As a nationally sought after test prep expert specializing in the ACT test, I have seen and heard it all. From low scores to high scores to numerous success stories, I know the test prep path is not the same for every student. I have assisted students from California to Connecticut—and states in between—to reach their personal ACT goals. With the ACT right around the corner, here are 5 hacks to increase a score quickly.
- LEAVE NO BLANK BUBBLES
There is no penalty for guessing on the ACT (or SAT, for that matter). Students should budget their time to allow for bubbling all bubbles on the answer sheet. I would advise using the ‘Pick a Row and Go’ method and stick with a consistent answer for all that you guess on. This method works better than randomly guessing—or drawing flowers or trees with your answers.
- Don’t read the reading passages in the order presented.
The ACT puts the reading passages in the same order each time it is given: Prose fiction (also called Literary Narrative), Social Science, Humanities, and Natural Science. Most students find the fiction interesting to read, yet they struggle with the complexity of the questions. Students may read these passages in any order…so starting with easier (more fact-based) passages can boost scores.
- Know your math formulas.
For both ACT and SAT, there is little beyond Algebra II on the math section. On the ACT, students have to know the formulas whereas they are provided on the SAT. A quick google search will provide a list of the formulas needed. OR, readers may email my math specialist Tony Miglio (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a free, comprehensive study guide for math topics covered on the ACT.
- Pack a snack AND drink for the break.
The ACT is as a long test. Students will need to refuel their mind and body during the break between the math and reading tests. Since this is a relatively quick break, I suggest packing a drink in addition to a protein bar of sorts to get your student through the rest of the test.
- .= ;
Punctuation matters, folks. Knowing that these two punctuation marks have the same job and purpose is a game changer for most students. Otherwise, students go with the “Well, I haven’t used one of these marks yet…” when answering. For a free, comprehensive punctuation study guide, email me through my website.
If you have other questions about the ACT test or ACT test preparations, please feel free to reach out to me via my website: www.jenhensonactprep.com.
Jen Henson ( a.k.a “The GOAL DIGGER”) is a nationally sought after test prep expert specializing in the ACT test. Jen, who was Winton Woods City School’s (OH) Teacher of the Year in 2014, holds a Master of Education degree with a Bachelor’s in English from Xavier University—where she was a walk-on tennis player. She’s taught 21 years and coached ACT prep for over 7 years– and has an army of teachers trained to assist her requests for tutorials. Her former ACT students now attend notable higher learning institutions, including Notre Dame, The Ohio State University, Texas A&M, The Naval Academy, and the University of Kentucky—among others.