I'm having problems with timing on the ACT, specifically on the Reading section. I can never make it to the last passage. What are some strategies to help me finish the section on time?
The best way to fix problems with timing is to take more timed practice tests so that you get used to how fast you need to read and answer questions. If you haven't seen much improvement through this type of practice, you might need to change your reading strategy. Try skimming the passage first (read the intro, conclusion, and first and last sentences of every paragraph) or skipping straight to the questions instead of reading the whole thing closely. Over time, you can develop your skills of skimming while still retaining important information.
You should also be mindful of the passage topic order. The four passages on the ACT are in the following order:
- Prose fiction/literary narrative
- Social science
- Natural Science
Read the type of passage that you feel most comfortable with first so that you aren't as pressed for time later in the section. If science is your favorite subject, you can skip to the last passage and read that first so that you don't have to rush through questions that should be a piece of cake for you.
For more detail on these strategies, check out this article.