7 Little-Known Secrets For Improving The ACT Score

  • The rumors are true. The ACT is indeed one tough nut to crack. In fact it is probably one of the toughest exams you'll ever have to take.

    But if you do well, the rewards can make your dreams come true. Dreams that include getting accepted at the college of your choice. And possibly getting free merit based scholarship money as well.
    Some colleges will even give scholarships to cover your entire year's worth of tuition. Essentially making one of the most expensive things you'll ever buy in your lifetime free. Just by scoring well on your ACT.

    Needless to say, the rewards are great if you do well. And armed with the info in this report there is a very good chance you can improve your ACT score. And put yourself in a better position to achieve your dream.

    With that said, here are the "7 Little Known Secrets For Improving The ACT Score."

    ACT Secret #1: Trust Your Ear.

    There are a number of question in the English section that may seem harder because they test little studied technical rules of grammar. These questions ask you to correct errors that don't necessarily harm the economy or sense of the sentence. But don't worry. You don't have to be a grammar whiz to get these questions right. Luckily, you can often recognize these errors because they "sound funny." The overwhelming majority of the time on the ACT, it's safe to trust your ear.

    For example, which of the following "sounds better" and which "sounds off"?

    • Larry doesn't know the value of the car he drives.
    • Larry don't know the value of the car he drives.

    The first one sounds better, right? And the second sentence sounds off, right? For many of these types of questions, all you need to do is to "listen" carefully in this way. So even if you don't know all the rules for grammar, punctuation, and diction, but you speak clearly in English every single day. You wouldn't be able to communicate with others unless you had a pretty good feel for the rules.

    ACT Secret #2: "Translate English words into mathematical Expressions"

    Many of the math problems on the ACT exam are word problems. Having the ability to translate word problems from English into mathematical expressions or equations will help you to score high on the test. The following examples translate some commonly used words into their mathematical equivalents:


    Math Expression


    = (equals)


    /100 (percent number over 100)

    Which, what

    x (or any other variable)

    The difference between x and y

    x – y

    X more than y

    x + y

    Y years ago

    - y

    C times as old as Dave

    cX (Dave’s age)

    The percent of decrease

    (amount of increase) X 100
    (original amount)

    By knowing how these words translate into their mathematical questions, you will find word problems in the math section much easier.

    ACT Secret #3 Underlining is your friend.

    There are four major abilities that are tested in the Reading Comprehension section of the ACT:

    Main Idea. Which can entail selecting the main thought of a passage; ability to judge the general importance of a passage; and the ability to select the best title of a passage.

    Detecting Details. Which will test your ability to a get a literal meaning of what is written; or to identify details.

    Inferential Reasoning. Ability to weave together the ideas of a passage and to see their relationships; to draw correct inferences.

    Tone or Mood. Which will test your ability to identify the dominant tone of mood of a passage - sad, mysterious, humorous, serious, etc.

    The key to mastering these four types of questions is to underline each one of these key parts as you read the passage. 

    Because you are working on a clock, it is critical to work efficiently. So rather then having to re-read each passage to find the answer. Your underlining will lead you quickly to the right answer.

    So as you read each passage, underline the main idea, specific details, info that is implied, and the tone or mood of the passage.

    ACT Secret #4 Reading is the key to the Science Section.

    ACT Science requires many of the same skills that ACT Reading does. The only major difference is that the Science section passages almost all relate to numbers or scientific processes or both. And the Science passages usually contain graphs and tables rather than paragraphs.

    Learn to quickly "read" graphs, research summaries, and tables.
    Learn to look for patterns in the numbers that appear.

    Do the numbers get bigger or smaller? What are the highest numbers? Lowest? When and where to the numbers change?
    You only have 35 minutest to complete 7 short passages in the Science section. So each passage should take about 5 minutes.
    It will serve you well to read one passage quickly. Don't worry so much about the details at this point. Just read it fast. Then read the first question. The key with reading the question is to make sure you know exactly what the question is asking. Once you understand the question, refer to the passage again to identify and clarify the correct answer with what the passage is showing.

    If you're keeping track, what I just described is a 3-step system:

    Read the passage quickly.
    Read the question and identify exactly what it is asking for.
    Refer to the passage again to identify and clarify the correct answer.

    ACT Secret #5 Know and learn the directions ahead of time.

    All ACT tests are standardized. So you can know the exact directions for each section ahead of time. By understanding exactly what each section is going to entail you will save yourself from having to read 3-4 lengthy paragraphs of directions in each section.
    This will save you a ton of time. And managing your time well is critical in improving your overall ACT score.

    ACT Secret #6 Focus on improving your weakest subject area.

    You will increase your score the most by spending more time studying and practicing questions in your weakest subject area. This will provide you with the most efficient use of your test-prep time.
    Remember, we are looking for big jumps in your score. And typically, those jumps are going to happen because you improved on your weaker subjects. Not by focusing on your strength subjects, which may only see a 1-2 point increase or no increase at all.

    ACT Secret #7 Beware the obvious answer

    Be careful if an answer comes too easily to you. Especially if the answer is "A." Or if the question is near the end of the section.
    The ACT can be a stressful situation that causes you to rush at times. Which is normal. But what this does sometimes is cause you to rush into getting answers.

    If a problem or question looks too easy, it probably is! Beware. Make sure you think again about all the possible answers. Don't be fooled by the "lure choice," which is often times Choice A. But at the same time, you must realize that Choice A can at times be the correct answer.

    **Bonus Secret:** Don't leave answers blank.

    There is no penalty for guessing on the ACT. So make sure you answer every question even if you end up guessing. This is different from the SAT where you get penalized for wrong answers and it pays to leave questions blank where you're guessing blindly.

    And lastly, I'll leave you with the obvious...

    Practice, Practice, Practice

    There is simply no substitute for putting in the time on practice. All the tips revealed in this report will help. But only to a certain degree. You will see the biggest improvement in scoring by practicing the same type of questions that will be on the actual ACT.