How to get a 36 on the ACT

Erica Fossee '18, Multimedia Editor

Most students dread the early Saturday mornings spent answering ambiguous questions for five hours on the ACT. The score students receive on the ACT is reviewed by colleges during the admissions process, so it is vital to get a good score.

Students are often confused about how to study for the ACT because it is unlike any test we take in school. Luckily, it is possible to study for the ACT and increase a score. Here are some tips on how to study for the ACT, from a perfect scorer.

The most important thing to do is practice. Take practice tests as much as possible. The tests are of course very long, so a good strategy is to take one full length practice test in order to get a feel for what the entire process will be like and also see what subjects need the most work. I suggest starting this sophomore year because junior year is already filled with so much. Practice tests can be found in ACT books and also for free online. Make sure to take the test in a quiet environment and don’t take more breaks than the regular test. The ACT website gives a layout of what the test schedule is like.

Taking the practice test is important, but the real work starts once that is done. Check all of the answers and see which section was the worst for you. Analyze the number of wrong questions and also if there was enough time to complete all the questions.

There are a variety of apps such as ACT Online Prep, ACT Up and ACT: Practice, Prep, and Flashcards that give small, five to 15 minute tests in a specific area that are perfect if you don’t need help in science, but need help in math. When there isn’t enough time to take the entire test, just take the individual sections of the test.

Make sure to practice consistently and analyze places that are improving and places that are stagnant or getting worse. For some subjects, like math and grammar, it can be helpful to read over a review if some of the information is old.

Taking practice tests can become boring and tiresome. Something that I believe is both interesting and helpful for increasing ACT scores is reading. Every day, make time to read books, news articles, magazines or anything that is interesting. I recommend reading a variety that includes both literature and science in order to better prepare for all sections of the test.

Changing up your study location can also make studying for the ACT more fun. Sitting in a small, cramped bedroom can make you less motivated. On the other hand, sitting outside in the sun or going to the library can be a nice change.

After studying and working hard to prepare for the test, make sure to get a lot of sleep the night before. Get your pencils, calculator, ID, ticket and watch all set up the night before. The best thing to do is go to bed early and read in bed. Make sure to wake up early so there’s time to have breakfast and leave early because there could be traffic. Do not try and cram information in the night before or day of because it will only stress you out. The test is long so bring a snack and water bottle.

Finally, after months of preparation, it will be time for the actual test. Do not stress out or freak out and try and review everything you have learned in your head. While you are taking the test everything you learned will naturally come back to you. Remember to answer every question and breathe.