ACT Tips to Improve Your Score

October 21, 2022
By AdmissionSight

ACT Tips to Improve Your Score

What are some of the easiest ACT tips to improve your score? The ACT is a difficult test because of the weight that the scores have on a student’s chances of being accepted into college. The exam is challenging due to the limited amount of time you have to complete it; you have three hours and 25 minutes to answer 215 questions. Students are left with the impression that they could have benefited from some additional time because some of the questions are more difficult to answer and require more time.

Additionally, the test is challenging because it requires a significant quantity of reading as well as focused attention. You should be prepared to read lengthy paragraphs, do wordy arithmetic problems, and answer difficult science questions. The difficulty level of the ACT has increased over the years as students’ overall performance has improved, resulting in the test’s increased level of complexity. Following these ACT tips and tricks are some of the best ways to improve your Score.

What is the ACT?

The American College Testing (ACT) is a standardized exam that is designed to be utilized by the majority of colleges and universities to determine admittance. The ACT, Inc. uses a pencil-and-paper test with multiple-choice questions and administers it.

The ACT is designed to assess whether or not a high school student is prepared for college, as well as to supply institutions with a single piece of data that can be used to compare the qualifications of each individual candidate.

The scores you received on standardized tests will be considered by college admissions officers, along with your high school grade point average, the subjects you studied in high school, letters of recommendation from previous instructors or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays. The weight that each institution gives to a student’s ACT score in the context of the college admissions process differs.

There are a total of five sections that are broken down into categories, and each area contains questions that test your ability to think, solve problems, and read critically. These are the sections of the ACT:

Section Questions Time
English 75 multiple-choice questions 60 minutes
Math 60 multiple-choice questions 60 minutes
Reading 40 multiple-choice questions 35 minutes
Science 40 multiple-choice questions 35 minutes
Writing (optional) Persuasive essay 40 minutes

When can I take the ACT?

There are seven opportunities every year to take the exam (6 times for test-takers who live in New York). Plan to take the ACT at least two months before the application deadlines for institutions and any scholarships you plan to apply for. You can send in your registration in the mail or do it online. It should take you about forty minutes to finish your online registration, at which time you will need to have a recent headshot of yourself as well as a credit card or another form of payment ready.

What are Some Tips for a Successful ACT Testing?

What are some tips for successful ACT testing? Below are the biggest ACT tips and tactics, advised by test-prep specialists, to help you boost your score and feel confident on test day.

Young woman writing an exam.

Multiple-choice strategies – eliminate incorrect answers first

When faced with tough or complicated questions on any aspect of the ACT, the process of elimination should serve as your primary strategy for tackling them. This ties into the fundamental rule of ACT reading, which asserts that there is only one answer that is completely right for each question and that the other options can be eliminated based on the evidence presented in the chapter.

Trying to choose the correct answer out of a hat is riskier than following the process of elimination. Look for reasons to rule out a course of action rather than looking for justifications of why it could be a good idea. This will give you the ability to be more careful about which response you bubble in, and it will prevent you from thinking that more than one of the options is correct. Take away any potential answers that have even the tiniest thing out of place in the sequence.

Read before answering

You shouldn’t presume that you understand the requirements of a question until you’ve read it all the way through. Only then should you make that assumption. Students will often answer a question on the real exam with an answer they recall from a similar question on a practice exam, even though it is likely to be incorrect. Before choosing an answer, make sure you have read each question’s words very carefully.

Answer quick and easy questions first

A part of the ACT tips and tricks is to answer the questions for which you are positive that you know the appropriate response. Make a checkmark next to each question in your exam booklet that you do not answer in order to locate it more easily at a later time. After you have finished answering all of the questions that are easy, you should move on to the questions that are more challenging.

Young woman taking a test in a room.

You are not required to answer the questions in the order that they are presented, and you are free, to begin with, the questions that are more straightforward rather than attempting to answer the questions in the order that they are presented. It is possible to reach a decision quickly by scanning the test to determine whether or not you are able to attempt it. You should be aware of the subject areas in which you are weak so that you can minimize the amount of time spent on questions pertaining to those subject areas and enhance your performance in the areas in which you excel. You are welcome to complete the questions at a later time.

Time management

It is important not to spend an excessive amount of time on any one question because there is a time restriction for completing the test. Put a time limit of one to two minutes on the questions that are more difficult and ten to twenty seconds on the questions that are easy. The American College Testing (ACT) exam is divided into a series of four to five timed mini-tests.

Keep track of how much time is left in each section so that you won’t have to cram in order to finish each test on time. You have the option of marking a question for which you don’t know the answer in order to return to it at a later time. It is very necessary to have your own stopwatch if you want to keep track of the time.

Create a unique test

Due to the fact that the requirements for each ACT component are distinct from one another, it is essential to develop a strategy for each ACT portion. Therefore, take a different approach to each area. However, one basic method is being aware of the best route to bubble in so as to prevent going back and forth and reduce the likelihood of making a mistake.

Try to focus on one page at a time when working on the math and English portions, and on one passage at a time when working on the reading and science sections. You can mark the correct answers on the booklet with a circling tool, and then transfer them later to the answer sheet all at once. However, make sure you always follow the guidelines for each question.

Do not try to cram

Since the ACT assesses the knowledge that you’ve gained throughout high school, there is no point in studying for it because you won’t be able to remember anything anyway. Cramming will not help you remember everything because it will be difficult to remember all of the information. It is better to spread out your studying over a longer period of time rather than start cramming the day before the exam.

