The ACT is one of the most strenuous tests that high schoolers have to face. Counselor Mr. Murphy and several students advise on how to prepare.

By: Erin Balint, Reporter

The ACT is a long evaluation test that all juniors and seniors must take. It is necessary to be accepted into college, and it seems the stress it can bring is a requirement as well. But, with the help of a few of these good tips and tricks, you can turn this scary test into a breeze.


The Junior students eating their way to a good ACT score. The recommended breakfast should include: fruit, fiber and protein. Photo by: Faith Wright, from Eat your way to a higher SAT or ACT score

The one test that everyone dreads is the ACT. It’s long, it’s hard, and it’s stressful. Starting junior year, and even sophomore for some students, the biggest test on everyone’s mind is the ACT.

The test itself is broken up into four subcategories (English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science).

“Take as much prep as you can because I had no idea what I was doing,”  said Junior Grace Gengler.

School Counselor and English teacher Richard Murphy offers some helpful tips:

  1. Take practice test questions ahead of time. It’s important to not go into the test blind. There are a number of free sites you can go to get free practice test questions.

Mr. Murphy, Vanna White-ing, his ideal ACT score for students. By taking Murph’s ACT Prep class, you will better your chances at reaching this score. Photo by: Faith Wright

“It’s important that students are familiar with how the questions will be phrased, to get into the mind set for each sub test,” said Murphy.

2.) One of the biggest tips for the reading section, which can seem like an absolute nightmare to those who find it more time consuming to read a passage, is to make the time work for you.

“My first piece of advice is don’t worry about finishing it. If you worry about that, you’re misplacing you energy because you can’t control time, but you can control how you manage time,” Murphy advises.

3.) Go with your gut feeling.

“Don’t change your mind on a question. 90% of the time you change it from the right answer to the wrong answer,” Murphy says.

4.) Complete the questions you consider easiest first, then work your way back to the more difficult ones.

“Answer the questions that you can answer confidently first, and then go back. You don’t have to answer everything in sequential order,” said Murphy.

Some other good rules to follow are to always get a good night’s sleep before the test and to fuel up your brain with a healthy and fulfilling breakfast.

“Definitely make sure you get a full night’s sleep the night before you take the ACT so you’re not drowsy for the test,” said Senior Kaitlyn Pittala.

With these tips and tricks under your belt, acing the ACT will be as easy as 1,2,3!

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