It's (almost) here. You ready?

With the ACT® just days away, we want to wish you a successful test cay. All your hard work over these past few months is about to pay off. Here are a few last minute tips.

Day before the test

Review the Kaplan Methods you've learned in class.

Review your Kaplan Essay Template if you are registered to take the optional essay section.

Put new batteries in your calculator.

Pack your backpack or bag for Test Day with the following items:

  • Photo ID
  • Registration slip or print-out
  • Directions to your test site
  • Five or more sharpened #2 pencils (no mechanical pencils)
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Eraser
  • Calculator
  • Extra batteries
  • Non-prohibited watch
  • Tissues
  • Pre-packaged snacks, like granola bars
  • Bottled water, juice, or sports drink
  • Sweatshirt, sweater, or jacket

Night before the test

  • No studying!
  • Do something relaxing that will take your mind off the test, like watching a movie or having a quiet dinner with friends or family.
  • Set your alarm to wake up early enough so that you won't feel rushed.
  • Go to bed early, but not too much earlier than you usually do. You want to fall asleep quickly, not spend hours tossing and turning.

Morning of the test

  • Dress comfortably and in layers. You need to be prepared for any temperature.
  • Eat a filling breakfast, but don't stray too far from your usual routine. If you normally aren't a breakfast eater, don't eat a huge meal but make sure you have something substantial.
  • While eating breakfast, read something! You need to warm up your brain, not go into the test cold. Read a few pages of a newspaper, magazine, or book.
  • Get to your test site early. There is likely to be some confusion about where to go and how to sign in, so allow yourself plenty of time even if you are taking the test at your school.
  • Leave your cell phone at home or in your car. They are not permitted at test sites.
  • While you're waiting to sign in or be seated, think of how you plan to keep track of the time in each section to maximize your score.

During the test

  • Be calm and confident. You're ready for this!
  • Remember that while the ACT is a marathon, it is also a series of short sections. Focus on the section you're working on at that moment; don't think about previous or upcoming sections.
  • Use the Kaplan Methods as often as you can.
  • Don't linger too long on any one question. If you're stuck, mark it and come back to it later.
  • Can't figure out an answer? Either immediately bubble in your Letter of the Day or try to eliminate some choices and guess strategically. There will be plenty of questions you CAN answer, so spend your time on those!
  • If you find yourself losing concentration, getting frustrated, or stressing about the time, stop for 30 seconds. Close your eyes, put your pencil down, take a few deep breaths, and relax your shoulders. You'll be much more productive after taking a few moments to relax.
  • Use your breaks effectively. There will be a short break immediately following the math section, where you can go to the restroom, eat your snacks, and get your energy up for the next section. A reminder that the ACT does not allow use of cell phones or any electronic devices during the break, and you may not eat or drink anything in the test room. If you choose to take the ACT Plus Writing section, there will also be a short break between the science and writing portions of the test.

After the test

  • Congratulate yourself! Also, reward yourself by doing something fun. You've earned it.
  • If you got sick during the test or if something else happened that may have negatively affected your score, you can cancel your scores by the Wednesday following your test date. Request a score cancellation form from your test proctor or visit the ACT website for more information. If you have questions about whether or not you should cancel your scores, call your Kaplan Center or 1-800-KAP-TEST.
  • Your scores will be available online approximately 3-4 weeks after your test and will be mailed to you in approximately 6 weeks.
  • Email your instructor with your ACT scores. We want to hear how you did!

Good luck on test day!

We can't wait to hear your success story!