Three Tips for Preparing for the ACT

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The spring semester of junior year is arguably the most important semester of your high school career. Everything you do this semester will directly impact your college applications this fall. This means working hard in your classes, getting involved in more extracurriculars, and preparing for the ACT and SAT!

There are plenty of great tips for the SAT (and we shared a few here), so let’s dive into some tips for preparing for the ACT:

Study, study, study!

It’s no secret that the best way to prepare for any kind of test is to study, but it’s even more important for a test that helps determine college admission. While no one can study for you, that doesn’t mean you’ll be alone on your journey!

At ASU Prep Digital, students have an abundance of support that extends beyond the virtual classroom. Learning Success Coaches work with students to ensure they’re on track to reach their goals whether they’re academic or personal, and this includes college admission! Your LSC can help you create a study plan that works with your schedule so you feel ready for test day. And if you’re looking for a study buddy, ask your teachers about forming a study group with other classmates!

Familiarize yourself with the test.

The ACT is different from the SAT, so knowing the structure of the test will help you prepare and avoid being surprised on test day.

The ACT is comprised of four sections (not including the optional writing portion): English, math, reading, and science. The test is 2 hours and 55 minutes, or 3 hours and 35 minutes with the writing section. And because the ACT has a unique style of formatting questions, the best way to familiarize yourself is to take plenty of practice tests. You can find free, full-length ACT practice tests here.

Identify your weaknesses.

It’s hard to know what you need to work on if you don’t know what your weakest areas are. Luckily, there’s a way to figure this out: practice tests, practice tests, practice tests!

Find a quiet environment and set yourself up to take the practice exam the same way you would take it on test day. This means printing it out (if possible), having number 2 pencils and an approved calculator, and setting a timer to keep track of time. Once you’re done, use scoring guidelines to add up your score. This will show you which areas you scored highest and lowest in, giving you a great starting place for studying.


Ready to sign up for the ACT this semester? Here are the test dates and registration deadlines through this summer:

  • April 4
    • Registration ends February 28
  • June 13
    • Registration ends May 8
  • July 18
    • Registration ends June 19

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