ACT Test-Taking Tips

Students can purchase study guides from a variety of sources. The test is entirely multiple-choice (except the optional Writing test) and students can use some basic test-taking tips to boost their scores.

  • Arrive early to the ACT test center with an approved calculator, acceptable photo ID, and admission ticket.
  • Get at least eight hours of sleep the night before the ACT test.
  • Dress in layers so you can adjust your clothing for the temperature of the test center.
  • Divide your time appropriately between test questions. If a section has 60 questions and you are allowed 60 minutes to complete the section, each question should receive approximately one minute of your time.
  • Answer easy questions first. This gives you more time to spend on the more difficult questions.
  • Read the instructions on the cover of the test booklet and the directions at the beginning of each test section.
  • Use only a No. 2 lead pencil with a good eraser. You do not want to waste test time on technicalities like a pencil with an eraser that can smudge your answer booklet.
  • When faced with a difficult question, eliminate the answers that are obviously incorrect to increase your chances of finding the right answer.
  • If you absolutely cannot figure out an answer, guess one. You have a good chance of guessing correctly, but a definite chance of missing one if you do not answer at all.
  • If you finish before time is up, go back and review your work.