Categories: , ,

The ACT is coming... Here's how to prepare

All 11th graders in Metro Schools will take the ACT on April 2. You hear that, juniors?

The ACT is on April 2, so get ready and get to school! I know it’s just two days after spring break, but be there, be ready and do your best.

Let’s talk about getting ready. I have no doubt you’ve had help and prep at school. But imagine it’s test day. What are the rules? Can you bring a calculator? What kind? What should you do if you don’t know the answer? Is it okay to guess?

Here are some tips from

  • Carefully read the instructions on the cover of the test booklet.
  • Read the directions for each test carefully.
  • Read each question carefully.
  • Pace yourself—don't spend too much time on a single passage or question.
  • Pay attention to the announcement of five minutes remaining on each test.
  • Use a soft lead No. 2 pencil with a good eraser. Do not use a mechanical pencil or ink pen; if you do, your answer document cannot be scored accurately.
  • Answer the easy questions first, then go back and answer the more difficult ones if you have time remaining on that test.
  • On difficult questions, eliminate as many incorrect answers as you can, then make an educated guess among those remaining.
  • Answer every question. Your scores on the multiple-choice tests are based on the number of questions you answer correctly. There is no penalty for guessing.
  • If you complete a test before time is called, recheck your work on that test.
  • Mark your answers properly. Erase any mark completely and cleanly without smudging.
  • Do not mark or alter any ovals on a test or continue writing the essay after time has been called. If you do, you will be dismissed and your answer document will not be scored.
  • If you are taking the ACT Plus Writing, see these Writing Test tips.

You can take practice tests online for free through the Tennessee Electronic Library. We also have more testing tips and information on

If you have questions about the ACT at your school, ask your school counselor or email them here.

If you haven’t already, go ahead and mark your calendars for April 2. It’s important!