improve act score

To improve your ACT score

  • Know the facts:

  • The ACT® is made up of four sections and 215 questions in all and needs to be completed in 2 hours and 55 minutes. The sections that make up the ACT along with the number of questions and time to complete the test are listed below.

  • English - 75 questions in 45 minutes
  • Mathematics - 60 questions in 1 hour
  • Reading - 30 questions in 35 minutes
  • Science - 30 questions in 35 minutes

There are more questions on the ACT than on the SAT. You are given less time to complete each question on the ACT than on the SAT, so knowing the content being tested is important.

The concepts tested on the ACT are taught in middle and high schools across America, so it should be easy to develop a plan to improve your score on the ACT.

  • Know the strategies:

  • There are no negative points for incorrect answer on the ACT. One of the first strategies that students should deploy on the ACT is to answer all questions. Students should know to pace themselves so they don’t run out of time e.g., English section has five passages so each passage needs to be completed in nine minutes or less.
  • The science section of the ACT has data representation and graph based questions. It is highly unlikely that students will be familiar with the topic being tested and should not attempt to study the topic during the test rather they should read the questions to get an understanding of what is being asked.
  • Many of the techniques are readily listed in most ACT prep books from Kaplan, McGraw Hill, Barron’s, Peterson’s etc. For these techniques to be effective you will need to to master the content being tested.

We recommend the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) model

act pre test for planning purpose Plan

The plan phase should help you identify problems or issues that need to be addressed e.g., take a full length test to identify the content areas that offer the most opportunity for improvement.

work on the content areas Do

Do is the action phase. Start reviewing the content areas that offers the most opportunity for score improvement. Watch videos and take short quizzes to improve skills. Review strategies that can be deployed and hone in on the ones you plan to use.

check your understanding of the content tested Check

In the check phase you will practice questions to assess the improvements you have made. If proficiency indicators suggest the desired improvement has not been made then you will return to the do phase to review materials.

take the official assessment Act

It is time to act on the information. If you've noticed that you're acheiving the proficiency levels in the focus areas and the post-test is showing improvement, you should take the official assessment.

  • What will truly help are the following

  • Understand one’s strength and weakness within each section of the ACT
  • Set a goal based on one’s current score
  • Develop a roadmap for how one gets to the goal. Specifically call out the content areas that need improvement e.g. In Mathematics eliminate half the errors in “Pre-Algebra” questions
  • Finally, a test prep book or online platform to help you achieve the goal