6 Important Tips When Preparing for the ACT

Are you planning on attending college? Do tests give you anxiety. Taking any examination is nerve-wracking, especially those that dictate your acceptance to college. The ACT is one of the two most common college-entrance examinations used in the country. It is not graded with a standard A or B grading; instead, it’s given a score of 1-36. Before any test it is important to know what to expect and to come prepared. Below you will find a few ACT prep tips to help you make sure that you are prepared for the test and get into the college of your dreams.

1. You Have Limited Time to Complete the Exam

You will find four sections that include math, reading, English, and science, which are all timed. You will have 45 minutes to complete the 75 English questions, 60 minutes for the 60 math problems, 35 minutes each for the 40 science and reading sections. You should do your best to complete as much as you can in the allotted time frames.

2. Don’t Skip Questions

If you don’t know an answer to a question, then it may seem realistic to leave it blank and come back to it later. However, you must ensure that every bubble on the examination is filled in. Even if time is running short, just select any letter to ensure the questions are answered. Unlike the SAT, the ACT doesn’t penalize you for incorrect answers. So, it’s best to have something in the blank rather than nothing.

3. You Should Take Practice Tests

Just as your old coach said, practice makes perfect. Ryan Pope, a Harvard graduate received a score of 34, which is considered stellar. How did he achieve such a high mark on such a difficult test? The key was that he took more than five practice examinations. This is not the kind of assessment that you should go into blindly. Knowing what to expect and the types of questions they will ask can mean the difference between passing and failing.

4. Engage in Time Saving Methods

Another advantage of taking practice assessments is that you know the directions of the test. Each section has specific guidelines that are imperative to follow. When you already know the instructions, then you don’t need to waste all that time reading the directions at the beginning of each section.

Saving even a few seconds will give you more time to put towards the tougher questions. If you tend to be a slow test taker, you need all the extra time you can get. Since there are four sections, then you can save up to ten minutes if you don’t need to read the beginning of each part of the examination.

5. Use the Process of Elimination

If you find that you are stumped on a question, then using the process of elimination can save you. Deductive reasoning skills are useful on multiple-choice tests. Look for reasons that you can eliminate one of the choices. While this isn’t a foolproof method, it can certainly give you a better chance of getting a challenging question correct.

6. Get A Good Night’s Sleep Before the Test

It sounds pretty generic to mandate a good night’s sleep before any examination. However, your brain doesn’t function as well when it lacks proper rest. If you want to be sharp, alert, and ready to tackle such a significant test, then you need to have an adequate amount of sleep. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to grab a healthy breakfast too.

Finally, it’s important to stay calm and not get yourself worked up into a frenzy over this examination. Yes, you must get a good score, but you will likely not do your best if your anxiety is at an all-time high. Practice deep breathing and focus exercises to ensure you do your best. Remember, you can retake the test up to 12 times if your score isn’t where you want it to be.