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5 Study Tips to Help You Ace the ACT! 

Every year, hundreds of thousands of high school students across the nation take the ACT, an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities for their admissions and scholarship decisions.

Are you one of the many TPSS students who will soon attempt this important test? No matter if it's your first time around or if you’re a testing veteran, here are 5 tips to help you achieve your best score yet!

1. Get familiar with the test. 

All students should plan to take the ACT at least twice. Let your first attempt be your “trial run” and use your scores to identify the areas that you struggle with the most. You’ll be able to use these insights to focus your area of study while gaining an understanding of the topics, structure, and types of materials that are typically on the test. Another great way to familiarize yourself with the test's content is to take online practice tests. Be sure to ask your school’s guidance counselor about recommended resources.  

2. Review questions first, then skim the reading materials. 

Many students struggle with the Science and Reading portions of the ACT, as these sections are structured around a variety of supplemental materials and sources. Close reading these documents can be a huge time sink. Not only that, but a good portion of the presented information is designed to mislead unaware test-takers. That said, before you read any supplemental documents, you should first review the questions associated with the section. Make sure you understand what each question asks for by underlining what they want you to answer. Then, skim through the documents and identify matching words and phrases. 

3. Stuck on a question? Don’t waste time — fill in your best guess and move on!

While you may feel like the answer to a question is just on the tip of your tongue, it’s important not to waste too much time on any one question. It’s better for your final score to finish each entire test section than to leave any answer bubbles blank. As you move through the test, circle questions you’re unsure of to come back to later. Bubble in your “guess answer” on your answer sheet. If you’ve got some time left after reaching the end of the section, you can always return to those skipped questions. 

Remember: Designate one “guess answer” (such as “B” or “C”) and stick to it for the whole test. Keeping a consistent guess answer has been correlated to higher overall ACT scores! 

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