You should take some time to unwind the day before the exam by watching a movie and getting enough sleep. Cramming the night before the exam by staying up late will just cause you to feel more anxious and will leave you weary the following day.

Don’t change your answers

If you’re not sure if you made a mistake, don’t edit your replies. Your initial response is probably going to turn out to be the correct one. According to the statistics, you have a greater chance of selecting the appropriate response on your very first try. When you question your own judgment, there is a greater likelihood that you will engage in overthinking, which will lead to the generation of an incorrect response.

Answer every question

You should never skip any questions on the ACT because there is no penalty for answering a question incorrectly. You should respond to them, even if doing so requires making educated guesses if you come across challenging queries to which you do not know the answers. Always try to guess with some degree of accuracy.

The technique is eliminating the majority of the multiple-choice answers that you judge to be inaccurate so that you are left with the alternative(s) that make the most logical sense, from which you can choose one. Interestingly any response is preferable to none at all.

When in doubt, choose answer B

It is a common assumption that a particular letter will always be the best response when guessing built, but this is not always the case. When making a random guess, you should have your guessing letter, let’s say “B.”

Unidentified person writing in a paper.

You have a possibility of getting it right if you choose your guessing letter from among A, B, C, D, or any of the other letters. This probability is 25%. On the day of the exam, rather than leaving a question unanswered, you should be provided with a guessing letter. According to the statistics, “B” is the most likely correct answer of the bunch.

Avoid Surprises

Although it has nothing to do with studying or strategies for taking the test, this is one of the most frequently disregarded pieces of advice given to students, despite the fact that it is the one that leads to the most confusion.

Check to see if the ACT allows your calculator to be used. If you bring a calculator to your testing location and that calculator has not been approved, you will not be permitted to use it. Because of this, you are going to move more slowly through the mathematical portion of the test, and there is a good chance that you won’t be able to solve some of the problems at all.

In addition, you do not want to be caught off guard on the day of the exam. Avoid having this occur to you at all costs. Check to see that the ACT will allow you to bring your calculator with you.

What is the Hardest Section of the ACT?

What is the hardest section of the ACT? The sections of the ACT that will test your abilities the most are going to be those that you choose. The test is not necessarily “tough” in the traditional sense; rather, it is possible that one student will find it more challenging than the next student. We will discuss the areas in which some students have difficulty on the ACT and provide you with some pointers on how to overcome these challenges.

Some Students Struggle with the Content

The optional writing portion brings the total number of sections on the ACT to five. The topics covered in these sections are English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. These portions of the exam may include questions pertaining to


  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Sentence structure

Math with a calculator

  • Algebra I and II
  • Trigonometry
  • Geometry


  • Reading comprehension in a number of different subjects


  • Graphs
  • Understanding of passages
  • Research tables

Writing (Optional)

Write a persuasive essay,

In addition, the material covered on the test can be challenging for some pupils. Even with the assistance of a calculator, the mathematics portion of the ACT can feel like an uphill battle for students who, for example, struggle in math. This could be their “hardest component of the ACT,” especially considering that there are no basic math formulae supplied to them. But not every kid has trouble with mathematics; rather, some may have difficulties in other subjects, such as reading, writing, or science. Therefore, the portion of the test that each individual student finds to be the most challenging will undoubtedly be different.

Some Struggle with the Structure

On the ACT, you have 3 hours to respond to all 215 questions, however, there are only 215 questions. In addition, there is a limited amount of time allotted to each segment for responding to the questions. For example, in Science, you receive 35 minutes to complete 40 questions.

The limited amount of time available can be very challenging for certain kids. Participants in the exam can’t spend too much time on the questions that are particularly challenging; if they do, they run the risk of not having enough time to finish the rest of the section. And if you’re in a hurry, you run the risk of misinterpreting the questions as well.

When it comes to the passages, there is a significant amount of reading (as well as reading comprehension) that needs to be completed. English, Reading, and Science all have passages and you’re going to have to answer questions on that material. If your reading speed is on the slower side, this could put you in a position where you are always falling behind schedule.

How Can You Identify and Overcome these Hurdles?

The act of taking the ACT in and of itself is a stressful experience. Your college application approval may be dependent on a great score. This, in turn, has the potential to make the ACT more difficult than it ought to be for some students. You can, however, as part of the ACT tips, you can attempt to increase your score if you concentrate on your weaknesses right now and determine which section of the ACT presents the greatest difficulty for you.

Look at your high school experience

Do you already have trouble with mathematical concepts? Or science? This may already provide you with some hints as to the areas on the ACT in which you will struggle the most. It’s possible that, upon more consideration, you’ll realize that you struggle with examinations that are timed or that you read at a more sluggish pace than the average person does.

Female student smiling at the camera while sitting.

Take a practice ACT

In this section, you will find a link to download or print an official practice exam, after which you will go to your room or a study where there will be no interruptions for the duration of the test. If your dog is being excessively loud, you should silence your phone, inform your family, and put on some headphones with a noise-canceling feature.

Students working on his desk while writing,

Evaluate your completed practice test

Examine your responses and find out how you did on the quiz. Have you performed exceptionally well in Science but poorly in English? Have you been unable to finish the Reading part in the allotted time? These results will be able to inform you exactly where you ought to concentrate most of your time studying over the course of the following few months. Taking the ACT practice tests on a consistent basis might help reveal how much you’ve improved. Following these ACT tips and tricks are some of the best ways to improve your chances.

Want to learn more about improving your standardized test scores? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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