Let's face it. If your goal is to do well, or better, then you have to practice!


Strategies for Success

The ACT is unlike any test you’ll take in school. While generally felt to be not as "tricky" as the SAT, everyone agrees that the test is long (3 hours and 25 minutes, including the Writing section) and that the time limitations make things more stressful. Here are some general strategies for success:

  1. Take the PLAN.
    Test taking is a skill, one you can learn, and the PLAN provides an excellent opportunity fto practice this skill. After you get your PLAN results, look them over carefully. In what areas were you strong? Weak? Can you figure out the answers to those problems you got wrong?
  2. Do the ACT’s Question of the Day.
    This is a great way to get in quick, daily practice in each of the ACT areas. For each question, you get the answer and an explanation.
  3. Purchase ACT, Inc.’s study guide, entitled "The Real ACT Prep Guide."

    ACT, Inc. writes the test, so why purchase a study guide written by someone else? (The 2nd edition contains 3 full practice tests.)
  4. Practice, practice, practice, in a test environment (timed, no distractions).
    Start early and set aside time each week to complete 1-2 practice test sections. Spend at least 1 hour and 30 minutes on each section – the actual testing time completing the section (filling in the bubbles using the provided answer sheet) and 30-60 minutes using the answers to rework and understand those problems you got wrong.
  5. Remember that the Mathematics questions increase in difficulty.
    Each question is worth the same. Don’t spend too much time on any one question, particularly if it’s towards the end and you’ve left easier questions unanswered.
  6. Leave nothing blank.
    The ACT does not penalize an incorrect response. (Should You Guess?)
  7. On test day, take and use your own digital watch (with stopwatch, the same one you used when practicing) and bring high-energy snacks.
    Don’t rely on the clock in the room or the proctor (who may, or may not, announce, "5 minutes remaining"). And, a couple of snacks (piece of fruit, energy bar) will help keep your energy up; 3 hours and 25 minutes is a long time.