ACT Strategies: English and Reading

Over the years, many organizations have visited schools in which I have taught. Presenters have given the following advice on taking the ACT. They and former students confirm that the test actually does check to see what you have learned in your classes, so pay attention in class.

  1. English Section: Pay attention to grammar study in class. You may find it boring, but you cannot go by what "sounds right" on the English portion of the test.

  2. Sometimes the correct answer really is "No Change." Don't be afraid to select it, but don't use it too much. Use the process of elimination to reduce the number of choices.

  3. Reading: Some questions ask about details and some ask about the overall passage. Don't spend too long on the latter type of question. Go back later if you have time.

  4. Answer all questions even if you have to guess..

  5. There is no penalty for guessing on the ACT, but don't randomly switch the letters you use when guessing. If you don't know an answer and can't rule out any choices, then choose a letter for each section and use it every time you guess.

  6. Practice! This gives you confidence and allows you to save time on the real test because you won't need to read the instructions on the test day. Go to the ACT Web site to practice. Get more help from SparkNotes: ACT Prep.

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