TuesdACT: Tips for the Day Before the ACT Test

ACT Tips for the Day Before the Exam

So it’s the night before the ACT, and you are not feeling totally ready. Or maybe you are totally ready, but you’re just feeling totally nervous. Or maaaybe you slacked a little bit, and now you are trying to cram in whatever you can before the test tomorrow.

In the video, you’ll find some tips for a few things you can do within a couple hours to greatly improve your odds of a successful test day. (Then, you really need to go to bed and get some sleep because that is the MOST important thing you can do.)

First, pack your bag.

Check out this packing list! Don’t forget your ID, your admissions ticket, #2 pencils (not mechanical), calculator with extra batteries, watch, layered clothing, and a snack. You’ll feel much more in control when you don’t have to worry about gathering all that stuff together in the morning.

Second, make yourself a cheat sheet.

Not THAT kind of cheat sheet. This is not for you to use during the test, but rather for you to use for a last-minute refresher tonight and tomorrow morning before you go into the test center.

This cheat sheet might be a little different based on how much you’ve been studying before the day before the test:

If you have been studying:

Review your practice tests and use this to inform what you put on your cheat sheet. For example, maybe you kept confusing “it’s” and “its” on the English section, write down what the difference is so you can remember to be on the lookout for this on your test.

If you haven’t been studying, well, you have three options:

  1. If it’s early enough in the day, and you can still get a solid night’s sleep (this means 8 hours), take a practice test. You can find one for free on the ACT website. Review what you got wrong and use this to make your cheat sheet.
  2. If you have only a little bit of time before you need to go to bed, don’t do a full practice test, but do about 10 questions from each section of the ACT: this will help you familiarize yourself a little bit with each section, so you aren’t going in totally blind.
    • P.S. You can also check out our other TuesdACT videos for some helpful tips since you’re watching videos anyway!
  3. If it’s late at night, you haven’t studied, and you only have a few minutes, check out these links and use the information to make your cheat sheet. Knowing something is better than knowing nothing:



One more bonus tip that will really help boost your confidence on test day! Check out our test prep lifehacks infographic. There’s everything on there from how chewing gum can help you get more questions right to how to do a mental brain dump when you walk in the testing room to prime your brain. If you are someone who likes doing things such as putting on your lucky socks before a soccer game, you’re really going to appreciate these tips!

Alright, get some sleep, and have an awesome ACT test day!


  • Kristin Fracchia

    Dr. Kristin Fracchia has over fifteen years of expertise in college and graduate school admissions and with a variety of standardized tests, including the ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, and LSAT, with several 99% scores. She had a PhD from the University of California, Irvine, an MA degree from The Catholic University, and BA degrees in Secondary Education and English Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park. She was the recipient of the 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award and the Chancellor’s Club Fellowship from the University of California, Irvine. She’s worked as a high school teacher and university professor, as an independent college and graduate school admissions counselor, and as an expert tutor for standardized tests, helping hundreds of students gain acceptance into premier national and international institutions. She now develops accessible and effective edtech products for Magoosh. Her free online content and YouTube videos providing test prep and college admissions advice have received over 6 million views in over 125 countries. Kristin is an advocate for improving access to education: you can check out her TEDx talk on the topic. Follow Kristin on LinkedIn!

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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