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4 months ago
Juniors
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ACT
ACT-prep

ACT tips

I'm taking the ACT on July 17th. When I take practice tests untimed, I get an average composite score of 33-34. But when I take it timed, I get like a 25-26. What can I do to improve my score by my test date?

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4 months ago

You're going to need to start doing timed drills in order to get used to the pacing of the test. I would start with short practice sections, something like 10-15 questions at a time, and pace yourself through those. Once you're able to consistently finish the sections and score well on them you can move up to longer sections. Eventually doing entire sections for a single subject, then entire sections for multiple subjects, then a full test. I'd also highly recommend practicing with a watch. You're allowed to bring those in test day and they can be very helpful in terms of pacing.

Other tips are to begin logging the questions you get wrong in a journal. You can begin to learn what concepts are giving you more difficulty and can focus on that to make the most use of your time. Figure out ways to save time when you're taking the test OR come up with a plan for if you fall behind your pacing on test day. An example might be to focus on questions which have line references in them for the reading section - you can usually answer those without needing much context (but you should always read 2-3 lines before and after the referenced lines).

The biggest thing will be for you to become comfortable with the pacing of the test. The ACT is fast. You shouldn't be doing any untimed drills from this point forward. At minimum I would try to do at least a small practice section a day but you might want to consider doing more since the test is only a month away.

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