The Guessing Game

Never leave blanks. Since there is no penalty for wrong answers on the ACT, always choose an answer for every question. Even if it is a random guess, pick an answer. This is a basic strategy that students sometimes forget when they are frustrated by the test. Don’t let it happen to you.

Eliminate Unusual Answers. Sometimes there are oddball answers that don’t look like any of the others. Maybe only one is negative or is a fraction. Eliminate that one and guess. In these two examples, you should pick a positive answer for the first one and an integer for the second one.

Go for Common Elements. This technique is the corollary of the previous one. It is much more helpful on the ACT than on the SAT. Sometimes math answers are the same digits or unknowns in varying positions. Find a pattern and pick the answer that is most common. For example, if the answers are all fractions and three of them have an “x” in the denominator and four have a y in the numerator, the right answer will probably have an “x” in the denominator and a “y” in the numerator.

Use the Diagrams. The ACT diagrams “are not necessarily drawn to scale.” I think they say this so you won’t complain. They are always very close. You can estimate correct answers by using line lengths, angle sizes, etc. Also use this technique to make sure any calculated answer is consistent with the information in the diagram.

REVELATIONS: Demystifying the ACT is available for the exclusive use of students who have registered through or attend a school which is licensed to distribute it. Any distribution or use of these materials beyond these students or schools by any individual or organization and/or removal of this notice is a violation of federal copyright laws.