The Secret to Actually Improving Your ACT Score


You’ve all heard the saying “practice makes perfect.” It’s simple, quick advice that was guaranteed to be on a poster in at least one of your elementary or middle-school classrooms. And even though it’s simple, the advice happens to be right: if you want to be great, you have to practice.

This applies to almost every aspect of life, but the one slight tweak we need to make when it comes to the ACT is that if you want to be great, you have to practice intelligently. High school is incredibly time-consuming, so you have to manage your time well, especially when it comes to something like the ACT. Don’t waste your time practicing skills or materials that aren’t going to directly improve your score; instead, follow these 3 simple steps:

  1. Practice real tests. If you want to improve quickly, you need to practice the real thing. You can find dozens of past tests online, so use those as your study guides and make sure you follow the time constraints.

  2. Go over all your wrong answers. Practice won’t help if you’re going to keep making the same mistakes, so make sure you completely understand your wrong answers. There’s a great chance you’ll see a similar question in a future test, so if you know where you went wrong, you’ll be able to avoid making that same mistake when it really counts.

  3. Repeat

That’s it. The process itself is simple, which makes the ACT a very learnable test. You don’t need to overthink it and try to memorize a bunch of vocab words or math formulas; just put in the time to do real practice tests, go over your mistakes (this is where a tutor often comes in handy), and keep repeating that process until your score and confidence are where you want them to be.  Good luck!