10 ACT Tips to Reach Your Target Score

Posted on March 18th, 2024

Preparing for the ACT exam can be a challenging endeavor, but with the right ACT tips, you can navigate the test with confidence and improve your chances of achieving your target score.

In this article, we'll provide you with 10 actionable ACT tips to help you succeed on exam day. 

Whether you're aiming to improve your score or striving for a perfect 36, these tips will help you maximize your performance and reach your goals.

Let's dive in and explore how you can maximize your potential and reach your goals on the ACT!

What is the ACT Test?

The ACT (American College Testing) is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. It assesses high school students' academic readiness for college and covers four main subject areas: English, math, reading, and science. Additionally, there's an optional writing section. The ACT is scored on a scale of 1 to 36, with the composite score being the average of the four section scores.

Understanding the format and content of the ACT is essential for effective preparation. Familiarizing yourself with the test structure, question types, and timing constraints can help alleviate anxiety and improve performance on exam day. 

Now, let's delve into 10 ACT tips designed to help you navigate the test confidently and achieve your target score. These tips encompass various aspects of test preparation, including content review, time management, and test-taking strategies, to maximize your chances of success.

10 ACT Tips to Reach Your Target Score

Preparing for the ACT can be daunting, but with the right strategies, you can approach the test confidently and maximize your score potential. In this section, we'll explore 10 actionable tips to help you excel on the ACT. Let's dive in and discover how you can reach your target score with these invaluable tips and techniques.

1. Familiarize Yourself with the Test Format

Before diving into your ACT preparation, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with the format and structure of the exam. Understanding the test's sections, question types, and time constraints will help you navigate the ACT more confidently on exam day.

Here's how to do it:

  • Review the format of each section, including English, Math, Reading, Science, and optional Writing.
  • Learn about the types of questions you'll encounter in each section, such as multiple-choice, grid-ins, and essay prompts.
  • Familiarize yourself with the time limits for each section and develop strategies to manage your time effectively during the test.

2. Start Early and Create a Study Plan

Procrastination is the enemy of success when it comes to standardized tests like the ACT. Start your preparation early and create a study plan that allows you to cover all sections of the exam thoroughly.

Follow these steps:

  • Set aside dedicated study time each day or week, depending on your schedule and availability.
  • Break down your study plan into manageable chunks, focusing on specific topics or sections during each study session.
  • Use a calendar or planner to track your progress and set milestones for reaching your goals.

3. Target Your Weak Areas

Identifying your areas of weakness is essential for effective ACT preparation. By focusing on improving these weak areas, you can bolster your overall score and increase your confidence on test day.

Here are some guidelines:

  • Take a diagnostic practice test to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses in each ACT section.
  • Review your test results and identify recurring patterns or topics where you struggle the most.
  • Dedicate extra study time to these weak areas, using a variety of resources such as practice questions, review books, or online tutorials.

4. Utilize Official ACT Prep Materials

Leveraging official ACT prep materials is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the exam's content and question formats. These materials are specifically designed to align with the ACT's content and can provide valuable insights into what to expect on test day.

Here's how:

  • Access official ACT practice tests, sample questions, and study guides available on the ACT website or through reputable test prep providers.
  • Take full-length practice tests under timed conditions to simulate the test-day experience and gauge your readiness.
  • Use official prep books and online resources to review key concepts, strategies, and test-taking tips provided by the test makers themselves.

5. Master Time Management Techniques

Time management is crucial for success on the ACT, as each section of the exam is timed and requires you to work efficiently within strict time constraints. Developing effective time management strategies can help you maximize your performance and complete the test on time.

Consider this advice:

  • Practice pacing yourself during practice tests and timed drills to ensure you can complete each section within the allotted time limits.
  • Prioritize questions based on difficulty, tackling easier questions first to build momentum and save time for more challenging ones.
  • Use skip and revisit strategies to flag difficult questions and come back to them later if time permits, rather than getting stuck and losing valuable time.

6. Enhance Your Reading Comprehension Skills

The ACT Reading section assesses your ability to understand and analyze written passages across various subjects. Strengthening your reading comprehension skills is essential for performing well on this section of the exam.

Here are some actionable tips:

  • Practice active reading techniques, such as annotating passages, summarizing main ideas, and identifying key details.
  • Improve your vocabulary by reading widely and incorporating new words into your everyday language.
  • Familiarize yourself with different types of passages and question formats commonly found on the ACT, including fiction, nonfiction, humanities, and natural sciences.

7. Develop Effective Math Problem-Solving Strategies

The ACT Math section evaluates your mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills. By developing effective strategies for tackling math problems, you can approach this section with confidence and precision.

Here are some strategies:

  • Practice solving a variety of math problems, including algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and arithmetic, to build fluency in different mathematical concepts.
  • Learn and apply problem-solving techniques, such as working backward, guessing and checking, and using visual representations, to approach complex math problems.
  • Review key math formulas and concepts frequently tested on the ACT to ensure you're well-prepared for any question that may arise.

8. Improve Your Grammar and Writing Skills

The ACT English section assesses your knowledge of English grammar, punctuation, and usage, as well as your ability to improve the organization and style of written passages. Strengthening your grammar and writing skills can significantly impact your performance on this section.

To improve your grammar and writing skills:

  • Brush up on grammar rules and conventions, including subject-verb agreement, punctuation usage, and sentence structure.
  • Practice identifying and correcting errors in written passages, focusing on areas such as verb tense consistency, pronoun clarity, and modifier placement.
  • Familiarize yourself with common writing pitfalls, such as redundancy, awkward phrasing, and vague language, and learn how to revise and improve sentences effectively.

9. Stay Calm and Focused on Test Day

Maintaining a calm and focused mindset on test day is essential for performing at your best. By managing test anxiety and staying mentally prepared, you can approach the ACT with clarity and confidence.

To stay calm during the ACT test:

  • Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, visualization, and positive self-talk, to alleviate test anxiety and promote a sense of calmness.
  • Arrive at the testing center early, well-rested, and prepared with all necessary materials, including identification, admission ticket, and snacks.
  • Stay focused and attentive throughout the exam, avoiding distractions and maintaining a steady pace to maximize your performance across all sections.

10. Review and Reflect on Your Practice Tests

After completing practice tests and drills, take the time to review your performance and identify areas for improvement. Reflecting on your practice tests can help you pinpoint weaknesses and adjust your study strategies accordingly.

To review your practice tests:

  • Analyze your answers to identify any recurring patterns or mistakes, such as misreading questions, misunderstanding concepts, or making careless errors.
  • Create a personalized study plan based on your strengths and weaknesses, allocating more time to areas where you need improvement and reinforcing areas where you excel.
  • Continuously track your progress and set realistic goals for improvement, adjusting your study plan as needed to stay on track and maximize your potential.

Wrapping Up

Mastering the ACT requires more than just academic knowledge—it demands effective strategies and diligent preparation. By implementing these 10 ACT tips, you can boost your confidence, improve your performance, and reach your target score. 

At Shark Tutor LLC, we understand the importance of personalized guidance and support in achieving your academic goals. Our expert tutors offer tailored ACT tutoring services in Fairfield, Connecticut, Westchester County, and New York, plus online sessions nationwide. 

Get in Touch Now!

Whether you're aiming to improve your score or striving for a perfect 36, our dedicated team is here to provide the resources and assistance you need to succeed. Contact us today at (203) 249-9460 or email us at [email protected] to learn more about our tutoring programs and start your journey towards ACT success.

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