5 key test day strategies: Do your best on the test!

ACT® test day doesn’t have to be a stressful or anxious situation. It’s an exciting first step toward your future, and knowing how to take the test will help give you a more relaxed and productive test day experience.

Using good judgment and caution while you take the test is just as important as knowing the test’s content. To do your best on the ACT, remember not to rush yourself. Be mindful and careful.

Remember these tips:

  • Pace yourself. Make sure you have enough time to read the questions and figure out your responses. Spend less time on the questions you are confident you got right so you can use the remaining time to review questions that were difficult for you. Avoid spending too much time on any single question.
  • Read the directions carefully. You will notice that three of the multiple-choice tests (English, reading, and science) ask you to choose the best answer, while the math test asks for the correct answer. On the English, reading, and science tests, read and consider all the answer choices and choose the answer that best responds to the question. On the math test, if your answer is not among the choices provided, reread the question and consider all the answer choices.
  • Read each question carefully. You need to understand exactly what each question asks. Some questions require you to go through several steps to find the correct or best answer, while others can be answered more quickly.
  • Answer the easy questions first. A good strategy is to skip the questions you find more difficult and come back to them at the end. This will allow you to devote more time to the harder questions.
  • Think through the difficult questions. Use logic to eliminate the incorrect answers. Compare the answer choices, note how they differ, and that can provide clues to the correct answer. Eliminate as many incorrect answers as possible, then decide which answer seems the most correct.

For more test-taking strategies, practice tests, and other ways to get ready for test day, download a free booklet, Preparing for the ACT.