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Preparing for the ACT® can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. As a high school student, you understand the significance of this standardized test in college admissions. But how exactly is the ACT® calculated, and what can you do to improve your scores? In this blog post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of calculating the ACT® practice test and provide valuable tips to help you succeed. Let’s get started!


The ACT® is a crucial step on your journey to college. Understanding the scoring system is essential to gauge your performance accurately. The ACT® is made up of four sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science, along with an optional Writing section. Each section is scored individually, and the scores are then combined to calculate your composite score.

Understanding the Scoring System

To comprehend your ACT® scores, it’s crucial to know how each section is scored. The English, Math, Reading, and Science sections receive a scale score ranging from 1 to 36. The average of these four scores is calculated to determine your composite score, also on a scale of 1 to 36. Each section accounts for 25% of the total score. This scoring system can help to guide your study plan effectively. Time and effort should be distributed evenly across the sections for a balanced overall score.

Strategies to Improve Scores

Improving your ACT® scores requires effective strategies and dedicated practice. Here are some tips to help you maximize your performance in each section:

  • Time Management: Time is of the essence in the ACT®. Practice time management techniques to ensure you complete each section within the allotted time.
  • Effective Test Preparation: Familiarize yourself with the content and format of each section. Utilize official ACT® practice tests and review materials to target your weaknesses and improve your skills.
  • Approaching Each Section: Develop strategies specific to each section. For example, in the English section, focus on grammar rules and punctuation. In the Math section, strengthen your problem-solving skills and learn key formulas.
  • Tutoring Support: Consider enlisting the help of an ACT® tutor who can provide excellent strategies that will prepare you for the big day.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

You can avoid unnecessary errors by being aware of common mistakes. Some common pitfalls include misreading questions, rushing through problems, and neglecting to review your answers. Take your time, read carefully, and review your work to minimize these mistakes.

The Impact of Guessing on the ACT®

Guessing can be a strategic move on the ACT®, but it’s essential to understand the consequences. The ACT® does not penalize for incorrect answers, so it’s advantageous to make educated guesses when unsure. However, random guessing without any knowledge of the question can diminish your chances of selecting the correct answer.

The Benefits of ACT® Practice Tests

It cannot be overstated how beneficial taking ACT® practice tests can be for students. These tests provide invaluable insights into the exam’s format, content, and time constraints, offering a practical, hands-on experience of the actual test. Here’s how practice tests can significantly improve your ACT® performance:

  • Familiarity with Test Format: Practice tests closely mimic the ACT®‘s structure, helping you get used to the types of questions, sections, and the sequence in which they appear.
  • Time Management Skills: By taking timed practice tests, you can better understand how to pace yourself during the real exam. You’ll learn when to move on from a challenging question and when to spend a bit more time.
  • Identify Strengths and Weaknesses: Practice tests help pinpoint areas where you excel and where you might need improvement. This knowledge allows you to focus your studying on areas that need it most.
  • Increase Confidence: Finally, familiarity breeds confidence. The more practice tests you take, the less intimidating the real ACT® will feel, which may lead to a higher test score.


Success on the ACT® requires practice, preparation, and a solid understanding of the scoring system. Continuously review your mistakes, focus on time management, and develop effective strategies for each section. Remember, improvement takes time, so be patient and persistent in your efforts.

As you embark on your ACT® journey, keep these tips in mind and approach each practice test with determination. With dedication and continuous improvement, you will be well-prepared to conquer the ACT® and open doors to your dream college.

Best of luck on your ACT® journey!