5 Simple Tips For Managing Your Time During the ACT


When you look at a breakdown of the ACT, it can feel a bit overwhelming. It seems like there are so many questions, yet so little time. One of the best ways you can do your best on this test (aside from preparing thoroughly) is managing your time during the ACT effectively. If you get frazzled by the ticking clock or run out of time by focusing on the wrong things, you’re not going to have a good time. Here are five crucial tips for managing your time during the ACT to minimize your stress and maximize your score.



Answer the “easy” questions first.

Always. Instead of going in order, skim through the questions and answer all of the questions that are easy for you. This will leave you more time to work on the harder problems next. If you go through each question in order, you may get stumped on harder problems and miss your chance to get those easy points. Rack up the easy points first!


Practice with a timer.

When you’re doing your practice problems, rely on your stopwatch or iPhone timer. Take note of which problems you do quickly, and which one take you the longest. Not only will this help you pinpoint which areas to work on most – so you can improve your time – it’ll also teach you which questions to save for last. Do the problems that you can do quickly first, and save the more time-consuming problems for the end.


Leave yourself a minute (or less) for your guesses.

Don’t leave any of your questions blank! There is no penalty for guessing on the ACT, so don’t skip any questions just because you aren’t sure of the right answer. You might as well take a guess – there’s a 25% chance you’ll get a point. There’s a 0% chance you’ll get a point if you don’t even attempt it.


Know your calculator like the back of your hand.

Don’t borrow a friend’s calculator or treat yourself to a new one the day before a test. Use the same calculator you used when you worked on practice problems, and make sure you know it front to back. You do not want to be wasting precious time during the ACT trying to figure out how to operate your calculator.


… and know the test format like the back of your hand, too.

This is probably a no-brainer, especially if you’ve been prepping for awhile, but it’s so important to know exactly what to expect from the test. This will help you pace yourself, and also help you keep in mind how much you have left during each section.

There are:

75 English questions (45 minutes)

6o Math questions (60 minutes)

40 Reading questions (35 minutes)

40 Science questions (35 minutes)


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.