In preparing to take and excel on the ACT Test, it is very important and very advisable for the student to obtain and prepare from an ACT Study Guide, as opposed to going in and taking the ACT test "cold" with little or no preparation.
Study Guides offer many hints and strategies which, if the student will take a little time to learn those techniques, he or she will assuredly gain points on the ACT test. Study Guides also offer practice tests with answers so a student can check to see if their answers are correct, or if not, why not. All of that constitutes a learning experience.
The ACT test does not measure a student's calculating ability, rather, their thinking ability and reasoning ability. For example, by examining the 5 answer choices on any particular question, probably at least 2 and possibly 3 or 4 answer choices can be ruled out for not making sense in relation to the question being asked or the data being presented in tables or graphs.
Alternate answer choices are put there as distractors, and if a student allows himself or herself to be "distracted" by the distractors, their score is not going to be as high as it might be with thorough preparation which includes alertness to distractors.
I advise at least a 3-month preparation period before taking the ACT Test, involving the use of an ACT Study Guide to prep for the ACT test. That way, a student might not need to re-take the test again and again (at increased expense) in order to improve his or her score, because the score might just be adequate or above adequate to where the student may not need to re-take the test.
Do not overlook the importance of solid and serious preparation to take the ACT or any other test such as the GRE.
Judy, Ed.S., M.Ed.