ACT Testing Tips

The ACT exam is one of the most important tests you will face in your high school career. It can be a gateway to a successful college education, and the key to admittance into the college of your choice. But failing to properly prepare for the ACT can leave you with less than exemplary scores, and that can have a definite impact on your college career. It is important to plan ahead, and to prepare adequately for the testing procedure. Let's take some time to discuss some useful tips to help you maximize your performance on the all important ACT.

What can I do to prepare for the ACT?

There are several ways in which you may prepare for the ACT test. A number of online resources, provided by the official ACT website, can help you plan for the upcoming test while giving you a good idea of what to expect when you face the actual test. The Preparing for the ACT Guide is an 80 page pdf file that can be downloaded for free from the internet. This guide provides guidance, as well as sample topics and questions, to help you hone your skills in anticipation of taking the official ACT. Officially sponsored tutorials like the ACT Online Prep and the Real ACT Prep Guide can give you added confidence in your ability to master the Act. These guides are not free, however, and you will need to consider the cost against the benefit.

All of these resources provide practice questions and test taking tips that can prove invaluable for students who want to increase their ACT scoring potential.

act testing

Follow the instructions

Once you have registered for the ACT, and have reviewed and prepared to take the test, you will be ready for the exam itself. When you begin the ACT exam, is is vital that you read the instructions carefully and follow them to the letter. Test anxiety can lead many students to rush through the exam process, misunderstanding important instructions. Take the time to read and reread all testing instructions. Failing to read and understand the testing instructions can cause you to answer improperly, and can cost you the high score you have worked so hard to achieve.

Be aware of the time

The ACT is a timed test, meaning you will be allotted a set amount of time to complete each section of the exam. While you shouldn't spend the duration of the test watching the clock, you do need to be mindful of the time. The test proctors will announce when you have five minutes left to complete a section, which will help you know when it is time to review your answers and complete the current portion of the test. You want to avoid running out of time, and leaving any questions unanswered.

Skip difficult questions

It's easy to get bogged down on an individual question, and lose valuable testing time. If you find yourself particularly stumped for an answer, skip the question and return to it later. Make the most of your time by concentrating on the questions you can answer easily, and use the remaining time allotted to tackle the questions you felt obliged to skip.

act test tips

Answer everything

It is important to answer all of the questions in each section of the ACT exam. Students are awarded points for each question they answer correctly, and no points are deducted for incorrect answers. Even if you feel the need to guess on a question, remember, you will not be penalized if you get it wrong. Whatever you do, be sure to answer every question that is put to you.

Be Neat

The ACT is a standardized test, and is scored by machine. You will be required to fill in bubbles on the testing forms, and it is important that you color them in neatly and completely. Use a No.2 pencil, and erase any stray marks. Try to avoid leaving any marks or smudges that may cause the machine to have difficulty reading your answers.

Take time to review

The ACT is a timed exam, with students being allotted a certain amount of time to complete each section. If you find you have any time left after completing a section, use it to review your answers and tidy up your exam forms. Have you answered everything to the best of your ability? Are your test pages clean and easy to read? Did you leave any questions unanswered? Remember, incorrect answers do not count against you, so if you have left any questions blank you should at least take an educated guess.

The ACT is your chance to prove yourself to potential colleges and universities. While all tests can produce some level of anxiety, if you prepare accordingly you can approach the ACT with confidence. Preparation is the key to success on the ACT, and a great score can open the doors to the college of your dreams.