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How Hard Is The ACT Test: 5 Facts To Guide You

Updated on June 9, 2018
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Winnie is an expert test taker and advisor at GED Study Guide in Test Prep Toolkit.

How hard is the ACT test? Surmount The Challenge With An Effective Test Prep!

Are you going to take the ACT test? You may be commencing on your test prep and are asking “how hard is the ACT test?” You might even be nervous about it. Well, the ACT honestly is stressful, from the time of one’s test prep all the way to getting hold of their ACT score report. After all, doesn’t the said test significantly impact your college education? Your score in your ACT test will determine whether you can get admitted to the college or university of your choice or not. That undoubtedly can cause pressure on any high school student who takes their academic, career and personal goals seriously.

“Intimidating” might be an appropriate adjective to describe the ACT test. But don’t let initial perceptions get the better of you. With sufficient ACT test prep, you will find that the ACT test is not as difficult as it seems. Look at it this way. For some non-native speakers or those with learning differences, learning the English alphabet could be rigorous. However, some of these individuals might find that getting a grasp of multivariable calculus is relatively easy. It therefore suffices to say that how hard or easy the ACT test is varies from one student to the other. But some salient and measurable concepts can guide you about this matter. Here are basic points that discuss how hard the ACT test really is.

Factors That May Challenge You On The ACT Test

  • Test takers have to handle time pressure when taking the ACT test. The test is comprised of a total of 215 questions that you have to answer in 3 hours and 25 minutes. Some questions are more tedious, and they take longer to answer than the others. Test takers therefore need to answer the questions as fast as they can. The truth of the matter about this is that many students complained that they could have done better in the ACT test if they were given more time. Thus, if so you happen to encounter a difficult question, skip it for the time being and get back to it when time allows you.
  • More amount of reading and concentration is required by the test. You’ll have plenty to read on the ACT test than the SAT. Science scenarios are more complex, reading passages are longer and math word problems are more complicated in the ACT as well. You have to learn how to extend your attention span during your ACT test prep. This particular skill will be challenged when you’re actually taking the test. Adhere to a full-length ACT test prep so that you can build your stamina and focus in test-taking.
  • The ACT test has become more difficult over the years. The creating body of the ACT test has modified the difficulty level of the said exam. During the decade of the 1970’s, students have obtained an average composite score of 18.6 in the test, while in 2014, it has increased to 21, making it appear that the ACT test has become easier. What took place in the subsequent ACT tests was that harder questions and passages were generated to make sure that only a fewer number of students make it to the upper rung of the scale.
  • The ACT test can be tricky. Watch out because the ACT test may appear to be easy on the surface. Then again, be wary because you need to be detail-oriented when taking it. The test can trick you into making silly mistakes when the answers have always been in plain sight.
  • You need to have good comprehension skills when taking the ACT test. Although you don’t have to worry about high vocabulary (especially in the passages) in the ACT, you have to pay attention to your reading speed and comprehension. Having the skills to read and understand the passage faster will give you more time to find the answers to the subsequent test questions.

With these guidelines, you can better decipher the difficulty level of the ACT test and make better preparation in your test prep and studying.


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