So, you’ve registered for the ACT. You have your test date, meaning you know which Saturday of the year you’re going to have to waste four hours filling in bubbles with a No. 2 pencil. Here’s the worst thing about the ACT: it’s actually important. So… where to begin? Where do you start in learning how to study for the ACT? What are the best test tips? There are 735,148 results when you type in ACT on Amazon (check, we’re not kidding). There are probably hundreds of local tutoring companies who are offering the “best” service to study you for the test (at an exceptionally high hourly rate). The beginning of this process can feel like a long, winding, road. And it is. We’re not here to lie to you. You’re going to put in hours into studying and taking practice tests. But there’s an effective way to manage these hours, balance all the different options in front of you, and choosing the routes that are best. It’s all about having the right test tips.
The most important thing about the ACT is that it is predictable. If you know how to study for the ACT, you will know exactly what to expect on the test and when to expect it. It is predictable, calculated, and contains little to no surprises. So, with that in mind, let’s discuss how to study for the ACT, and the best test tips.
Life is busy. You have school, extracurriculars, a social life, hobbies, parents to keep happy, homework to complete, TV to watch, etc., etc. It’s hard enough to balance all this, having to add standardized test preparation to the equation can be overwhelming and chaotic. It doesn’t have to be. It’s a long road to a great score on the ACT, but with enough preparation, this road doesn’t have to be a tough one. Here’s how to create a study schedule that works for you.
Get out ahead of the test by creating a study schedule early. OK, this is easier said than done. Some of us are procrastinators. We wait until the last minute to get things done, we stay up all night the day before a big assignment is due instead of spending an hour every night on it in the week leading up to the due date. Again, that’s OK. We’re all human, and we’re all different. If you know that you’re a procrastinator, this is the time to finally start something ahead of time. Studying for a couple hours every weekend is much more valuable than cramming for eight hours every night the week of your test date. As we discuss in our online course, one of the worst mistakes students make is pulling an all-nighter the Friday before the test, trying to cram in math equations, science terms, and punctuation rules. Being well rested is essential for success, don’t put yourself at a disadvantage.
Welcome to the ACT Science test, where you’ll see complicated graphs, dry text, and arguing scientists. The big secret to the ACT Science test is this: it’s a glorified reading test. There’s very little actual science knowledge you’ll need to know to succeed on this section.
The test is 35 minutes long, consisting of 40 questions split over 7 passages. The passages you’ll see on the ACT Science Test can be sorted into three different categories: Research Summary, which asks you to evaluate the design, data, and conclusion of an experiment. There will be three Research Summary passages on the test. Data Representation, which asks you to interpret charts, tables, graphs, and diagrams. There will be three Data Representation passages on the test. And finally, Conflicting Viewpoints will present two or more theories on a scientific topic. There will only be one Conflicting Viewpoint passage on the test. Check out TutorMe’s ACT Preparation Course for in depth breakdowns and strategy for each of these categories.
The ACT Reading test is 35 minutes long, and has 40 questions split evenly over 4 different passages. The four sections are as follows: Prose Fiction, which is an excerpt from a novel or short story, Social science, which will be research based, analyzing civilizations and societies, Humanities, which analyzes art or literature, and Natural Science which analyzes science and experiments. Check out TutorMe’s ACT Preparation Course for in depth breakdowns and strategy for each of these categories.
How to Study and Succeed on The ACT Math Test
The section on the ACT that provides the highest percentage of difficulty for most students is the ACT Math test. It’s the longest section both in time allotted (60 minutes) and in the number of questions (60 questions). Logic would tell you that this mean you should spend an average on 1 minute per question. While this logic stands mathematically, it does not apply to the actual test. There will be questions that take you twenty seconds to solve, and some that will take up to 3 minutes.