What is the ACT?

Like the SAT, the ACT is a multiple-choice standardized test accepted by many colleges and universities in the US as part of the undergraduate admissions application. It is an alternative testing requirement to the SAT, so students who are not well-suited to the SAT may take the ACT instead. It is made up of four sections – English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science – and an additional, optional Writing section, bringing the duration of the test to 3 hours and 35 minutes.

How is it scored?

Each of the first four sections of the test – English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science – is scored on a scale from 0 to 36, with 36 being the highest possible score. These four scores are then averaged to yield a composite score from 0 to 36. Students who complete the optional Writing section will receive a separate score from 0 to 12.

How can I prepare for ACT test?

Like the SAT, the ACT tests your reasoning abilities and is unlike your school assessments, which assess you on how well you know the subject matter. The ACT, however, is more time-intensive than the SAT in that you have to answer more questions in less time. To succeed at the ACT, one must develop a level of pattern-recognition slightly higher than that required on the SAT to identify question types quickly and their respective solutions.

1. Practice

Buy an ACT prep book or download an ACT app and answer every single question in it. This will help you to gain confidence and a lot of extra points by doing so.

2. Start Easy

Answer all of the easy questions first and move on to the difficult ones. The longer, more difficult questions aren’t worth any more points than the easier questions.

3. Use POE Before Guessing

POE is process of elimination. Each question will have at least one answer that’s way out there. Be sure to read every answer choice and select the best possible answer

4. Memorize the Directions

During the test, read the directions so it won’t get extra time to figure out what to do.

5. Don’t Doodle

The ACT is graded by a machine. it is suggested  to keep the sheet of ovals as clean as is possible. Otherwise, it might interfere with the reading mechanism and could miss out on points. Thus, it is advisable to bring two erasers: one for the heavy-duty erasing you may need to do and another clean eraser to fix up your ovals completely.

6. Pace Yourself

On some test sections, you’ll have a little less than 30 seconds to answer each question. Don’t spend three minutes staring off into space or rereading a longer passage; stay focused. If you’re stuck between two answer choices, circle the question and come back to it with fresh eyes after you’ve answered the other questions.

7. Outline Before Writing

If you’re taking the essay, be sure to take five out of the 40 minutes and plan before you write. The best way to get one is to plan ahead with either an outline or graphic organizer.