Hi, I am really struggling with the ACT reading section. I have never finished it on time. It usually takes me 45 minutes to complete this 35 minites' section. I took the ACT once and due to the time limit, I didn't get to look at the articles thoroughly. Can you please give me some advice? Thank you!
The first thing you should do is experiment with changing your reading strategy to see if you can save time by approaching the passages in a different way. It sounds like you might be trying to read each passage thoroughly before tackling the questions. Instead, I would recommend either skimming the passages or skipping straight to the questions.
To skim effectively, pay close attention to the last sentence of the first paragraph (usually that's the thesis of the passage), the introductory sentences of the body paragraphs, and the concluding paragraph. This should give you enough information to answer most of the questions. You then can go back and read certain parts of the passage more closely if necessary.
The other option, starting with the questions, is also a good way to save time. If you jump into the questions right away, you can follow their lead and only examine the parts of the passage that are relevant. You may need to go back and skim for questions that ask about the overall purpose of the passage, but many questions about smaller details can be answered by reading just a couple of lines even if you haven't read the rest of the passage.
You should also keep track of your time as you go along if you haven't been doing so already. Check how much time you have left after each passage so you can see whether you're going at a steady pace or need to try and move more quickly on the next set of questions. To avoid losing too much time at the beginning of the section, I'd advise you to start with the subject matter that is most comfortable for you. If you're more of a science person, for example, you can skip straight to the final passage in the Reading section and do that one first. If you move quickly at the beginning, you'll be less stressed when you're trying to answer questions on topics that are more challenging for you.
That's just my quick rundown of the advice we have for avoiding problems with time on the Reading section. I'd recommend taking a look at this blog article for more detailed information on the tactics I mention here as well as some additional strategies.