Best Ways to Prepare for the ACT Exam

Because more and more people are applying and attending college, the application process is tending to get more selective.

High scores on the ACT can get you into a great college. We will look at the best ways to prepare for the ACT exam.

Let’s review what can help you get a great score.

  1. Work on your weakest subjects
  2. Look at and take practice tests
  3. Ask for help if you need to when studying
  4. Tutors or ACT training programs are helpful
  5. Good night sleep before the test
  6. Eat before the test
  7. Don’t kill yourself studying too much
  8. Time yourself when taking the practice tests to get used to a time limit

The ACT can sometimes simply be a cutoff point for colleges to look at when they are dealing with thousands and thousands of applications.

This test is not the only thing that is going to get you in college, however, you can go far with a strong score.

ACT scores can also help you get scholarships from the specific school you choose to attend and from outside donors.

If you are worried about getting a good score or you want to improve, there are many steps that you can’t take before the actual test and during it.

You have the option to take this test multiple times, so take advantage of that and take the steps you need to increase your score.

Where you go to college impacts your life greatly, and a strong ACT score can help you get to your top college.

1. Work on Your Weakest Subject

One of the best ways to prepare for the ACT exam is to study hard on areas in school where you are weak.

A lot of times when it comes to any sort of test, we like to practice what we’re good at.

This is honestly not the best use of your time. What you want to do is work on getting your weakest subject almost equivalent to the subjects that you are doing great at. 

You want all of your scores to be as high as possible.

One low score can take your entire ACT score down a lot if it is a decent amount lower than all the others.

Talk to your teachers and do some online research o best prepare you for your weakest subject.

We also recommend tutoring programs like Magoosh and PrepScholar.

You want to practice as much as possible. The most that you can do in these situations is to give it your all and try your best. As long as you put in all your effort you will get what you deserve.

2. Look at Practice Tests

One of the best ways to prepare for the ACT exam is by taking practice tests.

The ACT website actually offers practice questions. This is useful because it gives you a taste of what the actual ACT is like.

Some are old test questions or based on topics that they think are important which leads to current questions on the test.

High school teachers also might have very useful practice books and practice tests that you can use to best help you prepare.

Make sure that you take advantage of your resources by asking all the questions that you can to your high school teachers.

They had to take the ACT once and they watch students take it every single year, so they are actually pretty educated on the ACT.

Even though they might have taken it several years ago, it is likely that they have continued to help students prepare every year that they have been a teacher.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Because the ACT is so vital to your college career and your future, it is imperative that you understand that it is okay to ask others for help.

Asking for tips and advice doesn’t make you “stupid”, it makes you cognizant of the fact that this test has a large effect on your future.

Whether it is asking other students for feedback on the test, tutors, or teachers, do not feel bad about asking.

Everyone more than likely wants you to succeed and using your resources is the best thing that you can do.

Your teachers want you to do the best that you can, don’t forget that. If your friends are older and have already taken the test, get all of the information out of them that you can.

Utilizing your resources is one of the best ways to prepare for the ACT.

4. Tutors are Always an Option

If you are very concerned about your actual ACT score, don’t forget that people actually get paid to help students obtain their optimal ACT scores. If you have the money, it is definitely worth the extra practice, tips, and techniques.

Many people seem to raise their scores tremendously after the help of tutors. Tutors can be found online, through high schools, and through the ACT website.

More than likely you will have the most luck asking people within your school and town because those will be the closest tutors to your home.

Basically, just understand that getting a tutor does not mean that you are not smart. It does not mean that you are not going to receive a good score.

It simply means you are working hard towards an excellent score in the end. Tutoring is one of the best ways to prepare for the ACT exam.

5. Get a Good Night of Sleep

This may sound very dumb and minuscule, however, getting a good night of sleep before the test has been scientifically proven to lead to higher scores.

The tests are usually taken very early in the morning, and cramming the night before isn’t going to help at all.

Get your full eight hours of sleep ( or more) and don’t cram. You should be preparing for a decent amount of time before the test anyway, so you shouldn’t need to cram the night before.

Sleep is very important and if you are tired, you are not going to perform as well as you would fully awake with a good night of sleep.

Prepare enough that you aren’t stressed out the night before and you will be fine. Sleep is so much more important than you think.

6. Eat Breakfast

Along with sleeping, eating breakfast is also important to prepare for a successful ACT exam.

Even if you do not usually eat breakfast in the morning, it is a very smart idea to eat it on the day of the test.

The test is very long and the last thing that you need is to be focused on how hungry you are during the test. Make sure that your stomach isn’t growling during the very long quiet test.

You need your full focus to be on this test, so the least you can do is eat some eggs in the morning.

Eating a healthy breakfast and getting a good night’s sleep two of the best ways to prepare for the ACT exam.

7. Don’t Study too Much

It is also important to understand that there is a thing as studying too much. If you study nonstop for weeks, you are simply just going to fry your brain.

You won’t be capable of sitting and focusing long enough for the actual test.

The worst thing you can do is wait until the week before and start cramming every day until the test. You especially do not want to stay up all night right before the actual test.

Study for a month ahead, in moderation, and you will feel way more confident.

Confidence is key.

Going into a test with confidence already gives you a good start and usually leads to success

The ACT is similar to all other tests where your mental state does really make a difference in the actual score and outcome.

8. Pay Attention to the Time Limits

When you are actually taking the test, it is important not to get stuck on the questions you don’t know the answers to. You are on a time limit for each section so do not procrastinate.

Make sure you look it up ahead of time or listen carefully on the day of the test. You want to understand the different time limits for each section of the ACT.

One of the biggest problems for students taking the ACT is that they feel they don’t have enough time to actually finish each section successfully and confidently in the time allotted.


Overall some of the best ways to prepare for the ACT exam. There are many different steps that you can take to best prepare yourself for the ACT.

The process is different for everyone and it is important to do what will get the best outcome for you specifically.

Don’t freak out or stress over it too much because it will just ruin your last years of high school (which are supposed to be fun).

If you put the work in, everything will work itself out and you will end up at the college where you belong with the scholarships you deserve.

If you would like to read more on ways getting a good ACT can benefit you, click here.

For online courses and testing for ACT, we recommend PrepScholar test prep.

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