Tips for Scoring Better on the ACTs Provided by our Milwaukee College Prep Advisors
Our Milwaukee College Prep Consultants Provide a Timeline of Tips for Scoring Higher on the ACTs
When it comes to scoring well on the ACT there are a variety of things you can do, including everything from practice tests to breathing exercises. Our Milwaukee college prep advisors know everyone handles test stress differently, which is why we've provided the best tips for EVERYONE to score higher on the ACTs.
Below, our Milwaukee college prep consultants have broken down these ACT tips by...
1-3 Months Before the ACT:
- Practice Tests:
- Practice tests should be performed 1-3 hours per day for 1-3 months prior to the actual exam. Performing these practice tests every day for months ahead of time will help you absorb information better and help you feel more comfortable and confident during the ACT testing.
- Time yourself during ACT practice texts to simulate the real experience. Slowly decrease the time you’re allowed to complete a portion. For example, give yourself 60 minutes for a 30 minute portion during the first week, then 30 minutes during the 2nd week, then 20 minutes the 3rd week. The faster you are, the more comfortable, confident and relaxed you’ll feel during the real ACT.
- Focus on your weaknesses. It’s important to practice all portions of the ACT practice test, but make sure you’re revisiting your areas of weakness more frequently (i.e. math, science, English, etc.). Feeling more comfortable in your areas of weakness will ease your nerves during the actual ACT.
The Night Before the ACT:
- Avoid soda, coffee, sugar, TV and phone use 3 hours before bed to help your body wind down and prepare for sleep.
- Go to bed earlier than normal. Nerves always get the best of us. Getting to bed ahead of schedule will ensure you fall asleep when you need to.
- Keep your room dark. Shut the blinds, curtains and door. Turn the TV off, keep electronics on “alarm only” mode, turn bright lights (like from your alarm clock) away from you or cover with a piece of clothing. The darker the room, the better and more soundly you’ll sleep.
- Set multiple alarms. The last thing you need the morning of the ACT is to feel rushed, unprepared or worse…miss the exam entirely! Don’t rely on 1 device like your cell phone (which can go dead or otherwise malfunction). Instead, use a cell phone, actual alarm clock, tablet, etc.
- Make sure you have everything ready. By planning and preparing the night before, you’ll feel less stressed going to bed (giving you a better night’s sleep) and the next morning. This will also give you time to track down anything you can’t find, or remember something you missed. You’ll need to bring an approved calculator, multiple sharpened No. 2 soft lead pencils, good erasers that won’t smudge, your student ID, your admissions ticket and any other documentation you may need for the exam.
The Morning of the ACT:
- Get up earlier than you need to, so you don’t feel rushed.
- Shower and stretch as this helps your body and brain wake up.
- Eat Breakfast. This is CRITICAL! Miss breakfast and neither your body nor your brain will have the power it needs to perform at a high level. Make sure your breakfast is healthy and limited in sugar. Fill up on fiber and protein (i.e. eggs, Greek yogurt).
During the ACT:
- Breathe! Each time you feel overwhelmed remember to take deep breaths and refocus.
- Stay positive. Each time you feel frustrated or overwhelmed, repeat a power phrase to yourself (i.e. “I got this”, “Just relax and focus”, etc.).
- Read each question completely and carefully to ensure you answer correctly. Many mistakes are made and incorrect answers given when students skim or scan the questions or reading portions.
- Make complicated questions simpler. Reread the question and ask yourself what the question is really asking? Take out unnecessary words and get to the root.
- Predict the correct answer before reading the answer choices. This will allow you to utilize the information you already know and help you choose the correct answer without doubting yourself. Just align your predicted answer with the one that most resembles your answer.
- Move on. If you feel like you’re spending too much time on a question you probably are. Move on and come back to it at the end. You want to make sure you give yourself a chance to answer all the questions, instead of spending all your time on one question and losing out on the opportunity to answer other questions correctly.
- Answer the RIGHT questions. It can be easy to fill in one wrong bubble and the rest of your answers are all off by one. The time it takes to go back and correct this will hurt. Instead, stay on track by making sure every answer is marked in the correct bubble the first time.
- Review the bubbles: At the end of the ACT exam make sure to review your answer sheet to make sure all the bubbles are filled in and you haven’t missed any questions. The easiest way to do this is to use the test packet to check each line of bubbles.
Stay tuned for other helpful tips on ACTs, SATs, Wisconsin college funding options and more!
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