ACT Study Guide/Miscellaneous Tips

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This section includes miscellaneous tips that are of use during your test. These tips apply to the whole test unless otherwise noted.

Pace wisely[edit]

While taking the ACT, make sure to answer each question quickly and give yourself ample time to finish the test. This is especially true in the English section which has more questions than any other section in the test. For this purpose it is recommended that you bring a watch to the exam in order to pace your time. Make note of the length of time in each session as each session has different timing and glance at the watch every 5 questions or so to keep up with pace. Make sure the watch does not have any alarms set on it. Any alarms going off during the test will get you disqualified, so make sure that they are deactivated. Also, it may be preferable to lay the watch on the table opposed to wearing it, for the sake of comfort.

Attempt to finish questions in order[edit]

Time is used most conservatively when questions are answered in order. It is still acceptable not to answer a difficult question, but keep in mind that this is where most of your time is lost. If the question is too hard then move on, but if you have a conflict between two answers, make a guess quickly and then move on. Either way, it is important to make a decision and commit to it. If the question takes more than 2 guesses, you should immediately move to the next one. Either way, never linger on a question for more than 10 seconds.

Read materials first[edit]

When coming across a reading or science question always read through the materials before answering. This is especially important during the reading section. This is important, because if you do not read the materials, it will take you longer to answer the questions and you will have a greater chance of getting them wrong. Make sure you read, but read quickly, as the test does not allot you much time. For the science section, a quick skimming of the chart and graph heading should help you out while answering questions.