ACT Preparation

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General Test Tips

Carefully read the instructions on the cover of the test booklet.

Read the directions for each test carefully.

Read each question carefully.

Calculators may be used on the mathematics test only. Calculator policy (PDF)

Pace yourself—don't spend too much time on a single passage or question.

Pay attention to the announcement of five minutes remaining on each test.

Use a soft-lead No. 2 pencil with a good eraser. Do not use a mechanical pencil or ink pen; if you do, your answer document cannot be scored accurately.

Mark only one answer to each question, and for each question, make certain that you mark in the row of ovals with the same number as the question.

Fill in the oval completely, and make your marks heavy and black. If you change your mind about an answer, erase your first mark completely without smudging.

For each question, decide which answer is best.

Answer the easy questions first, and then go back and answer the more difficult ones if you have time remaining on that test.

On difficult questions, eliminate as many incorrect answers as you can, then make an educated guess among those remaining.

Answer every question. Your scores on the multiple-choice tests are based on the number of questions you answer correctly.You will not be penalized for guessing. It is to your advantage to answer every question even if you must guess.

If you complete a test before time is called, recheck your work on that test. Do not look back to a test on which time has already been called, and do not go ahead to another test. To do so will disqualify you from the examination.

When time is called on any test, lay your pencil down immediately and do not mark or alter any ovals on the test or continue writing the essay. If you do, you will be dismissed and your answer document will not be scored.