Ever heard this before?
“I’m good at English/math/etc., I’m just not a good test-taker.”
Maybe one of your friends or classmates have said this. Maybe you’ve said it before. It can be frustrating to know how to solve most of the problems on the ACT, but not know how to successfully take and finish a standardized test.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few tips that can boost your ACT score by a few points.
Never leave an answer blank.
Unlike school, if you get a wrong answer on the ACT, you don’t lose points. You can only gain points for getting right answers. This is big news for those who don’t realize the ACT is scored this way. If you don’t know the answer to a question—guess. You’re likely to guess the right answer!
Pacing yourself on the ACT is key to finishing the section before time runs out. Here’s a breakdown of how much time you should spend on each question:
36 seconds per question in the English test
1 minute per question in the math test
8 minutes per passage in the reading test
5 minutes per passage in the science test
In order to get through the whole section, it’s imperative that you don’t spend too much time on any one question. If you find that you’re moving too slowly, start guessing on questions that take too long to solve.
Take practice tests.
One of the best ways to pace yourself correctly on the ACT is to take practice tests. You’ll also become more used to the test’s layout and content by doing this. If you practice before the real ACT, test day won’t be as intimidating, and you’ll be able to keep yourself on track.
Get extra help.
Learn from those who have conquered the ACT—sometimes multiple times! MasteryPrep offers classes, workbooks, Boot Camps, and other resources, all designed to coach you through a successful ACT. If we’re in your area, join us for a Boot Camp. Or ask your school to host one. We have lots of tips and techniques to boost that ACT score.
Trust your gut.
You’ve learned the material in school. You’ve studied hard and taken practice tests, maybe even attended a Boot Camp. Now trust yourself. It’s easy for the stress and anxiety to overwhelm students and cause them to second-guess their answers. Don’t let the ACT get to you—remind yourself that you know how to answer the questions, you know how to finish this test, and then finish strong.
If you practice these tips, you stand a very good chance of improving your score. At the least, it should be easier to make it to the end of the test with leftover time, which you can use to go back and check your answers. Just give yourself enough time to practice these tips so you feel comfortable using them on the big day.