The ACT is a standardized exam designed to test how prepared students are for college. This exam will test students on subjects they've been learning about during high school, specifically English, Math, Reading, and Science. The ACT, alongside the SAT, is a famous test because every student has to take either one if they wish to apply to college.
There really is no way you can avoid taking the ACT or the SAT, so you better start to prep as soon as possible, and when the time comes you will be ready to do your best and get the highest possible score.
The basic information you need to know about the ACT is that you'll have 2 hours and 55 minutes to complete the exam and if you choose to do the writing section (which is optional), you'll have 40 minutes to write the entire essay. Keep in mind that writing the essay is the only optional thing in the test, the other sections are mandatory.
The length of the exam is 215 questions and you'll be expected to answer the majority of these questions during the time you'll be given. You should take no more than 49 seconds to answer each question. If you're stuck in a question it is better if you just skip it and come back if you have time to spare at the end.
You'll hear and read a lot about a composite score. Your number of correct answers converts to a score that ranges from 1 to 36 for each of the four tests (or sections) —and your composite score is the average of those.
Keep in mind that you should register for the test 5 weeks before the test day, students have to pay a late fee for registering later. For more information continue reading about how to prepare for the ACT Science Test.
Preparing for the ACT
Preparing for the ACT (or the SAT) takes a lot of time and dedication from students. A simple review of the content on your class notebook the day before the test won't suffice.
Learning to answer multiple-choice questions takes a lot of practice and it's probably something your teachers have been teaching you to do in regular tests. You also have to learn to be quick under pressure or work fast with time constraints.
If you want to prep for the ACT you should know there are many free resources online which will provide guidance. You can go on the ACT official website and find all the information you need about the test.
On the official website, there is a pdf document that contains information, tips for the exam, a full guide, and an ACT form, which is a booklet that has mock tests. In there you will find sample questions for the English, Math, Reading, and Science sections.
Learning to take standardized tests will take you years of practice and months of hard work and long hours of study during your free time. You must find the correct resources that will aid you while you study.
If you feel that studying on your own is not enough, you can always consider private tutoring as an option. Tutors can teach you many things, like how to get higher scores on tests, give you full and accurate information about the content of the test, and more.
Continue reading about this subject in Topics Covered in the ACT Science Test.
ACT Prep Guide
The ACT prep guide is a book that contains every possible detail about the test. In this prep guide, you'll be able to practice for the ACT with real tests that can help you know what to expect on test day.
In the book you'll be able to practice with 5 official ACT tests, you'll familiarize yourself with the test format, and review explanations for all your answers. You can find this prep guide in your school bookstore or perhaps in the library. You can also buy it for around $30, and even cheaper if it's the kindle version or online.
Other resources are the Official ACT Subject Guides, which are prep books perfect for students who want to practice a specific subject to improve their test scores.
There are 4 of these guides, one for each of the areas you'll be testing on. There is one for Math, Reading, Science and English and they each cost between $15 and $20 (depending on the version you get).
If you are looking for study tips check out our article about How to Study and Succeed for the ACT Science Test.
Free ACT Practice Tests
There are many ACT practice tests and review questions available online for free. One simple Google search can provide you with tools that can help you study.
The only problem with these free tools is that in most cases they aren't certified or don't have accurate information. Now, it's not like the questions on these practice tests are wrong, they just won't give you a full picture of what to expect during the actual ACT.
These tests have taken some sample questions that, in many cases, aren't even up to date with the current exam. If you study with resources available for free online you probably won't get high scores on any test.
If you want to get the best possible score, not only will you have to work hard, but you'll need to invest some money to get the best resources, tutoring lessons, or ACT prep courses. If you set aside a budget and use your time wisely, you'll guarantee a great score, which can help your college application stand out.
If you feel like you need extra help you can always consider private tutoring as a study option. Tutoring lessons are designed to help the student with one on one guidance to identify strengths and work on weaknesses. For more information go check our article about ACT Science Test Revision With a Private Tutor.
Now that you learned about the practice tests available, you can choose your tools and start preparing for the ACT. Know that you can always look in your school library for the ACT prep books if you can't afford to buy one.
Keep in mind that free online tools shouldn't be the only resource you use to study, but they can always provide handy tips, so check it out just in case.
Remember that each question in the ACT comes in a multiple-choice form, that you'll have around 49 seconds per question, and that there are four areas you'll be tested on, Science, Math, English, and Reading; plus an optional writing section where you'll be asked to write an essay on a random subject.
Your college application will be exemplary if you take either the SAT or the ACT. It only depends on what you want to study. If you're planning to study biology, physics, math, or chemistry, then you should probably take the ACT. If you're not sure which test to take read about similarities and differences of the standardized tests on our article ACT vs. SAT.