ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Take an ACT Practice Test: 8 Practical Steps to Guide You

Updated on September 6, 2018
WinnieC76 profile image

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

Taking An ACT Practice Test Will Make You An Expert Test Taker!

What makes taking an ACT practice test exhausting is that it is a long exam and it is fast-paced. Teachers in fact say that taking the SAT is like a marathon while taking the ACT is like a sprint. Both endeavors have their stringency in several ways, but there usually is no running away from either of these college admission tests.

A high score in the ACT will have you studying in the college of your choice. It can bring in funds for your education, too. That’s why you have to carry out all means to go through effective test prepping, one of which is taking an ACT practice test. Here are 8 steps to guide you about it.

  • Download and print a copy of the practice test. You ought to note that you should have a hard copy of the ACT practice test that you’re going to take. It should be pointed out that the real ACT test is a pencil and paper test. Optimizing your ACT test prep therefore means that you should create similar conditions (as much as possible) as the real testing day.
  • Allocate at least 4.5 hours for you to take the practice test. The ACT takes approximately 4 hours to finish, but it is a smart move to give yourself a half an hour of buffer time at the end of your practice testing. You can’t actually head to soccer practice right after doing your practice test, nor think of an appointment with your dentist right after doing so. It just wouldn’t be helpful for your score. It makes sense to give yourself some time to decompress after taking your ACT practice test.
  • Think of your ACT practice testing as actually taking the real test. The principle that applies in this case is akin to doing a dress rehearsal and carrying out a dry run prior to your actual performance. An ACT practice testing done well will bring numerous benefits, such as easing your anxieties and jitters come the real test day. Do everything that you can, and ask for the help of your family members, to simulate the real ACT experience while taking the practice test.
  • Break your ACT practice testing into several segments. You should be able to accomplish your mock testing in 1 sitting, but don’t forget to follow the designated break times. During the real ACT test day, students are allowed to take breaks for 10 minutes in between sections 2 and 3, and for 5 minutes at the end of section 4. During the breaks, you can walk around to cool yourself down, eat some snacks to replenish your energy, or drink water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Accomplish the optional ACT Writing test. Although it says that the ACT Writing test is optional, you may have no choice but to go through with it if your chosen college requires you to have an ACT Writing test score. It will do you more good than harm if you take this optional test especially as it would hone your essay writing aptitude, which is quite a critical skill.
  • Grade your ACT mock exam after taking a break. While your parents may like to do this job, it is advisable that you score out your own ACT practice test. It will give you a sense of ownership for this particular endeavor and allow you to learn about the patterns of the ACT test. After your practice testing, give yourself about 30 minutes to 1 hour of break to stretch your legs or clear your head before grading your exam.
  • Be aware of where you stand. You ought to render sufficient time for your ACT prep, and choose the most appropriate one at that. Get a sense of how your score stands in comparison to the average scores of students taking the same test. Thus, before judging your practice test score, check the median score of 3 to 4 colleges that you want to study in.
  • Decide on what your next steps will be. A good score will have you gaining admission to the college of your choice, but your goal score should be slightly higher than what your target college requires. If your ACT practice test score is at par with the requirement of your favorite college, you can take the next step which is to register for the exam. Otherwise, if you failed, you can enroll in an ACT test prep program. Preparing well for your ACT can bring a lot of perks for your coming academic plans and undertakings.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)