ACT Test Day Tips

So You’re Going For It?

Maybe you’ve been prepping for your ACT for months, or maybe you wouldn’t know an ACT exam if it hit you between the eyes. Either way, here’s my short list of tips to improve your chances for a successful test day.

1. VISUALIZATION. Get your hands on a practice ACT exam at and complete a mental “walk through” of the exam. If you’ve been preparing with a test prep pro, you should have a detailed plan of attack. What do you need to remember about each section? What will you do if you encounter a tough problem? What about your pace?

2. PACK YOUR BAG THE NIGHT BEFORE. Want an ACT horror show? Scrambling around at 7:00 am for calculators or forgetting your ID will stress you out, trust me. Here’s what you need:

  • CALCULATORS (Two of them!)
  • PENCILS (Two of them!)
  • ADMISSION TICKET (print from
  • PHOTO I.D.
  • SNACKS (you will be starving)
  • YOUR “A” GAME!

3. KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING. Don’t stress about directions on the morning of the test. Take a look at the testing center and how to get there!

4. WAKE UP EARLY. Are you usually holding your eyelids open during first period? Wake up a half hour before you really need to, take a (quick) walk, and have a good breakfast.

5. WEAR A WATCH. Who knows where you’ll be seated in the testing classroom and whether the wall clock will be visible?

6. KEEP IT IN PERSPECTIVE. Standardized tests are one piece of your college admissions puzzle, and you have lots of chances to take the exam! Just do your best and keep it positive!

7. CHANNEL YOUR NERVES. Just like an athlete or actor, you may feel some test day jitters. Expect nervousness, or even embrace it. Try to channel the nervous energy into focus!

A message from Jen:

Thanks for taking the time to learn about testing and the college admissions process! I’ve devoted my career to helping thousands of students envision and achieve their dreams, and I couldn’t imagine a more rewarding job!

My team and I are proud to be trusted partners to families throughout their journey-from kindergarten through college, and even beyond.

Jen has been helping students prepare for their post-high school careers for 25 years. She brings to the task a track record of success, pragmatic approaches, and a deep and genuine interest in helping each individual to meet his or her potential. A seasoned SAT/ACT and subject area tutor, and author of the SAT Writing and Reading Guide, Jen is a college coach and trusted resource to parents and students as they navigate the college admissions process. The mother of 4 children including two college students, Jen thinks of herself as “in the trenches” with her clients and their children. Jen holds a Magna Cum Laude Bachelor of Arts in French Literature and English degree from Tufts University.

Call 781.526.4192 or visit to schedule your FREE, 1/2 hour academic or admissions consultation with Jen!