Tips for Taking ACT Compass® Tests

  1. Relax! The ACT Compass tests are designed to help you succeed in school. Your scores help you and your institution determine which courses are most appropriate for your current level of knowledge and skills. Once you identify your academic strengths and weaknesses, you can get the help you need to improve underdeveloped skills before they interfere with your learning.
  2. You will be able to concentrate better on the test if you get plenty of rest and eat properly before the test. You should also arrive a few minutes early so you can find the testing area, bathrooms, etc., and have time to gather your thoughts before the test begins.
  3. Be sure you understand the directions for each test before that test session begins. Ask questions if you need to.
  4. Read each question carefully until you understand what the question is asking. If answering an item requires several steps, be sure you consider them all.
  5. Be sure to answer every item. You are not penalized for guessing. Your score will provide more useful placement information if you answer every item, even if you guess.
  6. Don't be afraid to change an answer if you believe that your first choice was wrong.
  7. If you have a problem or question during the test, raise your hand and the test administrator or proctor will help you. Although they cannot answer test questions for you, they can help you with other types of problems.

Specific tips for the Writing Essay Test (e-Write)