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Three Month ACT Study Schedule

THREE Month ACT Study Schedule Banner (1)

Weekly 3 Month ACT Study Schedule

I am so glad you are here. If you are reading this, it’s likely that you have at least three months to prepare for the ACT, and that is a huge relief to me. If you’re taking the ACT in 3 months that means you have plenty of time to get fully prepped without letting your grades suffer or resorting to unhelpful cramming or undue stress. This really is the sweet spot for being well-prepared. But when your ACT date is in the distant future (three months can seem like forever), it can be tough to stay focused and not get distracted by other more pressing deadlines.  The best way to stay on track and reach your goal is with a study schedule–so voilả! Save the study schedule below on your computer or phone, print it out, tape it to your mirror, check it off–do whatever you need to do to keep yourself accountable. You will thank yourself when you ace the test. If you have less time before your test, you might want to check out the one month study schedule instead. Or if you’ve really let it slide (oops): the one week schedule.
 
Magoosh ACT Prep Study Schedules
 

How this study plan is organized

This is a weekly schedule that is designed to give you some flexibility. The ACT is important, but it shouldn’t be your entire life.  You need time to do other things, and you’ll want to decide on your own which days you will devote to studying and which you won’t. Altogether, the weekly work should take you between 8 and 10 hours per week, so make sure you divide it up! Don’t try to do it all on Saturday–that would be one rough Saturday. Personally, I suggest studying for three days during the week for a couple hours each day (this could include some study hall time at school!) and devoting about 3 to 6 hours on the weekend for things like practice tests and review, but if your schedule is more erratic, you can adjust it to whatever works best for you. The point is to make sure you dedicate specific days to study, so whether that means regular study on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or a marathon study session every Tuesday, decide in advance what your ACT study days will be.

By the time you finish this study plan, you will have completed at least seven full ACT tests and hundreds of additional practice questions. Not too shabby!

Each week, there are four things to do, including:

  • Magoosh Lessons: Watch our lesson videos for strategy and background information. If you’re completely comfortable with a topic already (for example, with triangle properties), you might want to skip through a lesson quickly. That’s all right, to an extent, but never pass over a lesson completely because there might be very helpful tips and tricks you didn’t know.
  • Magoosh Practice: Click the “Practice” tab at the top of the page from within your Magoosh account, and you can customize a practice session that contains the topics mentioned for each week. For each and every question you get wrong, WATCH THE EXPLANATION VIDEO. This is the most important part of your preparation—you need to isolate where you make mistakes and learn how to avoid them.
  • Blog Reading and Video Watching: These ACT blog posts will provide you with additional test tips and strategy advice. They’re a great supplement to the lesson videos.
  • Practice Test: One day a week, you’ll need either approximately 1.5 to 2 hours (for a half test) or 3.5 hours (for a full-length practice test) using official released ACT tests or Magoosh tests. This is massively important for building up your stamina. The ACT is a marathon—you need to train to feel comfortable taking such a long test.

 

Materials:

 

Extra Practice:

If you’re looking for more practice (maybe you have longer than two months to study or you’re a very efficient studier), try…

Magoosh ACT Practice Test PDF

ACT practice test pdf

Our very own practice test includes over 200 of our premium questions in printable, PDF form. Take it like you would any other timed practice test, score your test using our raw to scaled score grader, then watch the explanation videos for the questions you missed.
 

Additional Video Lessons

There are several ACT video lessons on Magoosh that we don’t have time for on this plan. This is particularly true on Math. There are also many Math video lessons that cover more fundamental review or take a more advanced look at topics. When you have extra time, watch the lesson videos on the topics you feel you need the most. For extra practice, you can always practice with additional questions in Magoosh or use the practice questions on the ACT Student website.
 

Week 1: English and Math

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math
      • Intro to ACT Math
      • Backsolving (Algebra)
      • VICs-Picking Numbers (Algebra)
      • Mental Math: Estimation (General Math Strategies)
      • Assumptions & Estimation (Geometry) (The lesson videos above will help you learn how to attack math problems on the ACT using smart strategies instead of the methods you normally apply in school)
      • Properties of Real Numbers (Arithmetic and Fractions)
      • Intro to Decimals (Arithmetic and Fractions)
      • Fraction Properties – I (Arithmetic and Fractions)
      • Simplifying Expressions (Algebra)
      • Multiplying Expressions (Algebra)
    •  English
      • Intro to the ACT English Test
      • ACT English Question Types
      • Subject Verb Agreement
      • Verb Tense
      • Commas
      • Apostrophes
      • Dashes
      • Semicolons
      • Colons
      • Other Punctuation
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 30 Math Questions (custom practice set for: Arithmetic & Fractions, Word Problems, and Algebra)
    • 2 English Passages (30 Questions)
    • Review the text or video explanations for any questions you got wrong, and start keeping an error log with notes on the questions you struggled with. (After you complete the questions, you can do this by going to the “practice” tab and setting the question pool to “incorrect” and the number of questions to “no limit.”)
    • In your error log, list each question you got wrong noting:
      • Why you got it wrong
      • What the correct answer is
      • What you would do next time to avoid making the same mistake
  • Blog Reading
  • Official Practice
    • Complete the English and Math Sections from the “Improving Your ____ Score Chapters” in The Official ACT Prep Guide. Make sure you set aside the time to practice these back-to-back. You are practicing stamina!
    • Check your answers and continue to update your error log.

