Top 10 ACT Tips You Need to Know!

March 12, 2015

Put together by one of our interns, Abby shares a few must-know tips about taking the ACT.

1. Answer every question

There is no penalty for getting the wrong answer, so you should attempt every single problem. Even guessing is better than leaving a question blank because then you at least have a chance of getting the question right.

2. Use Process of Elimination

You aren’t going to know every single answer to every question. Instead of getting to a tricky question and guessing randomly, use process of elimination to get rid of some of the choices. Narrow down your selection by crossing out answers that you know aren’t right. Even if you aren’t exactly sure which leftover answer is right, you will have a much greater chance of getting the question correct.

3. Come back to a hard question

If you are having trouble figuring out a question, go on and then come back to it at the end. A lot of times, taking a break from looking at it makes the answer much more obvious the second time around.

4. Pace yourself

You have a limited amount of time to finish each test, so you can’t spend too long on any one question. If you are taking a long time to come up with an answer, skip the problem and move on to the next.

5. Beware of obvious answers

Often, an answer is thrown in that seems like the obvious choice. These are meant to be misleading, so don’t fall for the trap. Read every answer choice to be sure that you are choosing the correct answer.

6. Go with your gut

Don’t go back and change your answer to a question unless you are certain it is wrong. Statistics show that your first guess is more often the correct choice.

7. Guess with the same letter

Not everyone can finish all of the questions for each test. If you don’t have enough time to read or work out anymore questions, and you have left a few blank, choose all of the same letter when filling in your guesses on the answer sheet. Statistics have shown this is the most effective way to get the most right answers when blindly guessing.

8. Practice

The best way to get good at anything is to practice as much as you can. There is an abundance of free programs where you can take practice tests, and many schools have ACT prep courses for students.

9. Mark in the test booklet

Use the test booklet as scratch paper, and not just for math. Underline main ideas in the reading section. Cross out answers you know aren’t right. Write down formulas. Draw diagrams. Fill in missing parts of figures. You can put anything down on the booklet, and a lot of times, writing extra information out helps you see the answer more clearly.

10. Relax

The best scores come from the most prepared students. Get a good night sleep, eat breakfast, bring all of the materials you need to the test, and stay positive. You do your best when feeling your best.

Reminder: The April ACT registration deadline is Friday, March 13th, with the late registration deadline on Friday, March 27th! If you think you are ready, don’t forget to register now!



Browse Successful Application Files

lmelcher
Columbia ‘20


Accepted to Columbia, Brown, UPenn, Rice, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UVA, UC Davis, UCSD, UCSC, USC

Hey! I'm a John Jay Scholar at Columbia, and I'm from Los Angeles. I'm planning to major in Art History and do ballet and theater. Hope I can help!
FeartheLee
Stanford ‘19


Accepted to Stanford, Williams, Brown, Pomona, Duke, Bard, Kenyon

Stanford 2019, creative writing and education. Full essays! "Lopsided," less-than-stellar numbers.
ApplyingAsAnIn…
GA Tech ‘19


Accepted to , Illinois Tech, RIT, Clarkson, Stevens, GA Tech, Case, UMich, Illinois, Colorado, Rochester

Georgia Tech Class of 2019. Studying Computer Science. Working for Google in Summer 2016
griffindaly
Tulane ‘20


Accepted to Tulane, UC Berkeley, Cincinnati, UPenn

Hi y'all! I'm an incoming freshmen at Tulane University in New Orleans, where I'll be studying Architecture, with a coordinate major in International Development and a minor in Urban Studies. Hope I can help with this #difficult process!

New Posts

Top 20 U.S. Public Universities 2018: Features & Advice
Top 20 U.S. Public Universities 2018: Features & Advice
February 07, 2018

With Ivy Leagues and Liberal Arts Colleges, private universities typically dominate the college search conversations. But, you would be missing out if you didn’t also consider these public universities offering top tier programs!Public...

Engineering Summer Programs for High School Students
Engineering Summer Programs for High School Students
February 05, 2018

Engineering is one of the most popular majors students apply to, but other than AP Physics and AP Calculus, how can high school students discover this interest? Excelling in your high school’s science and...

AdmitSee 2017: Year In Review
AdmitSee 2017: Year In Review
February 02, 2018

With another year and application season behind us, we’re excited to share with you all the milestones and achievements we hit in 2017 thanks to you guys!We couldn’t have done it without the...

Load More Posts