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Navigating Around Things That Can Take You Off Course


There are sharks in the water, stormy winds, and currents that may try to take you off course as you prepare for and take the ACT.

Getting Bogged Down on Difficult Questions –


Keep in mind that “no change” is the correct answer only about 25-30% of the time. Always double check all the other answers before choosing this option.

2. Identify the Degree of Difficulty for each question. You will need to categorize the questions as you work through each page according to your own difficulty scale.  Only you can decide what is easy or difficult for you.  It varies by person.

e. If the question is easy to you – answer it NOW

f. If the question may take a little longer to work, but you know you can do it, make a note on your test booklet and move on until you find all the easy questions on that page. Although it is tempting to stop and work through these questions, answer them LATER!

g. If the question is a “never gonna happen” or you know this is one of your greatest weaknesses, don’t waste your time on it. Use your Lucky Letter and move on. Your time is better spent answering the medium difficulty questions that you know you can solve with a little time and effort.

h. Identifying the degree of difficulty and pacing yourself work hand in hand. That is why it is so important to take practice tests as part of your preparation.

i. Use the Process of Elimination to Weed Out Bogus Answer Choices One of the greatest things about multiple choice questions is that the correct answer is given right there on the page in front of you. Of course, there are several wrong answers masquerading as the correct answer as well. Remember, there are 3 or 4 times as many wrong answers on the test as there are right answers.

Watch out for answers with the right words (terms and ideas used in the problem or passage), but when you look at the answers in context with the problem or passage, they do not actually mean the same thing the problem or passage is addressing, so it isn’t an exact match.

Sometimes, the ACT gives the right answer to the wrong question. This is tricky! Yes, the answer is correct, but it doesn’t answer the specific question that was asked. If it doesn’t answer the specific question that was asked, then it is wrong.

Find the throw away answers. I call these “the bunny did it!” answers. These are crazy answers that may be related to the topic of a passage, but the information doesn’t actually appear anywhere in the passage. It’s a throw away and it doesn’t get to stay.

If you have to guess from the remaining answers after you have eliminated some of the choices, go for it! At least you raised your chances of getting it right by eliminating wrong answers.

j. Pay attention to differences in answer choices.

Questions often involve more than 1 aspect of writing.

Look over each answer very carefully to see how the are different from the others.

Be VERY careful not to choose an answer that corrects 1 error, but causes a different error.