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12 Last-Minute Test Prep Tips For The ACT Test

Updated on June 13, 2018
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Winnie is an expert test taker and advisor at GED Study Guide in Test Prep Toolkit.

You Can Ace The ACT Test. Study Smart and Learn These Valuable Tips!

Is your day of taking the ACT test fast approaching? You may feel different emotions about it. However, you can do away with ACT test anxiety if your test prep had been sufficient and efficient. Since the big day is near on its way, you have to make sure that you are 100% ready. Here are some last minute test prep tips for the ACT test.

Final Test Prep Tips Before Taking The ACT Test

  • Analyze your errors and weaknesses by taking practice tests. It may be tempting to just keep your focus on your scores when taking ACT practice tests. Then again, you shouldn’t skip being particular about your mistakes at the same time. It is how you can gauge your capabilities, especially your weaknesses and work on them. For every topic in the test, target your problem areas and figure out why you keep missing them. Then can you determine the right strategies to apply in order to arrive at the correct answers.
  • Work on adjusting your timing and pacing. Since the ACT is time pressured, you’ll want to hone your time management skills. Observe how you feel when responding to 30-second and 1-minute questions. Build on how you can apply the proper pacing and timing according to the imposed time limit, acclimatizing yourself to the actual ACT testing scenario.

What Should You Do On The Day Of The Test?

  • Go to bed early on the night prior to the big day. Sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours on the night before your test. You’ll want to wake up earlier, too- about 1 hour before you head on to your testing center. This way, your brain and senses will feel alert.
  • Munch a healthy amount and serving of breakfast. Prepare a morning meal that’s rich in protein. Foods like fish, chicken and eggs should make you feel energetic instead of sluggish. Otherwise, if you’re not in the mood for a heavy meal, you can grab and grub a granola bar or a handful of nuts. Drink coffee only if you normally do so. Don’t force yourself to take it if you’re not used to it because it can make you feel nervous.
  • Dress for ease and comfort. This is what dressing for ACT success means. Bring layers of clothing to protect you from temperature which may be too hot or too cold. Pack up all the things that you need to bring to your testing center the night before the test.

What Should You Do When Actually Taking The ACT Test?

  • Be calm and focused when taking your test. One by one, do your best to answer the questions. Deal with them as they come. When you come across an item that’s difficult to respond to, skip it for the time being and move on to the next number. Don’t panic. Relax.
  • When you encounter a difficult question, skip it for the meantime. Get back to that certain item when you’re done with the whole section, particularly if you have time left. If your allocated time for an item has been consumed, move on to the next number as well. You’ll want to ensure that your time is properly managed and don’t miss your scores on the easy items.
  • Validate your answers. Make good use of your remaining time by checking each of your answers. Avoid rushing through the questions. Go over the goofs that you can rectify so that you can maximize your score.
  • Refresh your mind, particularly during your breaks. You are allowed to have two breaktimes when taking the ACT test (if you have opted to take the writing test). The first break is in between the Math and Reading tests and the second one is designated in between the Science and Essay tests. This is a good time for you to relax your mind, your nerves and your body. Consume your snacks, or go to the bathroom if you need to.

What Should You Do After You Have Taken Your Test?

  • Be aware that you can cancel your score. If something went wrong when you were taking your test and you are worried about your score, be aware that you are allowed to revoke you score in the aforementioned test.
  • If you intend to retake the ACT test, you can order your TIR or Test Information Release. Have you made up your mind about retaking the ACT test? If so, you can order and avail of the Test Information Release service that is offered by the ACT body. With it, you can review the details of your test results. Your TIR can be a valuable study tool where you can decipher and build on your weak points so you can achieve a better score on your retake.
  • Relax and have a good time to decompress. Loosen up and enjoy your time after taking the ACT test. Don’t worry too much or be discouraged about what may have gone wrong about your recent academic undertaking. That matter is beyond your control at this point, so render your time and energy on the endeavors that you can relish at the moment.


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