At Prep Expert, we believe that sufficient test prep cancels out virtually all surprises when taking the ACT. However, we realize that nerves and odd questions can throw anyone off. That’s why, if you have to guess on the ACT, at least put the odds in your favor.
Here are our tips on how to guess on the ACT if you have to on test day.
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Find The Wrong Answers First
Here’s one advantage that the ACT provides you – the right answer IS in front of you.
The key here is to work first on eliminating the wrong answers first. First, carefully read the question and then check out your available options. It’s not that difficult to do. Once you review your answer options and digest the provided information, use logic and your knowledge about the subject matter to cross out the wrong choices. Even if you only eliminate one or two choices, you can now easily focus on what’s left and see which one is better to choose.
Prioritize Answering Order
Working too much on the hard questions can easily let you rush through the easiest ones, running a good chance of doing poorly on both.
Instead, quickly prioritize the questions in order of difficulty. If it’s a question that looks alright and you understand how to answer it immediately, then do it first. If a question looks like it’ll take a while to answer but you understand the process of getting there, then circle it and come back later.
If a question contains your least understood topic/skill and you’re stumped on how to approach, then save it until last. Use your time to ace the easy and moderate questions first to better guarantee those points. Afterward, come back to the hardest ones and take a crack at them.
Fill In Every Bubble
There isn’t any reason to leave an ACT question blank.
The only thing you will guarantee by doing so is eliminating any chance of getting a point. Don’t cheat yourself by skipping questions and then never coming back to them. As you finish a section, make sure to quickly go back and scan your answer sheet to make sure that you’ve filled in every single bubble.
Even if you have no idea of how to find the right answer, you still have a 25% chance of answering it correctly. Factoring in the law of averages, that fact alone means that some of those guesses will be correct and help raise your composite score. Don’t miss out on losing composite score points because you left blank bubbles.
Pick A Guessing Letter
In the worst case scenario, pick a consistent letter choice when guessing and use it.
This advice applies if literally, everything else fails. Do not count on it as a first course of action. However, if you pick a consistent letter choice and plug it into questions you absolutely can’t crack, there are a couple theoretical benefits.
First, you will save yourself time by plugging in an answer automatically than trying to completely randomize each guess. Second, you give yourself a better shot of using the law of averages effectively by keeping things random. You preserve the chance of getting at least a quarter of those questions correctly, which will help garner you more points than ignoring them altogether.
The best way to guess on the ACT honestly is…don’t guess at all!
What you should focus on instead is drilling the various test sections and question types so you won’t be stymied by anything that comes your way. At Prep Expert, that’s exactly what we do with the students we work with every year.
Our instructors will both teach you the information and strategies you’ll need to memorize, and give you a chance to practice them through weekly practice tests and homework assignments. Each week, you can check your progress and see which sections give you the most trouble.
By the time you finish our course, you will have a strong idea of what to expect and how to tackle it accordingly. We work with materials derived from previously administered ACT tests; so what we give you is what the real thing will look like on test day.
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