ACT Testing Tips From Arrowhead’s Seniors


Lucy Duchac and Autumn Treml

With the ACT test coming up for AHS juniors, stress may be building. To ease the mind of those who may be nervous about the questions, some seniors who have taken the ACT before, are sharing tips on how to study and be prepared. 


The Mandatory ACT will take place on Tuesday, March 8th. Students must be in their assigned testing rooms by 7:25 am, and the test begins at exactly 7:30 am. The test should conclude by about 12:45 pm. 


The paper administered Make-Up test for the ACT this year will be held on March 22. Online accommodations will be held March 8-10 as well as March 15-17. The Make-Up testing for the online administered test will take place during March 22-24 and March 29-31.


The first tip comes from senior Miale Griepentrog. She says, “Do a few practice reading tests to make sure you’re familiar with the pacing! Also, ‘NO CHANGE’ is a completely valid answer and is more commonly correct than you’d think—don’t be afraid to choose it on the test!”


Sidney Heberlein, a senior at Arrowhead, says that students should “use the ACT practice site to take practice tests on subjects [they] struggle with.” Here is the ACT’s free practice test on 


David Zhou, a senior who received a 36 on his ACT says that “Khan Academy’s SAT prep resources can be helpful. Despite being designed for the SAT exam, the topics and exam formats are similar, especially for the reading/English portions. Practice tests, which can be found online or through study books (e.g. Kaplan, PR, etc.) are useful to assess your current skill level, as well as highlight specific areas that could use the most improvement.” 


According to prep scholar, only 0.313% of all ACT test-takers receive a 36, which is a perfect score. Here is Khan Academy’s SAT preparation. (If you don’t have an account, use your school email as a login.) 


Presley Hansen—another one of Arrowhead’s seniors—says students should “use an ACT study book,” and that there are “some in the library.”


Arrowhead senior, Hannah Cabush, says that students should “honestly just get a good sleep the night before. Nothing will hurt your score more than falling asleep during the test.”


The ACT total time comes out to about 2 hours and 55 min. With the 75 question English section taking 45 min, the 60 question Math section taking 60 min, the 40 question reading section taking 35 min, and the Essay taking 1 hour and 40 min. 


Gabrielle Urban, an Arrowhead senior says, “Study what you think you need to focus on—I knew I needed to study for English over reading so I did more English practice.” 


Along with this Priyanka Balla, grade 12, says, “When studying make sure to prepare yourself and practice for the pace of the test, especially during the reading and science sections.”


Finally, Christopher Norcross, a senior at Arrowhead, says, “It’s better to answer questions, even if it’s a guess than to leave some blank.” 


Students expect to receive their results back two to eight weeks after taking the exam. 


With all of these tips from experienced ACT takers, the ACT may seem a bit more manageable. Just stay calm, take the advice of others, and stay confident in your ability.