6 Tips on How to Study for the ACT

What is the ACT?

The ACT is an entrance exam used by many colleges and universities to decide whether or not to allow a potential student to attend the school. The ACT is a multiple-choice, pencil and paper test given out by ACT, Inc. The reason for the ACT is to test a high school student’s readiness for college. It also allows the university to use the tests to compare all applicants. The ACT’s are important; the higher one scores on the test, the more options a student will have available when it comes time to pick a school.

When Should You Take the ACT?

A lot of students in high school usually sign up to take the ACT during the spring of their junior year or the fall of their senior year. Remember, it is vital to leave some room for taking the test a second time. Standardized tests can be daunting, and it is common for students to need to take it a second time. Colleges will always accept the highest score.

What Parts Are On the ACT?

The ACT consists of four main parts:

  • English
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science

The test also contains a 40-minute writing test. It may or may not be optional, depending on the college one is planning on applying to.

6 Tips on How to Study for the ACT

1. Read Up on the ACT

If you have doubts on what the ACT’s are and how they are scored, do the research. Take the time to look over what to expect from these standardized tests. Look up what scores certain colleges expect. Make sure you are relaxed and confident when going into this process. Having those two traits can make all the difference.

2. Practice Tests Can be Helpful

The big thing here is to take the ACT practice tests as seriously as one possibly can. That way, the score received will be much more accurate on where one is in the testing process. When taking a practice test, make sure it is an official ACT practice test. You can find them online. Remember to read through the test and not skip anything. The instructions in the practice test usually do not change when you take the actual ACT. Taking a practice test will save you from any surprises coming your way.

3. Make Sure to Score the Practice Test

This step is pretty straight forward. It is more important to go over the questions you get wrong then the questions you get right. A lot of the practice tests come with answer sheets. Understand what went wrong with all the wrong answers. That way, when it comes to the actual test, you will be ready to answer certain questions more appropriately. No one wants to get flustered during the ACT. It can mess up the entirety of the rest of it. If you know how they score the test, that will allow you to answer the questions you don’t know.

4. Set a Reachable Goal

When you head into standardized tests like the ACT, students need to set reachable goals in their scores. No one is good at everything. Everyone may want a perfect score, but those are few and far between. If you score in the 30s in the practice tests, you should not go into the actual ACT and expect to score in the 40s and 50s. Maintaining a reasonable goal is good for the mental health of all those taking these standardized tests.

5. Know What Options to Take Advantage of

There are a lot of resources that a student can use when studying for the ACT. It is best to use resources from the official ACT. Always make sure that the resources chosen are official. Always be on the lookout for online prep classes that can be available to any student that wishes to join. There are one on one tutors that can be found. It allows students to have a unique experience while studying for these standardized tests. Now obviously, a tutor will not be free. So do keep that in mind when making a decision. Some experts believe that the best way for students to go about this method is to try every option available. Some may find that one option offers help in ways that the other does not.

6. Remember to Take Care of Yourself

It may be the most important thing when studying for ACT. A student must keep both their mental and physical health top priority when studying for the ACT. No matter how much you study, if you are not mentally and physically ready, your score will not reach the goals you set for yourself. So remember to take breaks when studying, take the mind off of the test, and go and refresh the brain.

Now that these basic facts and steps of studies are available, it is up to you to take advantage and run with it. While ACT will not dictate the future of any given student, the standardized test can only help and improve your bright future.

Remember that it is entirely okay to underachieve on the first try. You can take the ACT multiple times. Use the guides above and get the scores every student wants to achieve.


In conclusion, studying is a huge part when taking the ACT standardized tests. These tests require preparation, study, patience, and mental toughness. There are plenty of resources to use, a lot of steps to follow, and plenty of time to get ready to nail this thing. The final statement here is to remember that it is just a test. It will be challenging and require work, but it can be done.

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