ACT Hacks for fast improvement

ACT Hacks for FAST Improvement

Here are a few tips to improving your ACT score fast. You can definitely improve quickly if you take and review a diagnostic test, get your pacing down and review key concepts from the two content-based tests (English and Math).

Diagnostic Test

If you have a week or more to go until the test date, you can get a lot done in that short period of time. You will have to decide how committed you are to the process. To get started, the first thing you need to do is take a diagnostic test. This can be a short form ACT test that has a scoring guide and projected ACT score, OR if you have the time, I prefer you take a full ACT practice test. This will give you the most realistic idea of what you will score.

When you finish this test, it is vital that you score it, review your RIGHT AND WRONG answers and then determine your weakest areas. This will help you determine how to use the time in the rest of your week.

Pacing Strategies

At this point you should understand the format of the test and the timing involved. After taking a diagnostic test, you will know where you struggle the most with pacing. It is important that you learn some good pacing strategies and then practice in a timed setting. A full practice test is NOT required to get your pacing down. Each content test has an optimal pacing guide:

  • 1 passage of English should take about 9 minutes per passage,
  • 15 math questions should take less than 15 minutes,
  • reading passages should be practiced at 8 minutes 45 seconds and then
  • science should be practiced at 6 minutes per passage.

This is just a good guide for each. If you can work each in less time without losing accuracy even better.

Ultimately, English and Math are content-focused tests, so here are 2 ways to improve your score fast by reviewing content.

English Review

If you have a week or less to go, you may not be able to review all your English skills, so you need to get the most bang for your buck. The easiest skills to correct quickly are commas, colons, semicolons, and dashes. A thorough review of these skills will help your score tremendously. When you practice your timed English passages go back and identify the questions that involve each of these skills and make sure you are getting them 100% correct.

Math Review

The math test is a long test that has an even longer skills list to cover. It will be hard to review 5 years of math in a short time. If you want to make up ground the fasted, focus on pre-algebra, algebra 1 and geometry. These skills cover 38 of the 60 questions on the test and will be the easiest to review. Take some time and work a practice ACT Math test and look for these topics only.

It will also be good practice to work the first 30 questions of a practice test. Go for a 100% on these questions. Review the content of the questions you miss and keep practicing until you can get 100% on the first 30 questions.

So that is a quick highlight of some great ways to improve your score 3 points in a week. If you would like the remaining prep schedule from our 1-week ACT Cram Plan, the link to grab it is below.


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