ACT Test Introduction

The ACT test is taken by students who are interested in furthering their academic careers and preparing for college. The competitiveness of college admissions dictates a good ACT test score as a minimum to even be considered by some colleges. The ACT test covers 4 content areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. You will not find social studies, chemistry, physics, and biology as specific tests on the ACT, these topics are covered in the reading comprehension or science section.

The ACT test is designed to be one of the first hurdles in your academic undergraduate career.


Consequently, the questions focus on your ability to apply knowledge that you have learned in past experiences related to the algebra, geometry, grammar, punctuation, and arithmetic. The ACT test requires that you understand the underlying concepts and determine one correct answer choice from the information presented.

Many stare at limited funding and the overwhelming task of studying to score high on the ACT test. This website was created to help students overcome the challenge of the ACT test. The key ACT testing tips are stated as follows:

  1. Improve your reading skills.
  2. Review mathematical equations that frequently occur on the ACT test.
  3. Improve your vocabulary.
  4. Be familiar with the format of the ACT test.
  5. Practice word problems found on the math sections of the ACT test

The hours of studying and class work are finally worth it when you gain acceptance into the college of your choice.

Please take your time to review all of articles written about the ACT test and the pitfalls that some students fall into with the test. Hopefully you can avoid the mistakes that others have made when preparing for the exam and will find the following information to be helpful and informative on dealing with the ACT test.

ACT Test Subject Areas

You should answer each ACT test question quickly, but don’t rush. Here is a breakdown of the characteristic ACT test. Please review the below information.

English Test: 75 questions, 45 minutes
Mathematics: Test 60 questions, 60 minutes
Reading Test: 40 questions, 35 minutes
Science Test: 40 questions, 35 minutes

The ACT test forces you to make decisions on reading comprehension, and grammar in fast manner. On the ACT test there is only one correct answer per question. The test writers have covered all their bases and one of the answer choices is correct. Generally, the correct answer is the answer that identifies the best answer. ACT test writers are trying to make sure that you are competent and have are able to answer the questions in a timely manner.

Another key point on reviewing for the ACT test is know your mathematical equations. ACT test takers are responsible for already understanding the basic mathematical formulas. You must commit these formulas to memory and understand the application of the formula. Focus on the simple algebraic and geometric equations that you learned your sophomore and junior year of high school when preparing for the ACT test. If you do not remember the correct formula you will have only a minimal chance of answering the question correctly.

It is also important to note that clock is the greatest enemy with the ACT. You should wear a watch to the testing center to help you with your time management. Calculators are allowed on the mathematics section of the ACT test.

ACT Format

The ACT questions are set up within a 4 cycle mini-test format. A total test time 175 minutes should be allowed to complete the ACT test. You are allowed to answer each question without time constraints within each section of the ACT test.

Question 1: What is the maximum amount of time allowed to take the ACT test?

Answer: You are allowed a total time of 175 minutest to complete the ACT test.

Question 2: How do I prepare for the time constraints on the ACT test?

Answer: Allow each question a reasonable amount of time and thought. Treat each question with the same level of difficulty. Don’t start to panic and begin to rush through the questions. Review the time constraints identified under the ACT breakdown chart.

Question 3: What is the maximum amount of time that I could spend on each question on the ACT test?

Answer: You should spend about .7 minutes per question on the English section and 1 minute per question on the Mathematics section. The Reading and Science sections require about .8 minutes per question.

Question 4: What study aides have you found that help you understand the format better?

Answer: The link on the right of this page offers valuable help with the ACT format.

Question 5: Is there any penalty for guessing on the ACT test?

Answer: No. Select one answer per question. Do not leave questions blank.

ACT Exam Preparation

The most important thing that you can do preparing for the ACT test is not getting stress out. A score in the 90th percentile is not required in most cases to get into the college your choice. The ACT entrance exam is only one part of your application to undergraduate school.

  1. The following are recommended when preparing for the ACT test.
  2. Watch out for the words: except, always and not in all cases on ACT questions.
  3. Get a good night’s sleep before the ACT test.
  4. Wear layered clothing to the exam.
  5. Practice with a watch and bring a watch to the ACT test.
  6. Study for each section of the ACT test individually.
  7. If you extremely weak in one area of ACT content, focus on that section separately.
  8. Don’t cram for your ACT test. Read over a good practice study guide at least one week in advance.
  9. You may want to use a set of ACT flashcards to help you with your review.
  10. Stay away from negative talk about the ACT test with other students.

Act Study Guide Tips

The amount of effort required to score high on the ACT test varies between students. There is no magic formula that students can get plugged into to ace the ACT test. Consequently, some students may be able score well without reviewing any reference materials, and other will buy 2-4 reference guides and attend review courses that are extremely expensive. Obviously, it is foolish to take the ACT test without any review of potential questions and ACT exam content. A poor score simply adds up to frustration.

The ACT test takers should be aware of the fact that sometimes too much information about the ACT exam can lead to “overkill”. The right study guide offers brevity, precision, and no fluff. ACT test takers should be aware of the many pitfalls of ACT test preparation. The ACT test will be the most important test you take in the process of starting your college career.

If you memorize facts piled upon facts about ACT test related material before taking the exam, you will most likely be distracted by the details and not focus on the concepts. A concise review of the ACT test that helps you recall details without giving you all the minute details will work the best, because you will be able to think on test day and not be attempting to regurgitate data.

In other words, don’t attempt to “overkill” the ACT exam. Innumerable reference guides cost lots of cash and provide lots of details; you want one that gives you the best overall review for the test.
ACT test blueprint and breakdown

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