ACT Testing Tip 2


Take two passes on the ACT Math test

To maximize your time and confidence, use the tried-and-true strategy of taking two passes over the ACT, particularly when working the math section. Here’s what to do for each of the passes:

  • Pass 1: Start with Question 1 and work your way forward, answering questions that look relatively quick and easy and jumping over those that look difficult or time-consuming.

  • Pass 2: After you’ve answered all the quick and easy questions, circle back to the first question you skipped over and work your way forward to the end again.

This test-taking strategy maximizes the number of questions you can answer with confidence. It also helps you save time for the tough questions, which usually take more than 1 minute to solve. And don’t forget that you get an average of 1 minute per question!

Every ACT math section includes a few questions that are practically begging for you to skip over them. For example, you may consider passing over questions that

  • Are very long and wordy.

  • Seem purposely confusing and don’t make a lot of sense even the second time you read them.

  • Have large or complicated numbers that involve long or difficult calculations.

Of course, not every problem with the preceding characteristics is as difficult as it looks. But as you run across problems like these, feel free to jump over them — even on Pass 2. If you have time at the end of the test, you can always try to pick off a few of these questions.

But if you’re going to skip questions, you may as well skip these hairy beasts. However, do try to fill in an answer for every question in the end. (See the upcoming section for details on how best to guess on the ACT.)