Top 3 Tips for ACT Success
The ACT is in your future...but don’t worry! We’ve got the top 3 tips for ACT success right here. Follow these three tips and you’ll be well on your way to crushing the ACT.
Let’s jump right into the first tip so you can start improving your ACT score today!
1. Set your ACT study schedule early and stick to it.
Everything will try to get in the way of you studying for the ACT. Finals? You bet. Football games? Of course. So, what can you do to make sure you’re prepared? Set your study schedule early and stick to it! This diligence may mean you have to miss some fun things in the next few months, but it could also mean you have the perfect excuse to miss some things you don’t want to do to! Sorry, Mom, I’d love to help with the dishes, but you know, I’ve got to stick to this ACT study schedule…
In general, if you plan to study for the ACT over a month, you can expect to study at least a few hours a day for four days per week. That’s a big time commitment, so block the time off on your calendar as early as possible and let your friends and family know that you’ll be dedicating some serious time to the ACT over the next month. A good ACT study guide will be critical to helping you set out your study schedule and know how to allocate your time across the different sections.
2. Practice makes perfect.
The only way to get a better ACT score is to practice, practice, practice. While you need to review strategies for each of the sections, the only way to get a perfect score (or near perfect) is to practice these strategies every week during your ACT study. Just like when you learned how to play a new sport or musical instrument, watching a video or listening to a lesson just isn’t enough to know how to do it. You have to practice your new skills to get better.
You have to practice every section but if you are really struggling in a particular section, be sure to spend extra time practicing those questions. If you’re looking to improve your score on a particular section, like ACT Science or ACT Reading, be sure to check out how to get a perfect 36 on ACT Science
Perfect 36 on ACT Reading.
Practice the tried-and-true strategies found in these posts, and you’ll be on your way to conquering the ACT!
3. Improve your speed to improve your ACT score.
Okay, you’ve set your study schedule and you’ve been practicing ACT questions every chance you get, but your score isn’t improving as much as you’d like. The final key to ACT success: improving your speed. It doesn’t matter how many ACT Math or ACT English questions you can get right if you had all the time in the world. In order to get a perfect 36 on ACT English
or on any ACT section, you need to be able to work through ACT questions quickly. For instance, on the ACT Math, you only have 60 minutes to answer 60 questions!
So, how do you improve your speed? Well, in addition to the practice you’ve been doing, you need to incorporate some timed practice. You should begin timed practice once you’re at least a month into your ACT study schedule—once you feel like you’ve got the ACT fundamentals down pretty well. Then, a few times a week when you sit down to do some ACT practice, set up a timer and time yourself as you work through the problems.
Another important way to improve your speed on ACT practice questions is to take a full length ACT Practice Test
or two. Find a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted, set your timer, and get to work! Then, be sure to find a time the next day to score your practice ACT and review all of your answers—including the ones you got right. Only by reviewing your answer choices will you understand how to get a question right next time (or right again!).
While the ACT can seem like a daunting exam, if you stick to a study schedule full of lots of practice and speed work, you’ll be on your way to achieving your goal ACT score and getting into the school of your dreams. So, what are you waiting for? Start studying and achieving your dreams today!
By Allyson Evans earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and her JD from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been teaching and tutoring the LSAT since 2007, and loves helping students achieve their goals. She currently practices law in Austin, Texas. When she’s not helping students conquer the LSAT, she enjoys traveling and camping.