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A close up of pencils lying on a table.

Most teens will have to take tests that will be stressful for them.  Think about The ACT – it is a test, accepted by all four-year colleges in the United States and it is a multiple choice test on what your child is learning. Naturally, parents, teachers, and students are eager to know how long they have to wait before the score are available. After each national or international examination, they are available within two weeks.

12 Tips for Success

Your child may be preparing the ACT in the best possible way by using a good act prep guide and diligently doing all the required work. However, it’s not always about what a child knows that can determine results. Sometimes it can be in how the test is approached. Naturally, a good attitude is essential for success, but even that is not enough if some practical steps are not taken to ensure the best results.

Here, then, are some tips for acing a college-entrance test (ex: ACT):

1. Make sure the instructions on the test booklet cover is read and understood.

2. The directions for each test should be read carefully.

3. The questions for each test should also be read carefully.

4. It’s important to pay careful attention to pace. Taking too long on a single question or dwelling a little too much on the meaning of a single passage could cause time problems.

5. It’s important to pay heed to the five minute warning before the end of each test.

6. A soft lead pencil should be used. A number 2 pencil is recommended, and it should have a good eraser. Avoid using an ink pen or a mechanical pencil as this might make the scoring inaccurate.

7. The best strategy to answer as many questions as possible is to scan for the easiest questions and answer these first. This then leaves more time to try to crack the more difficult questions.

8. If stumped by a difficult question, it’s better to make an educated guess then to simply not choose an answer. One way to do this is to eliminate all answers that seem incorrect. Some will be obvious to pick out. This increases the chances of finding the right answer.

9. Guessing is not penalized. Consequently, on the multiple choice tests, the more questions that are answered correctly, the higher the score.

10. If the test is completed ahead of time, the extra time should be used for rechecking the work. Sometimes, it is possible to have made a careless mistake and picked the wrong answers. Sometimes, a question is seen in a new way, leading to a different answer.

11. Answers should be marked properly. If a mistake has been made, the marks should be erased completely. Erase with a clean eraser to avoid smudging.

12. Avoid the temptation to hastily mark an answer, make an alteration or continuing to write the essay after the time to stop has been announced. Test takers are extremely strict and this type of behavior is considered cheating. As a result, document will be dismissed and not scored.


These 12 steps are easy to follow. Your child may have studied well, but a mistake in following these 12 steps can ruin their results. A little attention to details can go a long way in ensuring success.


Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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