4 Steps to ACT Success

Portrait of smiling Mixed Race teenage boyStep 1-Find your Target Score

Before you start preparing for the ACT, you need to figure out the score you need, to achieve, for the college of your choice. For example, if you want to get in to Boston College, then you would simply Google “75th percentile ACT score for Boston College” Then aim for a score which is equal to or higher than the 75th percentile score for this college. If you get above the 75th percentile score for this college, that means you have scored higher, on the ACT, than 75% of the applicants who were accepted in to the college. So, now you know that this has dramatically increased your chances of being accepted.

Step 2-Find your Baseline Score

Now that you have determined your target score from step 1, above, you will need to find your current ACT score. To do this, you need to take an official ACT practice test. Try to abide by the allotted time for each section, and complete the practice test in one sitting.

Section Total Time # of Questions Time per Question
English 45 minutes 75 36 seconds
Math 60 minutes 60 60 seconds
Reading 35 minutes 40 52.5 seconds
Science 35 minutes 40 52.5 seconds

Step 3-Focus On Your Weaknesses

Now that you have figured out your baseline score from step 2, above, you can figure out how many points you need, to increase by, to meet your target score. Go back to the ACT practice test that you just took and look at the areas you need to improve on.

Step 4-Create a Study Plan

Now that you have figured out the questions and sections which are your weakest, you will dedicate the most study time to those. Don’t just use any ACT test prep book. A lot of the ACT prep books have practice tests which resemble real ACT practice tests, but are not actual ACT tests. Use the questions on the official ACT web site.and use only the The Official ACT Prep Guide. Next, find out when the upcoming ACT test dates are and register for a date you think will give you enough time to achieve your target score.

Upcoming Test Dates (National)
April 14, 2018 March 9, 2018 March 10-23, 2018
June 9, 2018 May 4, 2018 May 5-18, 2018
July 14, 2018* June 15, 2018 June 16-22, 2018

Here’s to your success!

John Dolan

Fairfield County Test Prep.



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