 

Week 2: Reading and Science

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Reading
      • Introduction to the ACT Reading Test
      • ACT Reading Passage Types
      • ACT Reading Question Types
    • Science
      • Intro to the ACT Science Test
      • Intro to Science Test Passage Types
      • Intro to Science Question Types
      • Using Key Terms
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 2 Reading passages (20 questions)
    • 2 Science Data Representation passages, 2 Science Research Summaries passages (go to the “practice” tab and set the “Section” to Data Representation and Research Summaries, respectively, under “custom practice”)
    • Review text and/or video explanations for incorrect answers, and update your error log.
  • Blog Reading
  • Half Practice Test
    • Complete the Reading and Science Sections from the “Improving your ________ Score” chapters in The Official ACT Prep Guide. Make sure you set aside the time to practice these back-to-back. You are practicing stamina!
    • Check your answers and continue to update your error log.

 

Week 3: English and Math

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • English:
      • Adjectives and Adverbs
      • Pronoun Cases
      • Idioms
      • Run-on Sentences and Comma Splices
      • Sentence Fragments
      • Misplaced Modifiers
      • Parallelism
      • Singular and Plural
      • Conjunctions
    • Math:
      • Working with Percents (Percents and Ratios)
      • Percent Increases and Decreases (Percents and Ratios)
      • Intro to Ratios (Percents and Ratios)
      • Combining Ratios (Percents and Ratios)
      • Ratios and Rates (Percents and Ratios)
      • Prime Numbers (Integer Properties)
      • Prime Factorization (Integer Properties)
      • Even and Odd Integers (Integer Properties)
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 2 English Passages (30 questions)
    • 30 Math Questions (custom practice set for: Percents and Ratios, Arithmetic and Fractions, Integer Properties, Word Problems, and Algebra)
  • Blog Reading:
  • Full Practice Test:
    • Test 1 in The Official ACT Prep Guide.
    • You need 3.5 hours of COMPLETE SOLITUDE for this. No phone, no music, no internet, and no TV! Try to mimic the conditions of the test as closely as possible. Make sure to review your error log before you begin so that the mistakes you want to avoid are fresh in your mind. Make sure to find a quiet place and to complete the practice test in the allotted time limits. We’ll talk about the essay later in this study schedule, but for right now, don’t worry about it.

 

Week 4: Reading and Science

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Reading
      • Approaching Passages
      • Wrong Answers
      • Example Passage
      • Basic Strategies
    • Science
      • Unfamiliar Terms
      • Understanding Tables, Graphs, and Figures
      • Finding Trends and Patterns
      • Linking Tables and Graphs
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 20 Reading Questions
    • 2 Science Data Representation passages, 2 Science Research Summaries passages (set the “section” to “Data Representation” and “Research Summaries”, respectively, on the “custom practice” tab)
    • Review text and video explanations for questions you got wrong. Update your error log!
  • Blog Reading
  • Half Practice Test
    • Test 2 in The Official ACT Guide: Reading and Science. Remember to find a quiet space, time yourself, and update your error log when you are done!

 

Week 5: English and Math

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math
      • Triangles – Part I (Geometry)
      • Triangles – Part II (Geometry)
      • Right Triangles (Geometry)
      • Similar Triangles (Geometry)
      • Quadrilaterals (Geometry)
      • Circles (Geometry)
      • Circles, Arcs and Sectors (Geometry)
      • Rectangular Solids (Geometry)
      • Cylinders, Cones, Spheres (Geometry)
  • English
    • Writer’s/Essay Goal
    • Adding or Deleting Sentences
    • Best Illustration Questions
    • Least Acceptable Questions
    • Introducing and Concluding Paragraphs
    • Ordering Sentences and Paragraphs
    • Transitions
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 30 Math Problems set for: Geometry, Word Problems, Algebra, Percents & Ratios
    • 2 English Passages (30 Questions)
  • Blog Reading
  • Half Practice Test
    • Test 2 from The Official ACT Prep Guide: English and Math. Remember to find a quiet space, time yourself, and update your error log when you are done!

