The ACT is a college entrance exam that many colleges and universities in the United States use as part of the college admissions process. In the ACT, students are assessed in five core areas: English, Math, Reading, Science, and Writing (optional). The validity of ACT scores is five years from the date of testing.

Colleges often use ACT scores for admissions. The reason for this is twofold. It shows how well you’ve prepared for college academically. Additionally, if you are admitted, your score will be included in the college’s annual statistics. What are the benefits of increasing your score? Without a doubt. Are you able to improve your score? Without a doubt. It is made up of four sections. These include science, reading comprehension, math, and English.

Relaxation and calmness are essential during the test. Before test day, there are a few key points to remember. On test day, you can use some helpful tips and strategies

ACT Exam Format:

The following table gives you a good idea about the flow of the examination on the test day:

ACT Section# of QuestionsDurationSyllabusQuestion Type
English7545 minutesGrammar & usage,/mechanics, and rhetorical skillsMultiple choice
Math6060 minutesAlgebra, geometry, elementary trigonometry, reasoning, and problem-solvingMultiple choice
Reading4035 minutesReading ComprehensionMultiple choice
Science4035 minutesInterpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solvingMultiple choice
Optional Writing Test1 essay prompt30 minutesWriting SkillsWritten

Smart Strategy for the ACT Preparation: Case Study:

  1. Take a Practice Test: There are a lot of online resources to practice tests or you can go over the Real ACT study guide. Go over all the sample questions and then take the practice test. Solving lots of practice test improve your scores. Math and Science section is more scoring.
  2. Finding your strong subjects: With the help of practice tests find the vital subject, try to solve more difficult and find out the weak subject, topics and work hard, by solving practice tests and scoring more.
  3. Setting the ACT targeted composite score: To determine your target score, look up the score range requirements of colleges.

Usually, the average score range requirements of many colleges
are 34-36.
For example:

Assume, you are targeting 34
And your Baseline ACT Composite Score = 32 as per
the mock-up test.

The score difference between a targeted score and a mock-up
test score.

Difference between ACT Composite Score and Baseline
ACT Composite Score ie. 34-32=02

Case Study:

Let’s take the example of preparing for the ACT in two weeks. The smart strategy for ACT preparation is shown in Figures 1 – 6.

Fig.1 Smart Strategy for Preparation of ACT

Fig. 2 Effective Strategy to Achieve the Targeted Score

Fig. 3 Subject Area Analysis to Improve Total Points

Fig. 4 English-Subject Area Analysis to Improve Total Points

Fig. 5 Math-Subject Area Analysis to Improve Total Points

Fig. 6 Science-Subject Area Analysis to Improve Total Points

Here are steps to ace the ACT test:

  1. Check your college’s list of expected score ranges.
  2. Accordingly, set your target score.
  3. From the “Official ACT Prep Guide”, take the full 3-hour test.
  4. You can grade the test manually or with online tools like Scorato
  5. Also, you can access diagnostics for tests like ACT online.
  6. Also, check your score.
  7. Calculate the difference between your target score and the score achieved in the test.
  8. Based on your score, list your strong and weak subjects
  9. Identify areas where you can improve the score by performing a topic analysis.
  10. Practice related questions or section tests related to those topics.
  11. It is recommended that you retake the full test in a couple of weeks.
  12. Compare the score. 
  13. Repeat the exercise until you achieve the target score.

How to fill the Bubble sheet:

  1. Mark the circles in the ID section. One circle per row.
  2. Mark the circles in the Name section (First, Middle, and last name)
  3. No points will be earned if the circle is marked half or some line.
  4. No point will be earned if multiple circles are marked in a row.
  5. Mark the circles with a #2HB pencil.

Gather Important Material:

  • Your Admission Ticket
  • Acceptable ID
  • Two No. 2 pencils
  • A fresh eraser
  • A sharpener
  • A calculator with new batteries (and a backup calculator, if you want one)
  • A snack
  • A bottle of water

Download ACT’s free e-book to learn more about the ACT. For a comprehensive diagnostic report, students can also grade ACT practice test bubble sheets online using Socrato’s test grading software.

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