How to Study for the ACT Test

Study Plan for ACT Prep

The ACT evaluates the knowledge that candidates have acquired during their high-school years. It also helps college admission authorities assess whether or not a particular student is ready to start college or require remedial classes. The test contains the following five sections:

  • English: This section includes 75 questions for evaluating the standard English writing and rhetorical skills of a test taker which have to be answered within 45 minutes.

  • Mathematics: In this section, the students have to answer 60 questions within 60 minutes. The questions in this section are related to mathematical skills that the test takers have acquired through the courses that they have studied up till the beginning of grade 12.

  • Reading: This section includes 40 questions related to reading passages. The duration for this section is 35 minutes.

  • Science: The questions in this section measure the reasoning skills of the test takers and their ability to assess and interpret the problems in natural sciences and the questions must be completed within 35 minutes.

  • Writing Test (Optional): In this section, the test takers have to respond to one write-up within 30 minutes. This section is optional and it should be considered by the test takers according to the requirements of the colleges in which they intend to apply for admission.

The first four sections contain multiple-choice questions for the test takers and the Optional Writing Test contains a write-up for the test takers.

Study-Plan for ACT

The multiple-choice questions of the test are based on different subjects and the test takers should follow a specific study-plan and know how to prepare in order to score well in these tests. The following study-plan will help the students to realize how to prepare and will help them with effective preparation strategies:

  • Besides acquiring knowledge on how to study, the test takers should try to select a convenient test date that will allow them to cater to the guidelines of the colleges in which they intend to apply. Choosing an appropriate test date allows the test takers to have ample time for preparation.

  • Ideally, the test should be taken in the junior year that will enable the test takers to have enough opportunities to take this test again and have sufficient time to study.

  • ACT is a time bound examination. This is one of the most important aspects of an effective study-plan. Taking practice tests under real test day conditions will help the test takers to understand how to study and enhance their scores.

  • It is necessary to decide on the time that the test takers should devote while studying for the test. The test takers should adhere to a weekly or daily duration of study in order to succeed in the test.

  • The registration formalities should be completed within specific dates and deadlines. This will also allow the students to understand how much time will remain for them for preparation. There is no substitute for an effective preparation and the test takers should focus on the most practical methods of preparation for achieving good scores.

  • The test takers should focus on individual sections of the test while preparing. The students will certainly find it difficult to tackle the varied range of subjects in the test without sufficient preparation.

  • The test takers should be careful while choosing the courses as each individual has a different requirement when it comes to preparation. While the classroom preparation courses are suitable for some students, others may find the private tutoring options more reliable.

  • A study plan should address the requirements of the test takers in a disciplined manner. Without a well-oriented study-plan, the test takers will not feel confident about taking the test on the final day.


The scores determine the college readiness of the students and measure the abilities and skills that they have learned in high school. These scores are also one of the deciding factors for securing admission in colleges and therefore, the students should follow a definite study plan to score well in this examination. The test takers should not only understand how to prepare, but also implement a proper study plan to fulfill their academic goals.