 

Week 6: Reading, Science, and Essay

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Reading
      • Using Key Words
      • Main Ideas
      • Comparison Passages
      • Line Reference
    • Science
      • Pacing on the ACT Science Test
      • How to Read the ACT Science Test
      • The Conflicting Viewpoints Passage
      • Science Knowledge on the ACT Science Test
    • Writing (if you are taking the essay (or if you are not sure), make sure to complete all the lessons and essay practice below!)
      • Introduction to the Essay
      • How to Wow the Graders
      • Time Management
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 2 Reading passages (20 questions)
    • 2 Conflicting Viewpoints passages (set the Section to “Conflicting Viewpoints”), 1 Research Summaries Passage, 1 Data Representation Passage
    • Review all incorrect answers. Go to the “practice” tab, set the question pool to “incorrect” and the number of questions to “no limit.” Continue to update your error log.
  • Blog Reading
  • Half Practice Test
    • Test 3 from The Official ACT Prep Guide: Reading and Science. Remember to find a quiet space, time yourself, and update your error log when you are done!

 

Week 7: English, Math, and Essay

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • English
      • Redundant Meanings
      • Ambiguous Pronouns
      • Concision and Wordiness
      • Clarity in Phrasing
      • Tone
      • Passive and Active Voice
      • Pronoun Agreement
    • Math
      • The Coordinate Plane (Coordinate Geometry)
      • Graphing Lines (Coordinate Geometry)
      • Slope (Coordinate Geometry)
      • Distance Between Two Points (Coordinate Geometry)
      • Reflections in the x-y plane (Coordinate Geometry)
      • Rotations in the x-y plane (Coordinate Geometry)
      • Regions of Inequalities (Coordinate Geometry)
    • Essay
      • Example Essay Prompt
      • Planning the Essay
      • Coming up with Examples
      • Structuring the Essay
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 30 Math Problems set for: Arithmetic & Fractions, Powers & Roots, Word Problems, Algebra, Percents & Ratios, Geometry, Coordinate Geometry and Integer Properties
    • 2 English Passages (30 Questions)
    • Review all incorrect answers. Go to the “practice” tab, set the question pool to “incorrect” and the number of questions to “no limit.” Remember to update your error log.
  • Blog Reading (it’s about that point in the study schedule where studying and life might be getting to you a little bit, so let’s talk about getting refreshed!)
  • Half Practice Test + Essay Practice
    • Test 3 from The Official ACT Prep Guide: English and Math. Remember to find a quiet space, time yourself, and update your error log when you are done!
    • If you are taking the essay, practice outlining an essay from the ACT here or use one of Magoosh’s practice essays (go to the “practice” tab, select “practice test” and skip to the end of a practice test to find a prompt.) Spend 15-20 minutes on your outline.

 

Week 8: Reading and Science

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Reading
      • Meaning of Words
      • Main Idea
      • Inference
      • Author’s Method (Purpose)
      • Author’s Voice
    • Science
      • Math Problems on the ACT Science Test
      • The Scientific Method
      • Answering “Yes/No, Because” Questions
      • Finding Clues in the Answer Choices
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 2 Reading Passages (20 Questions)
    • 4 Science Passages (of any type)
    • Review all incorrect answers. Go to the “practice” tab, set the question pool to “incorrect” and the number of questions to “no limit.” Remember to update your error log.
  • Blog Reading
  • Official Practice
    • Complete the practice questions in every section available on the ACT website.
    • If you are taking the Writing test, make sure to write a complete essay.

 

Week 9: English and Math

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • English
      • Comparatives and Superlatives
      • Neither/Nor
      • Who v. Whom
      • Word Choice
      • Dependent and Independent Clauses
      • Parenthetical Information
    • Math
      • FOIL Method (Algebra)
      • Two Equations, Two Unknowns – I (Algebra)
      • Inequalities – I (Algebra)
      • Law of Exponents – I (Powers and Roots)
      • Law of Exponents – II (Powers and Roots)
      • Negative Exponents (Power and Roots)
      • Square Roots (Powers and Roots)
      • Intro to SOHCAHTOA (Trigonometry)
      • SOHCATOA and Special Triangles (Trigonometry)
      • Fundamental Trig Identities (Trigonometry)
      • Trigonometric Functions (Trigonometry)
      • Inverse Trig Functions (Trigonometry)
      • Unit Circle: Intro and Quadrants (Trigonometry)
      • Matrices (Trigonometry)
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 30 Math Problems set for all fields
    • 2 English Passages (30 Questions)
  • Blog Reading
  • Half Practice Test
    • Complete two sections of whichever subjects you feel you need the most work on at this point. You can either complete these on Magoosh (go to the “practice” tab and select “practice test”) or use the questions on the ACT Student website under Sample Test Questions.

