the examiners with your introduction.  It should show that you have a clear understanding of the topic and it will help you earn a good ACT score.

4. In the body of your essay, make sure to explain your point of view in a clear and logical manner.  If possible, discuss the issue in a broader context and evaluate any drawbacks.  Also, you might want to predict what others might say to disagree with your point of view, and offer a counter argument. All these tips will help earn a good ACT score.

5. Conclusion. Your conclusions should be strong.  It should summarize your ideas and reinforce your position.

6. Proofread. If there is time, do a final check to make sure that you don’t have any spelling or grammatical errors in your essay.

  • ACT Multiple Choice Tips


1.  Read and consider all the answer choices before you select an answer. Make sure that your choice is the BEST answer to increase your chance at earning a good ACT score.  Re-read the sentence using the answer you selected to make sure.

2.  Be conscious of the writing style used in each of the passages. This will help you better understand what you’re reading.

3.  Consider the context of underlined words or sections of a passage. Also, be aware of questions that do not have an underlined portion.


1. Make sure your calculator has reliable batteries and is working correctly on test day. If it’s broke, you’ll hinder your chance of a good ACT score. Also, make sure your calculator is permitted.

2. Solve the problem BEFORE looking at the answers, then check to see if your solution if among the answer choices.  If not, then review your calculations and make sure your answer is reasonable.

3. If you can’t solve the problem, try to eliminate some of the answers and then make an educated guess. Remember, it’s okay to guess.

Reading & Science:

1. Read each passage carefully. You want to make sure you understand the material.

2. As you answer the questions, refer back to the passage before selecting a final answer. You might notice something that you missed the first time.

3. Carefully consider each answer choice before you choose the one that best responds to the question.

If you follow these test day tips, I’m certain that you’ll earn a good ACT score.  Good luck!

Related Posts

The following two tabs change content below.


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.

Latest posts by TheCollegeHelper (see all)