ACT Tips


Angela Pluta

The ACT is a very important test that all juniors take in spring. It helps to determine the future of colleges and possibly jobs.

Understanding the basic format of the ACT can help you to your advantage, the english portion has 75 questions and 45 minutes to complete it. The math portion has 60 questions and 60 minutes to complete it. The reading and science portions have 40 questions and 35 minutes to complete. The writing portion consists of one prompt and 30 minutes to write.

Before taking the ACT, make sure to set goals for yourself to get a score high enough to be accepted into your desired college. After taking the practice ACT, if your scores aren’t where you would like them to be you can go on method test prep and work on improving your scores. Statistically, after spending time on method test prep, your scores should increase by a couple points.

Before taking the english portion review your punctuation and non-pronoun agreement rules. You should brush up on grammar as well. Be sure to have a understanding on how to use commas, colons, semicolons, and dashes.

Before taking the math portion, you should memorize and review the basic formulas that you may have to use on the test. Also make sure that your calculator is charged and working the night before the ACT, so that you don’t have to take it without a calculator and try to solve all the problems in your head.  You are provided with a scrap sheet of paper to solve long problems on, but a calculator is also allowed.

Some top tips are to use the process of elimination when answering questions that you’re not sure about. Instead of trying to find the correct answer, find all of the wrong answers. You can use multiple choice questions to your advantage by using the process of elimination. When you cross off just one of two wrong answers, the correct answer can appear more obvious.

In order to get through the most questions as possible, work on the questions out of order. If you spend too much time working on one hard question, you could run out of time and rush through the easier questions. Instead of doing every question in order decide if you should do it now or later. But don’t forget about the questions you skipped earlier in the test.

On the essay portion of the ACT, make sure to fully read all of the questions before you start looking at the answers and the passage. Also make sure to carefully read to make sure that the the answers you wrote make complete sense and are relevant.

For the essay portion, make sure that you use complete sentences. You are are allowed to scribble out words without any points being marked off. If you are struggling with writing, try to use the claim evidence and analysis set up. If you are including quotes or other direct evidence in your essay, make sure to use quotations. And put in your full effort throughout the whole essay to achieve the highest score possible.