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Give Up (Strategically)! - ACT Prep Strategy

 

ACT Prep Strategy:

I'm pretty sure you haven't heard fhis academic strategy before:

Give up!

Okay, there's a catch. Give up, strategically.

That's actually one of the tips that I've had for my ACT prep students for years, and I've had dozens of students come back to me and tell me that it really works!

Let me explain...

For most students, your target score on the ACT is not a 36, so your version of an "A" does not require tackling all of the questions! Instead, it's best to be strategic and selectively "give up" on certain questions/passages, so that you can bank the time to focus instead on the areas where you are stronger or just give you time to just slow down and have a better chance of getting things right.

This is especially true on the ACT math, which typically is increasing in difficulty as you go through the test. Of the 60 questions, questions around 41-50 are typically more difficult than the first 40 questions, and the last ten questions have some of the hardest questions on the test.

There are some exceptions, but it's a dependable enough trend to where I recommend that any student trying to get a math score in the low to mid 20s to just tackle the first 40 questions (strategically "give up" on the last 20). That gives you 50% more time on each of those questions, which you have a better chance at! Don't leave the last 20 blank, but instead pick a letter combination (such as B/G), and put that random answer down for all of the remaining questions.

If your target math score is in the mid-to-upper 20s you might try "giving up" on the last 10 questions.

Obviously, if you are trying to get in the 30s you will need to attempt all questions.

This strategy also holds true for other sections of the test (though you don't have the advantage of increasing difficulty like you do on math). Find the sweet spot as to how many questions to attempt to get the best score for you (you can only determine that through intentional practice).

Want more tips and guidance for the ACT? Grab our FREE 10-page ACT Prep Guide, and check out our online course here.

 

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