You will need to keep track of your time. Do not rush through the easy and medium questions to get to the hard ones. Concentrate on the easy/medium questions to gain the most points.



Because the ACT is a standardized test, you can learn what you will be tested on and how the questions will be asked. So you’ll need to practice, practice, practice!

ACT RESOURCES         ACT Guidebook


Students Working on a Laptop


Narrow down your choices before taking a guess. A 50% chance of getting it correct is better than a 25% chance.



Pick a spot of your choice before starting the test. Use that spot every time you need to guess. It will increase your odds for getting questions correct compared to randomly guessing.



Physically cross out wrong answers, work out math problems, and underline key information in passages. Do not be afraid to show your work. It’s much easier to work problems on paper than in your head. The test booklet will not be graded, so use it!

Tips for each ACT section


  • Do not use the “Sounds Good” method. Rely on grammar skills instead.
  • Read entire passage, not just underlined section.
  • Assume everything not underlined is correct.
  • Complete a passage before moving on.
  • Learn to “cut out the fat.” In other words, eliminate information that isn’t needed.
  • The shortest answer is usually right if it makes sense!
  • “Delete the underlined portion” is correct 50% of the time.
  • “No change” is correct 25% of the time.


  • Study the math formulas. ACT will not provide any formulas.
  • Use your calculator as a tool, not as a crutch.
  • The math section is typically organized in easy to hard order.
  • Use the “Plug-In” method when you are given variables in the question and answers.
  • Use the “Use the Answer” method when you are given numbers in the answers.
  • Geometric figures are usually drawn to scale.
  • If a figure is not given, be sure to draw it out.
  • Use logic when you can instead of using math to solve a problem.
  • There are only four trigonometry questions on the ACT.


  • There are four types of reading passages: Literary Narrative, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Humanities. Practice each of these and determine which ones are easiest for you. Answer those passages first!
  • Think of the ACT Reading section as an open book test. You never have to remember what you read.
  • Always read the blurb. This is the first section of the passage that is in a different font.
  • Use the “Speed Reading” strategy: first paragraph, last paragraph, first sentence of middle paragraphs – in that order!
  • Use the “Cover and Predict” strategy. Practice covering the answers and answering for yourself. Seeing the answer choices may cause you to second guess yourself.


  • The ACT Science test isn’t really a science test at all. It’s more of a reading test. You do not have to know any scientific facts to do well on the science test.
  • There are three types of science passages: Charts and Graphs, Experiments, and Conflicting Scientists. Practice with these types and determine which ones are easiest. Answer those first!
  • Take lots of notes so that you do not have to reread the passage when answering a question.
  • Use the strategy “Substitute to Simplify.” If a Latin word is used to name something, replace it with a more familiar word to make it easier to understand.
  • Practice using graphs. The ACT Science section will focus a great deal on graph interpretation.


  • State your position clearly. ACT prefers direct, concise writing, so limit unnecessary prose.