 

Week 10: Everything + Essay

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math
      • Absolute Value Equations (Algebra)
      • Absolute Value Inequalities (Algebra)
      • Age Questions (Word Problems)
      • Intro to Motion Questions (Word Problems)
      • Average Speed (Word Problems)
      • Arithmetic Sequences (Word Problems)
      • Geometric Sequences (Word Problems)
      • Intro to ACT Data Interpretation (Data Interpretation)
      • Types of Graphics (Data Interpretation)
      • Tables of Values (Data Interpretation)
      • Intro to Complex Numbers (Extra Topics)
      • Logarithms (Extra Topics)
    • Writing
      • The Introduction
      • The Body Paragraphs
      • The Conclusion
      • The Importance of Style
      • Top Grammar Rules for the Essay
      • Proofreading Your Essay
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 20 English Questions
    • 20 Math Questions set for all categories
    • 20 Reading Questions
    • 3 Science Passages (of any type)
    • Review all incorrect answers. Go to the “practice” tab, set the question pool to “incorrect” and the number of questions to “no limit.” Update your error log!
  • Blog Reading
  • Full Practice Test
    • Use the practice test at the back of the Preparing for the ACT guide–it is the most recently released ACT test available! Print it out, and make sure you set aside the time to complete the test in one sitting. Remember to review your error log before you begin so you are on the lookout for anything that normally trips you up. I recommend taking this one at a library or other quiet place where you are surrounded by other people. If you are taking the essay, make sure to do the essay as well and ask a trusted friend, parent, or teacher to grade it using the ACT rubric. Check your answers and continue to update your error log.

 

Week 11: Everything

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Math
      • Circles in the x-y Plane (Coordinate Geometry)
      • Mean, Median and Mode (Statistics)
      • Weighted Averages (Statistics)
      • Introduction to Counting (Counting)
      • Fundamental Counting Principle (Counting)
      • Intro to Probability (Probability)
      • Arithmetic with Complex Numbers (Extra Topics)
      • Transformation of Functions (Extra Topics)
      • Formal Logic (Extra Topics)
  • Magoosh Practice
    • 20 English Questions
    • 20 Math Questions set for all categories
    • 20 Reading Questions
    • 3 Science Passages (of any type)
    • Review all incorrect answers. Go to the “practice” tab, set the question pool to “incorrect” and the number of questions to “no limit.” Update your error log!
  • Rest or Practice Test
    • Option 1:
      • Take a break! I generally recommend that students take it easy the weekend before the test so they are not burned out when they take it for real the following weekend. If you feel like you want to do some more prep, this is a good time to brush up on any grammar or math concepts you are struggling with or do extra practice on your weakest sections of the ACT.
    • Option 2:
      • If you slacked on previous practice test weekends, you can do whichever test you missed this weekend.

 

Week 12: Everything/Final Review

  • Magoosh Lessons
    • Review your error log and re-watch any lessons on topics you have continued to struggle with.
    • Watch any additional math videos on topics you are uncertain about (or want to view the more advanced videos on)
  • Magoosh Practice
    • Review all remaining incorrect responses in Magoosh (Set the custom practice tab settings to “incorrect” and “no limit”)
    • Answer as many of the remaining questions in each subject on Magoosh as possible (Set “unanswered” and “no limit”)
  • Blog Reading:

 

The day before your test

  • Review your entire error log and make yourself a “cheat sheet” of final reminders to review the morning of the exam. This can include things like “Watch out for run-on sentences!” and “The area of a trapezoid is (base 1 + base 2)/2 * height.”
  • Review last-minute test day tips once more and pack your bag.
  • Do something you enjoy. Go to bed early for at least several days before the test.

 

TEST DAY!

  • It’s test day, which means no last minute prep! Do some light exercise, eat a full breakfast, and give yourself plenty of time to get to the test center. Don’t forget:
    • #2 pencils (not mechanical)
    • calculator
    • watch
    • drink
    • snack
    • admissions ticket
    • photo ID
    • jacket or sweatshirt
  • Review your list of last-minute pointers before you go into the testing center so you can walk into the test confident that you have put in three months of hard work and are ready to show it!

 

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