Tips to Help Reduce ACT Anxiety

The Ross High School Juniors are required to take the ACT on February 22.

The Ross High School Juniors are required to take the ACT on February 22.

Rarely in your high school career are you going to have to sit in a quiet room for five hours just for one test. With the advancement in technology, rarely do you find things in school, whether that’s tests, activities, etc., that stay the same over periods of time. Nonetheless, most high school students have to take the ACT (American College Testing).

The ACT can be one of the most stressful times for a young high schooler.

¨It felt like the longest, slowest, scariest day of my life,” said Junior Bruno DiAngelo.  “Just sitting in that room for a really long time, doing nothing but taking a test, makes the time go super slow.”

According to,  “About 16-20% of students have high test anxiety, making this the most prevalent scholastic impairment in our schools today. Another 18% are troubled by moderately-high test anxiety.¨

What most high schoolers may not understand is that by getting just a few more questions right the second time around, if you choose to take it more than once, your overall grade can increase by one or two more points. This is important because on your college application, that one extra point could get you farther in the choosing process or accepted into your favorite college.

According to, the difference between a 33 and 34 could be one or two questions

Many people who take the test experience the same problems: time and staying focused.

“I felt myself zoning out during the end and I never got to finish some questions because I ran out of time. It gets easier the more you take the test.̈ said DiAngelo.

The ACT consists of 4 sections: math, which is 60 questions in a minute, English, which is 75 questions in 45 minutes, science, which is 40 questions in 35 minutes, and reading which is also 40 questions in 35 minutes.

No matter if you know the answer or not, never leave a question blank. There are 5 answer choices. And I would rather have a 20 percent chance of getting the question right than to not answer it at all.

No matter what tips or tricks you use, just know that the ACT is very important. However, the ACT is not the only thing colleges look at. People understand that some high schoolers are bad at taking tests. Invest time in preparation for this test, but do not let the stress get the best of you.