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Why should I take the ACT exam?

Most colleges & universities applications require students to take the ACT exam. Smaller colleges accept ACT scores of 21 while larger universities start out at a minimum score of 25 and some pushing 27. Scoring over 30 in all areas starts to provide you more opportunities for scholarships. Achieving a top score of 36 in all areas opens doors for Ivy league universities. Of course ACT scores are not the only means to get you into your dream college, other factors include your High School grades, the competition level at your High School, if your in or out of state or out of country, previous family members who are alumni's, parent's education level, community service hours, family income and special talents. Most places of employment these days require a college degree, so if you have the opportunity to attend college it's good for your long term goals. The costs are very high of course, but loans and some scholarships are available out there.

Tip #1: Take as many AP level classes in H.S. as possible and pass the exams at the end of the year. You can knock off almost 2 years of college tuition by doing this!!

What questions are on the ACT exam?

There are 4 subjects on the ACT exam (English, Math, Reading and Science). To score well on this exam, you have to think "quickly and accurately". It's not like a research paper you have plenty of time, it will test your ability to think quickly on your feet.

English: 45 minutes to complete 75 questions = (36 seconds per question)

Math: 60 minutes to complete 60 questions = (60 seconds per question)

Reading: 35 minutes to complete 4 questions = (8 minutes 45 seconds per question)

Science: 35 minutes to complete 40 questions = (52 seconds per question)   

Writing: Optional, 30 minute test. Check if your college requires you to take this portion.

Tip #2: Pacing yourself is critical. Take many practice tests in a quiet room with no radio, TV or cell phones. Set your watch to count down at the seconds defined above. Get a feel of how long that feels. Get to the point where you can accurately tell when your time is up.

Tip #3: If you're taking longer than the average time permitted, mark the question to return to it and move on to the next question. Don't panic! The ACT exam is designed to test your calm cool collective manner in how your approach things. The first part of the exam may have difficult questions giving you the impression all questions are like that. Don't worry and don't fall in that trap of panic thinking. Just remember, you can take the ACT exam many times, so why worry? You can just take it again!

Tip #4: The ACT exam is different than the SAT exam, in that you should answer "All" the questions, never ever leave a question unanswered! The ACT won't deduct points for wrong answers unlike the SAT exam. So if you run out of time, use the last 2 minutes to return to unanswered questions you marked and take you best quick guess. You could get lucky!

How should I take the ACT exam?

Plan your strategy out before taking the ACT exam. Strategy is important, it's akin to driving to a new location where you don't know where it's located. You don't just get in the car and start driving North, instead you use a GPS to make it easier to reach your designation.

The ACT exam is written in such a manner to evaluate your abilities to make the "right decision" and not just the "quickest easiest decision". Watch for the curve balls on the exam, it will trick you into thinking something if your not careful.

Tip #5: Choose the "Most Correct" answer, this means don't fall into the trap of choosing answer A or B because it's correct. Read all the options and you might see that answer C, D, E are "More Correct". With the clock ticking away, its easy to jump at the first answer in A or B, but be patient and do the right thing, not the quickest decision.

How are questions formatted on the ACT exam?

The ACT exam is designed in such a manner that if your not careful, you could provide the wrong answer to the questions. It's testings your observation skills out. It's a akin to a 3D picture. The object looks like it's in front of you, but in reality it's to the left of that object.

Tip #6: Draw a line under the questions and answers from left to right. This will help ensure you don't mark the wrong answers.

What if I can't recall the Math Formula's?

Taking the ACT is not only above strategy, but also about intelligence. So be sure to brush up on your skills. There is a whole series of math and science problems shown below in the video's to watch and relearn a formula. Here is a handy sheet that provides some of the formula's used.

Tip #7: If you can't remember a formula, then just plug in the answers provided into the questions. Both sides of the equation should equal each other.

Are all answers equal?

Yes and No. Meaning, yes they are equal in the number of points you can score. But, no in that some are more difficult to answer.

Tip #8: Scan through the exam and choose the questions that look easiest to answer first. Get those out of the way. This will also help your momentum, motivation and concentration. When you feel that you can answer these questions you'll gain confidence and your patience will increase giving you more power to tackle the harder questions.

How should I remember lengthy passages?

The ACT exam is designed to test your common sense judgment skills. Meaning, some passages are designed with a bunch of mumbo jumbo that really doesn't make any sense at all.

Tip #9: Don't spend time "re-reading" lengthy passages, instead record down notes to the side to capture the main points of the passage. Scan through the answers first to get a flavor if you even need to take time to take notes on things not related to the answers. 

Which questions should I answer first?

The ACT is designed to test your ability to properly square up a issue before you tackle it. Lengthy passages are provided with several choices to choose from.

Tip #10: Use the art of Statistics. Spend more of your time on questions that have lower number of answers. For example question #1 has choice: A,B,C,D whereas question #2 has choice: A,B,C,D,E,F,G. You have better odds of getting question #1 correct if you have to guess than a question with more choices.

ACT Training Videos

Below are a list of hundreds of ACT training videos you can watch over and over again to prepare for the exam. Hover your mouse over different videos and choose the ones that can help you to relearn that material.


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Improve your SAT Scores

Copyright (c) 2013 - SATQuantum


SATQuantum Official Links: Homepage - Facebook - Twitter - YouTube - Amazon