One of the standardized tests used by colleges and universities for admissions purposes is the ACT. It comes with challenges, just like managing time efficiently.
Each section of the ACT has its time limit, and understanding how to flow with this can be the key to achieving a high score.
From here on, we will look at seven actionable time management strategies for the ACT.
7 Tips for Managing Your Time in the ACT
Tip #1: Practice with Real Timers
It might take you a few practice sessions to realize that checking the clock after every few questions can disturb your flow. Instead, practice working with real-timers.
It will feel different – more real. We suggest using the Testing Timers watch, which can help you get used to the exact test conditions.
Tip #2: Know the Number of Questions per Section
An essential step to mastering time management is understanding how many questions are in each section. Knowing this lets you calculate the average time you can allocate to each question.
For instance, the English section comprises 75 questions in 45 minutes. You can have about an average of 36 seconds to answer a question.
Being aware of these specifics assists in pacing. It makes sure you don't stay too long on any single question.
Tip #3: Skip and Return
It's a common scenario: a question leaves you hanging, and precious minutes tick away. In such situations, skip that question and move on. But after a while, be intentional to return to it later.
This approach makes sure you answer as many questions as possible. You won’t be missing out on easier ones later in the section.
Remember, every unanswered question is a potentially lost point.
Tip #4: Prioritize Passages
For sections like Reading and Science, where you need to understand the passages thoroughly, you need a few strategies:
- Scan and select passages that appear more familiar or straightforward.
- Deal with these easy passages first, then move on to the next.
Tip #5: Use Shortcuts and Trusted Strategies
As with any standardized test, there are patterns and shortcuts you need to note to save time.
Familiarize yourself with common question types, especially in the Math and English sections.
For example, specific math problems might be quickly solvable with estimation. Also, some English questions can be addressed by knowing some essential grammar rules.
Tip #6: Allocate Time for Review
While it's necessary to work efficiently, allocating the last few minutes of each section for a quick review is equally essential.
This time can be used to:
- Revisit skipped questions
- Double-check your answers
- Fill in the blanks
A good practice is to mark questions you're uncertain about as you go. This allows for a smoother review process.
Tip #7: Build Stamina with Full-Length Practice Tests
Performing the ACT marathon requires endurance. Regularly take full-length practice tests to build a strong body as if you are in the real one.
As it improves your time management skills, it will also make you stronger and more resilient. It will remind you that a real test feels like another practice session.
In A Nutshell
Time management is a vital skill for the ACT. Combining it with your knowledge and strategy can lead you to pass the test.
By understanding all these tips, you can enhance your ability to manage time to achieve your desired scores.
Remember, practicing leaves you with no regrets. The more you familiarize yourself with the test’s timing, the more prepared you will be.