ACT Testing Strategies

Look at these strategies to help you on the ACT!

GENERAL STRATEGIES

Guessing method?

Wait... so you can actually guess on the ACT and get it right? No, the guessing method is just to help you with the questions you don't know. Go through and do the questions you know for sure. After that, try to work out all the other problems you are having trouble with. If time is coming down to a crunch, choose one letter and answer it for the rest of the unanswered. That will be one in five questions right statistically.

Skip the difficult questions!

This was sort of explained in the guessing method, but if it's too hard, don't do it! It's not worth wasting time over something you won't be able to get. Do all the easy questions first and once you're done with those, try to work them out. In the end, just guess.

Quality over Quantity!

It's okay if you don't finish the test. If you spent your entire time only working on half of the test, there is a higher chance that you will get more of the questions right. Just getting half of the questions right, you can get a decent score.

MATH

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Chunk word problems!

In the math section, when you are working on word problems, chunk together the important information! All the numbers and statistics should be chunked together so that you aren't focusing on the wasteful information that is there to trick you. They put information in there to trip you up, don't let it!

FORMULAS

One of the worst things about having to take the ACT is for the math portion, it will be best to memorize formulas. No, you don't need any trigonometry or calculus formulas. You'll just need some basic geometry and algebra formulas. Even if it's been 3 years since you've taken geometry, it will help you on the test.

Draw Shapes!

Drawing shapes, tables anything that will help you more visualize your math problem, do it! Math problems are usually easier when you are able to visualize everything. If it talks about a triangle, draw a triangle!

SCIENCE

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Annotate & Chunk!

In the science test you will get different kind of problems that are just picture or just words, annotate on both of them! Make connections with the pictures and make connections with the paragraphs to help with the questions. I promise you it will help, it helped me.


Just like in the math word problems, chunk together the important information in the science! They put unnecessary information in there to trip you up! It will make more sense if you chunk all the importance together.

English

Use your own words & Predict!

As you are reading the questions, substitute your own words for the underlined portions and as you are going through the answers, find the ones that make the most sense. This will help on all of the underlined word problems and underlined phrases when you need help understanding what it means.


Using your own words can be the same as predicting. Just assume something else in its position to help get a better understanding of it.

Reading

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ANNOTATE

Annotating is a huge part in answering the reading questions of the ACT. Go through and summarize the paragraphs on the side do you don't have to reread everything to understand. Underline words you don't know, it might be one of the questions.

Types of Questions

There are five types of questions on the reading test; facts, point of view, inference, vocab and main plot. Knowing and studying these types of questions will help you because you will know how they want you to answer. Also, knowing how these type of questions are set up will be able to help you identify what you will need to answer.