How to Prepare for the ACT Test?

We all panic when it comes to exam, no matter how many exams we have written, every exams are new to us, So how do we prepare for such terrifying exams such as ACT test. Learn more on how to prepare for the ACT test.

TCM Staff

19th August 2020

The ACT is different than the other tests which you took in the school, keep in mind that getting a good score is never a bad thing, but it’s one of the toughest things to do. A good ACT score can help you get into your dreamed college as well as make you eligible for college scholarships. But how to get a good score in the ACT?

If you are looking for an answer for that question, then you are on the right place, here are the tips that will help you prepare for the ACT Test day and get a Good ACT Score, let’s get started.

How to prepare for the ACT

Here we have discussed a few ways by which you can prepare for your ACT exam properly. 

Set a goal


Once you are aware of the ACT test structure and format, set a clear cut target of how much you want to score, or how much score is required to get into your dream college. The target you set should be practically accomplishable given the time and resources.well then if you have a question “can I achieve the highest ACT score?” then the answer would be yes, but you remember you would have to take a lot of effort respective of the time available.

Plan a Study Schedule


After setting a clear goal all you have to think about now is how to achieve it, planning makes it easier for you to achieve your target.

What do you need to plan?; plan the study schedule considering the available time and resources. If you’re self-studying for the ACT, then you’ll definitely need to create a schedule, and it would be better if you determine to spend a consistent number of hours every week for the test preparation.

Demolish Your Weakness


After you have had the idea of where to start according to your study plan, one of the important factor that helps you reach your target is to identify and work on your weakness.

In case if you don’t have an idea of where your weakness lies, take a complete ACT practice test with timing. Here are a few ACT practice tests which are free of course

ACT Practice Test 2018-19(Form 74FPRE)

ACT Practice Test 2015-17(Form 72CPRE)

ACT Practice Test 2014-15(Form 67C)

ACT Practice Test 2011-12(Form 64E)

ACT Practice Test 2008-09(Form 61C)

ACT Practice Test 2005-06(Form 59F)

and also make sure you take the test in a testing environment. And consider using materials that are used in the test.

Once you have taken the ACT practice test, examine the answers, and identify the pattern of mistakes. If you made mistakes in the science section, then start working on science first, then the next section where made mistakes and so on. Until you have worked on your weak spot in all the sections.

Get Oriented with the ACT’s style

Every exam is new, likewise, the ACT test has its own style of questions.where each section requires different knowledge and skills, so we recommend you to get familiar with how the ACT test questions look like. Or else you might feel the time constraint as a critical one, you may not get enough time to write all the questions and a few other factors.

So practice at least weekly once in your preparation time. And make sure you have had the model ACT test practice at least 2 or 3 times before you take the ACT test. 

Form Strategies


A strategy test taker is a smart test taker, strategies in terms of exams don’t mean complex tactics, but it means things like how to choose the right answer when you have no clue about it, it’s simple, just eliminate the wrong answers and the guess the right answer. These types of strategies do not work all the time, but when you have no clue what the answer is, then strategies would do miracles.

Also read: How to improve your ACT Score?

Practice and Practice


It won’t matter how much time you spend per day studying it would be useless if you don’t practice. You can practice for the ACT using two keys, that are 

  • Practice questions

  • Practice tests

With the Practice questions, you can work on improving your skill in a particular area or section. 

And the Practice Test helps you analyze how much time do you take to complete the test, and how long can you be focused on the test respective of the breaks. It is recommended that you take at least a 2-3 full-length practice test,  which improves your score consistently as well as improves your confidence level.

Take Rest


Register for the ACT 

If you still haven’t registered for the test, then start registering once you have got the idea of when, and how to apply for the ACT. you can register for the ACT on this

But before starting your registration process, please keep a few things in mind, which are date and location.

While applying for the ACT, make sure you pick the right date which gives you enough time to prepare and practice through and through for the test. It is recommended that you choose the date at least 3 months in advance.

If you have already registered, and when you don’t have a sufficient amount of time to prepare due to application deadlines and other factors, first off, don’t panic. Make use of the available time smartly, though you have to spend some extra time per day to prepare and practice give yourself a little time to relax only then will you have the mental strength and enthusiasm to study for the test.

You May Read: ACT Test Dates

Be aware of the ACT Test Structure and Format

Once you have registered, don’t rush to the study part unless you are familiar with the ACT structure and format. You may think that this may sound a bit out of preparation tip but remember “a building is not built starting from the foundation but with the blueprint.”

The ACT is out of 36 points in the composite score, consisting of four multiple-choice sections,  the four sections are English, Math, Reading, and Science. Each section is scored out of 36 points in the scaled scores which are averaged to the composite score. Along the four-section, there is an optional essay test which out of 12 points, though, the test taker may or may not take the essay, because the essay score is taken into consideration for the composite score calculation.

The following table shows the question format and time allotted for each section.


Time per number of questions

Question format

Content covered


45 minutes for 75 questions

Multiple-choice questions- 4 options

Grammar, sentence structure, organization  & style


60 minutes for 60 questions

Multiple-choice questions- 5 options

Algebra type 1, 2&3, Trignometry, coordinate geometry and plane geometry,


35 minutes for 40 questions

Multiple-choice questions- 4 options

Problem-solving, interpretation analysis, evaluation, and reasoning


35 minutes for 40 questions

Multiple-choice questions- 4 options

Reading and comprehension of what is implied or directly stated

Writing (Optional)

40 minutes for 1 essay.

Essay prompt

Writing skills


3 hours 35 mins for 216 questions( with essay); 2 hours 55 mins (without essay).




Once you are all set to take the ACT test, don’t forget to give your body a bit time to relax, get a good deep sleep the previous night and also keep in mind not to oversleep. Have a balanced protein-filled breakfast because you will need it, and try to keep the backpack packed with all the necessary materials the night before itself such as pencils, an approved calculator a water bottle too.

All the best!

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