Four out of the five tests that make up the ACT are multiple choice: ACT English, ACT Math, ACT Reading, and ACT Science. The most challenging aspect of the ACT test overall is managing the pacing within each section so you get can to as many of the multiple choice questions as possible. Here are the top ten tips to make sure you can complete all of the questions on ACT test day!
1. Don’t get bogged down in the middle!
Students usually find that time starts to run away from them when they start seeing harder questions that they refuse to “give up” on. Don’t let a few hard questions ruin your chance to finish all of them! If you’re spending more than 2 minutes on a single question, it’s time to guess and move on. Always do the easiest questions first.
2. Rushing to finish the ACT English Test? Pick “OMIT”!
The ACT hates redundancy and wordiness, so a shorter answer choice is always better as long as it doesn’t 1) change the meaning of the sentence in a way that doesn’t make sense, or 2) introduce a new grammar error.
3. Learn the most commonly tested grammar errors.
Knowing the usage of proper punctuation and grammar will help you move quickly through the English test. A great place to start is the red Official Guide’s section on ACT English!
4. Don’t leave any questions blank!
Remember that there’s no wrong answer penalty on the ACT test, so if you feel the clock ticking down and you’ve still not been able to get to the last few questions, always bubble something in on your answer grid!
5. Science leave you scared? Do the shortest passages first!
Many students are intimidated but the ACT Science Test. Feel free to do the passages in any order. The Data Representation passages tend to be less “text-heavy.” If you’re a slow reader, but better at interpreting pictures, start with these. Doing practice science sections will help you become more familiar with topics tested on the ACT Science test.
6. Ask yourself questions as you read the ACT Reading passages.
Questions such as, “What’s the author’s point of view?”, “What is the function of each paragraph?” and “What is the main point of the whole passage?” are invaluable to help you answer the questions. Take notes as you go and you’ll move through the ACT Reading test questions much more quickly.
7. Write down your prediction for the right answer.
Before you look at the Reading or Science answer choices, use the passage to predict your own answer. Then match your prediction to the answer choices. This will save you time. Don’t get stuck weighing answer choices. Match your prediction and move on!