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3 Things That ACT Test-Takers Do Wrong and How to Avoid Them

Updated on October 29, 2018
WinnieC76 profile image

Winnie is an expert test taker and advisor at GED Study Guide in Test Prep Toolkit.

Ace The ACT- Steer Clear Of These Test-Taking Blunders!

Regrets. You wouldn’t want to have them as much as possible. This applies to your ACT as well. It’s particularly disappointing if you have misgivings of “I could have done better” after getting your ACT score. You have to decipher why you got a low score in this significant college admission test of yours. Where did you go wrong? In this case you have to be in-the-know about the things that ACT test takers do wrong and avoid doing them. Steer clear of the following lapses in your study habits and attitude.

  • Inadequate and ineffective preparation. You have to render ample time for your test prep and be guided accordingly by a strong teacher or mentor. Three months in advance is the average recommended time for a sufficient ACT prep program. Consider that an appropriate study plan for the ACT takes time to be effectual, whether online and/or offline. Take care of your attitude and take into account that your ACT test is an important undertaking in your academic career that can impact your future. So take it seriously.
  • Ineffectual psychological conditioning. Which would be a better psychological conditioning for the ACT? Take a look at these two individuals- Student A and Student B. Student A sticks to a regular study habit where he goes through his books every evening. He takes practice tests on his quiet desk twice a week. Whenever he gets a high score, he rewards himself with a trip to the refrigerator and munches a hefty meal . Otherwise, he would text his BFF or watch his favorite episode on Netflix. On his official ACT practice test, Student A gets a score of 35. Then there’s Student B who wakes up early in the morning every Saturday to study and take his practice test at the nearest Starbucks shop. The place is quite noisy, so this chap hurries to finish his test. He doesn’t even stop for a break. Student B gets a score of 35 in his official ACT practice test nonetheless. Now, who will get a better score come the final day of the ACT? You might be surprised, but it’s Student B because his test prep conditions are much similar to the actual ACT testing environment. It would tend to be garroulous and stressful, but Student B has acclimatized better to it. He has tested his resiliency amid a stressful test-taking environment and was able to achieve a favorable score.
  • Not applying the proper pacing for taking each section of the test. Be aware of the time as you tackle every question in the ACT. Spending too much time on specific questions can have you exceeding the time limit. In the Math section, for example, you have to respond to 60 questions for a time duration of 60 minutes. It means that you have exactly 1 minute to answer every question. If you can’t figure out the answer to an item in 1 minute, it’s best to proceed on to answering the next item. Many students panic because the timing for the ACT can be quite fast. How do you remedy this situation? It has to do with your test prepping to begin with. Be thoroughly prepared to handle the stringent time limit of the ACT by taking timed ACT practice tests. Research has shown that taking practice tests is one of the most effective study techniques. It can eliminate test anxiety at the same time. When taking the ACT, wear a watch (that is College-Board approved). It will save you time instead of looking up at the clock in your testing center.

These are some of the things that ACT test takers do wrong. Now that you are aware of them, take the necessary steps to avoid them and do your best in preparing for your test.


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