How Should I Study for the ACT?

ACT Study Tips

As we approach summer, students all around the world are beginning to gear up for their big exams. Here we’ll discuss how to prepare for one in particular: the ACT. The ACT exam is 2 hours and 55 minutes, plus an additional optional 40-minute writing section. The test has 4 sections: 45-minutes of English, 60-minutes of math, 60-minutes of reading, and 35-minutes of science. Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at how to study for the ACT.

Strategize your time

The biggest difference between the SAT and the ACT, besides the science section, is the time students have per question. The SAT is designed so that students can answer every question, but the ACT will be more of a challenge. When considering how to study for the ACT, remember: it will be difficult to answer every question on the ACT. I remember leaving a handful of questions blank on my ACT answer sheet, and I still scored well. I’m not saying that the ACT is an easy test – but skipping a question is a fruitful strategy. This way, you knock out as many questions as possible, without getting hung up.

Months or weeks before you take the exam, you should come up with a study plan. Divvying up your ACT practice book sections over a number of weeks would be a great way to do it. A golden rule is that any time spent studying is better than no time spent studying. Review concepts when you find yourself in an in-between moment. 

Strategize study concepts

While there are a variety of concepts on the exam, there are certain topics and skills that test-makers favor. Let’s break down how to study for the ACT section-by-section:

Then, of course, there is the optional essay. The prompt will be a topic that presents three different perspectives. For the essay, you’ll have to choose a perspective, defend it, and contrast it to the other perspectives. You can practice this by simply writing and defending your own opinions, or, of course, through practice tests. There is a well of old ACT writing prompts available online and in workbooks, and you should certainly use it to your advantage.

We’ve discussed how to study for the ACT. Now there’s only one thing to do: get to it! You have all the tools you need to ace this test.  

Want to stay connected?

These blog posts below will tell you everything you need to know!

How to Choose from Top Rated College Majors

What if I get to college and don’t like it?

Tips on How to Write Your College Essay

About the Author

Cassidy A.

Cassidy A.

Cassidy A. is an experienced English tutor at Gooroo, a tutoring membership that matches students to tutors perfect for them based on their unique learning needs. Gooroo offers math, English, ESL, Spanish tutoring, and more.