ACT Cheats And Hints
Giving out answers, sharing test questions, or otherwise gaining an unfair advantage on the ACT is a surefire way to derail your future and experience heavy consequences.
But what if I told you that there were ways to “cheat” on the ACT without getting into any trouble?
That’s right. There are strategies and hints that you can learn before you take the ACT which will be like “cheat codes,” helping you approach the ACT in a more effective way without breaking any rules or violating any ethics.
Here are a few ACT cheats and hints you can use for optimal performance on the ACT:
Memorize key formulas
Although you will have your test score canceled and be removed from the testing center if you bring a slip of paper or any other notes about the math formulas you’ll encounter on the ACT, there is a way for you to “sneak” in all of the key formulas that you will need during the test.
There are a few formulas that you are going to want to know when you take the test. If you spend study time memorizing these formulas, you will be able to access them at any time during the ACT.
Here are a few of the formulas that you need to know:
- Probability formulas
- Arithmetic mean formula
- Slope and slope-intercept formulas
- Distance formula
- Quadratic equation
- Pythagorean Theorem
- Geometric shape area and circumference formulas
- Trigonometry formulas for sine, cosine, and tangent
Take the time to study and learn these formulas and you’ll be able to use them on the test without cheating.
Stick to one letter when blind-guessing
While a 13 on the ACT is not exactly a desirable score, it is statistically the minimum score you will receive if you guess the same letter option, like “C/H,” on every single question on the test.
Although you want to study and prepare so that you aren’t needing to blindly guess on each ACT test question, chances are you will encounter a couple of questions where you aren’t able to make an educated guess or eliminate any answer options.
When this is the case, you will be at a greater advantage if you always guess the same answer every time rather than switching between different letter options. While other test takers might not get any of their blind guesses correctly because they are choosing different letters each time, this “cheat code” of sorts will guarantee that you get roughly 25% of your blind guesses correct.
Answer questions out of order
Answer the questions that will be easiest for you first so that you aren’t forced to guess on them if you start running low on time.
While many students go through the test questions in order, wasting valuable time on tough questions that they don’t know how to solve and end up guessing on anyway, you can breeze through easy ones first and make the most of your time.
Review your mistakes
What if I told you that there was a way to make sure that you knew how to answer each and every type of question you’ll see on the ACT?
It’s possible if you review your mistakes when you take practice tests and answer practice questions.
As a rule of thumb, if you answer at least 1000 questions and review the answers to each of them in preparation for test day, you will know how to tackle just about any question you see on the test.
The key for this cheat to work, though, is that you must review your mistakes. If you simply take 1000 questions and ignore the ones you miss, you aren’t learning anything about how to avoid getting that question wrong in the future.
For each and every question that you miss, guess on, or don’t understand how to answer, you need to figure out exactly why the correct answer is the only possible option and the steps you’ll need to take to get the correct answer on that type of question in the future.
Doing this will make sure you know what to expect when you take the ACT and that you know the best way to approach each question on the test.
Learn strategies for each section of the test
There are different cheats and hints that you can use on each section of the test that will help you earn a good score.
Here are a couple of strategies that you should consider using:
- Always choose the most concise answer. Just because an answer seems okay doesn’t mean that it can’t be improved.
- Don’t rush to select NO CHANGE. Make sure you check all of the answer options first to see if there is a sharper, more concise way to answer.
- Remember key grammar rules. Sometimes answer options will sound right because they are colloquial. However, just because something sounds right doesn’t mean that it is actually correct. Focus on grammar rules and not just want sounds good to your ear.
- Don’t ignore diagrams. The diagrams are included for a reason. Look at the diagram when considering answer options to help you eliminate incorrect options.
- Try your answers. If you cannot successfully plug in the answer from one of the answer options, then you know that option is incorrect.
- Start with easy questions first. There are some math questions that are going to prove difficult and time-consuming. Push these questions to the end and start with the questions that you can answer quickly.
- Practice different reading strategies. Some people read each passage fully. Others skim the passage. Some jump straight to the questions and never read the passages at all. Figure out which of these strategies works best for you to see if you can save time on this section.
- Read the passages out of order. You will see four types of passages on the ACT Reading section: Prose fiction/literary narrative, social science, humanities, and natural science. Start with whichever category is your strong suit first.
- Find evidence for your answers. If the answer option you want to select isn’t supported by the text, select a different answer option.
- Use the diagrams and visuals provided. Remember, these visual aids are there to help you!
- Learn the three types of passages. There are three different types of passages you’ll see in this section: Data Representation, Research Summaries, and Conflicting Viewpoints.
- Don’t start with the Conflicting Viewpoints portion. This section is typically time-consuming because it involves more reading than other portions of the ACT Science section.
- Memorize the prompt. Each of the ACT Essay prompts requires test takers to make the same writing moves. Memorize the prompt and complete practice essays so that you’re ready on test day.
- Write more than one page. While, ultimately, quality is better than quantity, you won’t get a great score on the essay if your essay is only a page or less.
- Write a strong introduction and conclusion. Your essay grader will spend the most time looking at your introduction and conclusion because these set up the structure of your essay and iterate your main points. Start and finish strong!