Skip to main content
10 answers
Asked Viewed 397 times Translate

What is the best way to study for the ACT?

I am a sophomore in high school and I am fixing to take the ACT. I have to make at least a 21 in order to do duel enrollment. studying-tips act college

UPDATE: Thanks for all those who gave me great advice for the ACT. I just got my scores back. I made a 24, which I know isn't the best, but I'm pretty proud of myself since it was my first time taking it. Again thank you to those who helped. anabel L.
+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

8
Pros
7
0
Students
1
0

10 answers


Updated Translate

Aaron’s Answer

Anabel,

My biggest piece of advice would be to take as many practice tests as possible. These will help you become more familiar with the questions, vocabulary, how their structured, and how to manage your time. I know I could have improved my score if I simply kept doing those. A lot of ACT prep books have practice tests in them. Do these, and time yourself just like the real thing. I will say it's probably a good idea to do traditional studying first, ie, vocabulary, tips & tricks, strategies.

My other tip would be to brush up on grammar. I took an extracurricular prep course, and a big focus in there was grammar. There are ACT questions that will trick you unless your able to grammatically dissect them. I would highly recommend finding a grammar resource, possibly an online course. This will help you tie together all the bits and pieces you've learned over your years of schooling, and believe it or not grammar will start to make more sense.

I hope that helps!

Aaron
Thank you. It helped a lot. anabel L.
1
Pros
1
0
Updated Translate

Theodore’s Answer

Practice, practice, practice. My strategy when I took the exam in 2018 was to practice a different section every day and do a full test once a week. This can be very time intensive but gets you used to the types of questions in every section to make the real thing less stressful.

Another tip I have would be to always look over your mistakes and find out why you missed a question. This makes sure you don't make the same mistake twice. Hope this helps!
0
Updated Translate

Ai’s Answer

Practice! I think that the only way you can improve your ACT score is to practice! Make sure that after every practice test, you look back and figure out what types of questions you missed and why you missed those types of questions. Practice and self-reflection will get you prepared for the real exam. On the day before the exam, make sure that you get a good amount of sleep and make sure to eat breakfast and bring snacks for those small breaks.
0
Updated Translate

Kim’s Answer

Anabel,
I am going to skip over the study part, and address something most people don't think about. How to raise your score even more, AFTER studying as much as you can.

First, all the important things, like eat and get a good night's sleep, arrive early so you aren't stressing, etc.

Beyond that? Well, unless they have changed it (please double check!) the ACT does not penalize you for guessing. That means, they give you credit for correct answers, but do not take off for incorrect answers. So, you should answer EVERY question. Yes. Every. Even if you run out of time.

The way I do this is simple. If you were to guess at the answers to a 10-question test, you could easily get them all wrong. But, if you marked straight B, or straight C, you would likely have 2-3 correct answers! Remember, the objective is to WIN without cheating. This is not cheating. So, when I walk into the room, I have a letter in my head. Today, it will be "D." If there is a question that I have no clue what the answer is, AND cannot narrow it down, I will mark it with a D, and move on. Really lowers the stress level and increases the amount of time you have to work on other questions.

But. What if? What if you can narrow it down, and the options are A or C? or C or D? You never know what the options will be in such a scenario. So, I walk into the room already knowing that in that situation, I will take the letter furthest to the left. Problem solved.

Now, keep an eye on the clock. If you get real close to running out of time, go thru and mark all remaining answers with....D! (or whatever letter you picked). About 15-20% of those should be correct!

This is NOT a substitution for studying. So yes, you still need to do that, and, hopefully others will chime in with ideas. I imagine there are study sites on-line. Oh, one other thing I have learned. Depending on the situation, of course. . . I used to spend a lot of time studying my weak subjects. I have learned that I can improve my scores a whole lot better if I brush up on my strong subjects. It's easier for me to learn vocabulary than to learn science for example. So two hours of studying vocabulary will increase my scores a lot more than two hours of studying science. I hope that makes sense! Of course, if you need a certain score in each subject, vs. just an overall 21, you will need to study your weak subjects and not just your strong ones.

Please let me know if this makes sense to you. Or not.
Kim
Thanks. This was really helpful. anabel L.
0
Updated Translate

Angela D.’s Answer

A great resource is the American College Testing (ACT) website. There is an explanation of what the ACT covers and what test scores mean. It has free resources, webinars, an ACT Academy, test day instructions (including what to bring), and more. You can also talk with your school counselor about what s/he recommends for study tips. There may even be a study group, tutoring, and other resources through your school. Alternatively, you can study with a buddy or form your own study group. Your local public library may have free test prep guides/books, reviews, practice tests by subject, and other study skill books available online or to download. Then there are fee-based options, such as purchasing books or study guides, test prep organizations (can have free practice tests too), and targeted tutoring. As was mentioned above, practice taking timed tests, pace your test-taking so you can retake the test at least twice, and guess (the ACT has never had a penalty for guessing). Basic test taking strategies still apply: use process of elimination; be careful of absolute terms (e.g., always, never, etc.), slang, extreme words, long answers; and answers that have the word "and" in them as two or more conditions must be met. Wishing you the best in your endeavors, Dr. B

Angela D. recommends the following next steps:

Check out school-based, public library, and online resources
Study & Practice =)
Thank you so much. I'm really stressed because I don't do well on time tests, But you definitely helped me. anabel L.
0
Updated Translate

Trevor’s Answer

Anabel,

You have already set yourself up for success by beginning the ACT process during your sophomore year. The primary tip that I can give to you is to take timed practice tests often. These helped me prepare for the situation faced during the real test and gave me excellent insight into topics that I needed to study more. It is definitely a heavy investment of time, but you will experience returns in the form of college scholarships. When taking the practice tests, be sure to review any and all questions you missed as well as questions you know you guessed on to improve your understanding of those concepts. After identifying concepts that you are struggling with, you can supplement your knowledge by researching those topics. As you get more comfortable with the types of questions posed on the ACT, you will be better suited to choose the correct answer. Additionally, I would recommend taking the ACT multiple times to give yourself a better chance at reaching the score you are hoping for. Hope this helps and best of luck to you as you go through this process!

-Trevor
Thank you. This helped a lot. anabel L.
0
Updated Translate

Theodore’s Answer

Practice, practice, practice. My strategy when I took the exam in 2018 was to practice a different section every day and do a full test once a week. This can be very time intensive but gets you used to the types of questions in every section to make the real thing less stressful.

Another tip I have would be to always look over your mistakes and find out why you missed a question. This makes sure you don't make the same mistake twice. Hope this helps!
0
Updated Translate

Ai’s Answer

Practice! I think that the only way you can improve your ACT score is to practice! Make sure that after every practice test, you look back and figure out what types of questions you missed and why you missed those types of questions. Practice and self-reflection will get you prepared for the real exam. On the day before the exam, make sure that you get a good amount of sleep and make sure to eat breakfast and bring snacks for those small breaks.
0
Updated Translate

Madhu’s Answer

Take as many practice tests and TIME yourself, timing yourself is so important because it feels so different when you have the time pressure. After getting your practice results, focus on the sections you didn't score as well on and work on them individually. Then do another practice test to see if your score goes up.
0
Updated Translate

Madhu’s Answer

Take as many practice tests and TIME yourself, timing yourself is so important because it feels so different when you have the time pressure. After getting your practice results, focus on the sections you didn't score as well on and work on them individually. Then do another practice test to see if your score goes up.
0