How to Improve Your ACT Reading Score: 5 Must-Know Tips

Published on Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 by

If you need specific tips on improving your ACT reading score, look no further. In today’s post, we’ll share 5 must-know tips that will help you successfully complete the ACT reading test in the time allotted and even have a few minutes for review.

1.) Take Lots of Practice Tests
The key to doing well on the ACT is to take several practice tests. For best results, we recommend 8–10 practice tests, but at least take 5. This allows you to get a proper feel for the test, understand what the questions are really asking, and help you pace yourself for the real ACT.

2.) Simplify
You will come across questions that are confusing or that seem like they are trying to trip you up. In those situations, the best thing you can do is simplify the question. Figure out what the question is asking and rephrase it in simpler terms so you can focus on finding the answer.

3.) Establish the Author’s Point of View
Students typically struggle with the reading test because they project their own point of view onto the passages. The best way to understand the questions and know how to answer them is to first establish what the author is trying to communicate.

4.) Pick Your Passage
If you apply our first tip, you will have taken several practice tests before your test day. You’ll have a good idea of what to expect on the ACT reading test, and you’ll know which passage is easier for you to read and answer. When you take the real ACT, start with this passage. For instance, if you’re most comfortable with the Natural Science passage, answering these questions first will give you extra time to work through the more difficult passages.

5.) Move On
Remember that the ACT reading test is timed. With 35 minutes total, you only have about 8 minutes to work on each passage. This means that pacing is extremely important. You absolutely need to move on after you’ve spent 8 minutes on a passage, even if you haven’t answered all of the questions. Since there’s no penalty for wrong answers, your best course of action if you’re running out of time is to make an educated guess and move on to the next passage.

If applied, these 5 tips can help improve your ACT reading test score. They are simple tips that anyone can use, but they require practice so that they can become routine.

We know the ACT reading test is difficult, but if you are prepared with the tips, tricks, and techniques we share on our blog and in our materials, you will be better suited to achieve the score you desire on the ACT reading test and the ACT test overall.