Last Minute Tips to ACE the ACT

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Last Minute Tips to ACE the ACT

As students prepare to take the upcoming ACT tests, here are some final tips to take into consideration to ensure success in the tests. These tips will be grouped by the subjects in the test.

There are tips that are helpful for all subjects in the test and there are others that are specific to the specific subject on the test.

General Tips:

  1. Work on finishing the test in about 80% of the time given to allow time for review.
  2. In the event that time has run out, feel free to make educated guesses. Make sure you do not leave any questions unanswered.

English:

  1. Remember the four (4) Cs – clear, concise, complete, and consistent. All sentences must becomplete, everything should be consistent, the meaning should be clear, and the best answer must be concise and error-free.
  2. Always answer the questions in the order of difficulty for each of the passages. Answer the easy question first.
  3. Remember the context of the passage when answering questions. Is the passage in the past tense, present tense, etc.?
  4. Finish the current passage before moving on to the next passage.
  5. Remember that the NO CHANGE answer is not wrong in all situations. About 10 – 20% of the answers are actually NO CHANGE.
  6. When you are faced with a difficult question, remember to eliminate the wrong answer as the best approach to arrive at the right answer.
  7. Be sure to understand the language, grammar, and other rules that are tested in the exam. This test is a knowledge test.

Math:

  1. Scan through the test and answer all the easy questions first. Attempt the remaining questions in the order of difficulty.
  2. As much as possible, refrain from using the calculator. The use of calculator actually slows you down during the test.
  3. Eliminate the wrong answers first. If there are 2 close answers and you are running out of time, make an educated guess.
  4. Be sure to draw diagrams for questions where the diagrams are not available. Visualizing the question often offers clues to help solve the question.
  5. For some of the abstract questions, feel free to plug in the answers as a last resort.
  6. Be sure to understand the content that is tested in the exam. This is very important because the test is a knowledge test.

Reading:

  1. It is important to develop a technique that you are comfortable with before the test day. The most common techniques are: skim the passage first and then answer the questions, and skim through the questions without paying attention to the answers and then read the passage with the intention of finding the answers to the questions.
  2. Summarize the text understanding the main idea, supporting ideas, and details of the passage
  3. Be sure to mark up the text. Mark up the text focusing on the main idea, supporting ideas, and important details.
  4. Rephrase the sentences where necessary especially the word-in-context questions.
  5. Focus on one passage at a time.
  6. Remember to attempt the passages in an order that is comfortable – some students prefer to attempt their least favorite first while others prefer to attempt their least favorite last. Use a technique that works best with your learning style.
  7. Be sure that there is evidence in the passage for the answers you have selected.

Science:

  1. Write on the test paper and pay close attention to important facts about the experiments and the purpose of the experiment(s).
  2. Eliminate the wrong answers instead of trying to find the right answers. Use this technique especially when you are not sure of the right answer.
  3. For the conflicting viewpoints passage, summarize the different positions with these in mind – main idea, areas of agreement, areas of disagreement, and reasons for the positions taken by the scientists.
  4. Interpret the questions that may seem confusing at first. This helps in eliminating the wrong answers.
  5. Remember to attempt the passages in an order that is comfortable – some students prefer to attempt their least favorite types first while others prefer to attempt their least favorite types last. Use a technique that works best with your learning style.
  6. Be sure that there is evidence in the passage for the answers you have selected.
  7. Ignore the answers until you have completely understood the questions.
  8. Skim the charts and graphs to ensure you understand the information that is conveyed before attempting the questions.
  9. Avoid the temptation of trying to understand the content of the passage beyond the expectations of the test regardless of how interesting you find the content.
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