While there is no guaranteed methodology to acing the ACT test this weekend, we will provide you with simple recommendations that are the next best tips and strategies to cut down your testing worries and increase your ACT exam results.
Although there is no promised "hack" that will ensure you a 36 on the test, there is an opportunity to learn small tactics that can improve your scores over the long-run. In order to successfully master the ACT, you will have to pinpoint your major weak points and discover what content that you struggle with most. The approaches discussed in today's blog will be helpful, but thoroughly studying is your best bet on performing well on the ACT exam.
Take these tips into account as a supplement to your academic studies instead as a full solution to preparing for the ACT test.
Fill an answer bubble for every question.
The ACT exam does not penalize you for any wrong answers you input. It is in your best interest that you completely fill out every single question with an answer choice. If you happen to run out of time towards the end of the exam without being able to go back to questions that you may have skipped, take those last remaining minutes to fill in those empty questions in case you may answer them correctly by chance. By doing so, you will guarantee that if you are lucky enough to get them correct, you will get the points versus your score will be lower if you had left the questions unanswered.
Using the process of elimination.
An oldy but a goody "hack". The process of elimination is an effective and efficient strategy for overall test-taking on the ACT. It will be easier for most students to reduce the number of wrong choices than to immediately identify the correct option. Notably, apply this approach during the English and Reading sections of the ACT. Within the reading passage of the ACT question, you should be able to find evidence that directly supports your final answer choice. If the options are not backed up by the reading passage, you can easily eliminate the wrong answer choices.
Be wary of "no change" answers.
When deciding on whether to follow through with a "no change" answer, be sure to double-check. The ACT questions include up to a quarter of "no change" as a potential option for students to select. Do not presume that the "no change" answer choice is any less likely to be right in comparison to the other options.
On the SAT exam, they provide you with a list of common math formulas. On the ACT, however, you are not given this advantage. Be sure you are able to remember the highly common formulas! Check out this list of the common math formulas you need to know.
Strategy one of skimming the passage.
This next tactic relates to the ACT Reading section and focuses on helping you decide how to approach the passages. While there are definitely students that are able to fully read a passage from beginning to end, it is more tactical and time-efficient to take on a different method.
Prior to working on choosing the correct answer option, you can choose to skim the passage before you. Skimming implies that you take a look at the introductory paragraph, the first and last sentence of the body paragraphs, and the conclusion. These main components of each reading passage will contain and provide the most important details relating to the main topic.
Strategy two of skimming the passage.
The second method of skimming is to entirely jump past the passage and take a look at the questions. This approach works well if you are able to search for the minor details that you get from grazing back and forth from the passage and the question.
Test both strategies of skimming and apply both strategically for certain passages in order to save time on the ACT test.
Avoid studying science terminology.
Most of the issues for students on the ACT Science section is that they feel required to understand the lingo and jargon of the science passages. It is not necessary that you know exactly what the terms mean. The ACT Science questions will define any perplexing language within the passage. Your objective during the ACT Science portion is to get comfortable with the questions' formatting and extract the important and sensible concept of the passage.
Write a minimum of two pages.
Once you are at the Writing portion of the ACT, you should strive for at the very least 2 pages of written content. Although there is no established length requirement for the ACT essay, the standard is at a minimum of two pages. Within these two pages, you should be able to construct your argument in a reasonable manner. Students who write less than two pages for their ACT essay tend to receive lower scores because they are unable to thoroughly explain their ideas.
This specific science section of the ACT is usually the most time-intensive for students. The conflicting viewpoints require you to dedicate more reading to the passage in order to correctly answer the questions. They are time-consuming because the bulk of these types of questions involve data interpretation. To ensure that you get through all the other questions, save the conflicting viewpoints for last so that you are able to successfully complete quicker passages first.
Get comfortable with interpreting graphs.
Roughly one-third of the ACT Science section will involve Data Representation (graphs, charters, or other visual aids) questions. These questions will require you to be familiar with understanding the numbers from the diagrams and successfully make findings. We recommend you take a look at ACT practice exams that have real examples. Improve your interpretation rate by looking over several graphs and pulling out the core trends quickly.
Use the free space to mark up passages.
Utilize the space you have on the test booklets. There are no penalties for students that note-take on their examination booklets. Underline sentences, circle important keywords, and write down notes to help you answer the questions. The note-taking within the booklet should also help you keep in mind your testing pace along with maintaining your concentration during the ACT exam. Do not forget to transfer your answer from the booklet onto your scantron (what is officially graded).