How to Manage Your Time on the ACT/SAT

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One of the most crucial things to manage when taking standardized tests is your time. It can make all the difference, letting you feel comfortable and in control than rather than rushed.

Practice Makes Better

Timing yourself on practice exams will help you understand how to work most efficiently. You want to be able to have a little extra time if possible. When you practice, try giving yourself less time than the actual test. If you can still answer everything to the best of your ability in a constrained time frame, you’ll feel more relaxed on the actual test.

Know Your Test Sections

How many questions are in the Math section? Reading? How much time do you have to write your essay? These are things to keep in mind as you take your test. This way, you know how much time you can spend on each question.

Be Careful if You Skip Questions

Sometimes skipping ahead is necessary. You don’t want to stay stuck on a single question; you don’t have the time. If you do skip a questions, make sure you bubble the next question correctly. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end and realizing that you have to redo your answer sheet because you skip the line you needed to.

Stick to Your Reading Method

Some people say that you should read the questions first, and then the articles. Other people advocate for the opposite. Only you know which one works better (and faster) for you. The same goes with how you fill in bubbles. If you like to go through the booklet circling answers and filling in bubbles after, stick with it. If you fill in as you go, do that. There is no one-method-fits-all.

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Ellen Andersen

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