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ACT Prep. ACT General Tips  Don’t Get Bogged Down  Skip past hard questions so you can quickly rack up points on easier questions.

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Presentation on theme: "ACT Prep. ACT General Tips  Don’t Get Bogged Down  Skip past hard questions so you can quickly rack up points on easier questions."— Presentation transcript:

1 ACT Prep

2 ACT General Tips  Don’t Get Bogged Down  Skip past hard questions so you can quickly rack up points on easier questions

3 ACT General Tips  Do Questions Triage  The first time you look at each question, make a quick decision about how hard and time consuming it looks. Then decide whether to anser it now or skip it and do it later.  Comprehensible/Reasonable = DO RIGHT AWAY  Tough/Time Consuming = LEAVE FOR LATER  Impossible = FUGETABOUTIT

4 Passage-Based Triage  Do each passage as a block  Long first pass through questions (triage pass), doing easy ones & guessing impossibles  Second pass (clean up pass), doing those you can solve with extra effort  **Mark the questions in your test blooklet**

5 ACT General Tips  Rephrase for understanding  ACT Questions are rarely presented in the simplest, most helpful way.  Your main job for many questions is to figure out what the question means so you can solve it  Reword the questions so you can understand them!

6 ACT General Tips  Mark Up Your Test Booklet  Circle or Underline the Main Idea  Make a Road Map of the Passage  Quick notes about each paragraph so you get how it fits together  That way, you know WHERE to find what you NEED to find

7 ACT General Tips  Ignore Irrelevant Issues  Just because it looks interesting, or just because you’re worried about something, doesn’t make it important: …China was certainly one of the cradles of civilization. It’s obvious that, China has a long history. As is the case with other ancient cultures, the early history of China is lost in mythology… F. NO CHANGE G. It’s obvious that China has a long history. H. Obviously; China has a long history. I. OMIT the underlined portion.

8 ACT General Tips  Check The Text  All the information you need is in the test itself  Don’t be afraid to refer to it  Especially in reading and science, always refer to the place in the passage where the answer can be found  Often, the wrong answers will be “misplaced details” – details taken from different parts of the passage. (They don’t answer the question properly, but sound good if you aren’t careful.)

9 ACT General Tips  Answer the RIGHT question  ACT test makers TRY to trick you  They can throw in a “red herring” answer that is correct for another question

10 ACT General Tips  ALWAYS GUESS on every question you can’t answer.  An unanswered question is ALWAYS a WRONG answer  Blind Guessing: Impossible questions  Considered Guessing: (you will do mostly) – questions you’ve done some work on, but can’t make headway with

11 ACT General Tips  DON’T MISGRID YOUR ANSWERS!  Circle your answers in your test booklet, then transfer them in groups of 5 or more or after every 2 pages.  Unless you’re close to the end of the time…then grid them one at a time so you don’t get caught without an answer bubbled in  At 5 minutes, grid one at a time  At 2 minutes, fill in everything that’s blank

12 ACT General Tips  Keep Track of Time!  You have about 30 seconds per question on reading-based sections, and about 1 minute per question in Math  English and Reading passages should take about 9 minutes each  Science passages should take about 5 minutes each

13 The ACT English Test Stats  45 minutes  75 questions  = 36 seconds per question  5 passages  +/- 15 questions per passage  A score of 20 requires 2/3 correct responses  You have to move FAST

14 Standard Format  Almost all questions have a word, phrase, or sentence in the passage underlined with 4 options  One option (A) is always “NO CHANGE”

15 3-Step Method for English 1. Read until you have enough information to identify the issue  Think about what issue the question is testing (why are they asking the question?) 2. Eliminate choices that DO NOT address the issue  If there’s no error, mark NO CHANGE, then eliminate choices that don’t fix the error 3. Plug in the remaining choices  And choose the one that’s most correct, concise, and relevant

16 Types of Questions  1/3 of the questions test writing economy  1/3 of the questions test logic and sense  1/3 of the questions test hard-and-fast rules of grammar

17 Economy Questions  “Padding” by repeating the same thing over and over  Redundancy: Never let the text in a sentence repeat itself  Verbosity: Remember that the best way to write something is the shortest way as long as it’s grammatically correct  Irrelevance: Omit ideas that are not directly and logically tied in with the purpose of the passage

18 Economy Questions, cont.  Almost 1/3 of the questions (more than 20 questions) test your awareness of redundancy, verbosity, relevance, and similar issues  The shortest answer is often correct. When in doubt, take it.  Ask yourself: Does the information belong here? Can the passage/sentence work without it?

19 ACT English Test Tip  KNOW THE DIRECTIONS  The directions for the English test are always the same. Read them now so you know what they are.  Don’t waste time reading the directions if you already understand them before the day of the test. *In the English test, you’ll need all the time you can get!*

20 Practice #1

21 Sense Questions  Sense questions test meaning errors. Once you get the hang of them, they can be easy to ace.  Errors of meaning are often funny once you see them.  E.g.: An answer that says, “Abraham Lincoln’s father was a model of hardworking self- sufficiency. He was born in a log cabin he built with his own hands.”  Look at the literal meaning of the statement.

22 Practice #2

23 Short Answers  Sense questions can be more difficult than economy questions, but you will notice that the shortest answer is often the correct one. (Almost half in practice #2)

24 Grammar Questions  Completeness (Q#1) – the requirement that every sentence should consist of an entire thought.  What is the sentence saying? Is it independent?  Sentence Structure (Q#4)  Fragments or Run Ons?  REMEMBER: Make sure every sentence contains at least one, but not more than one, complete thought.

25 Grammar Questions, cont.  Modifiers (Q#2) – it must be clear exactly what words or phrases are modifying (referring to) what other words and phrases in the sentence.  Modifiers should be as close as possible to the things they modify.  Idiom (Q#3) – language particular to a group/ native speakers learn this naturally  Trust your ear

26 Grammar Questions, cont.  Pronouns (Q#5) – Sometimes, the test will throw you a sentence in which the meaning of a pronoun is unclear  Identify what the pronoun is replacing  Make sure it’s perfectly clear to what or to whom all pronouns refer  Logic (Q#10) – Structural clues are signal words that show where the author is going  On the other hand = contrast  moreover, = continuation  Make sure structural clues make logical sense

27 Grammar Questions, cont.  Verb usage (Q#7) – Verbs must match their subject  Who did what when?  Verbs need to match their subject in tense of the surrounding context  Tone (Q#13) – fluctuates from formal to informal  Slang, etc. = informal; Stuffy = formal  Good style = consistent tone throughout the text

28 12 Classic Grammar Errors  It and They – Singulars & Plurals (match with verbs)  Commas or Dashes – Parenthetical phrases must start and end with the same punctuation mark  Run-Ons and Comma Splices – you can’t combine 2 sentences with one comma  Fragments – Is the idea complete?

29 12 Classic Grammar Errors - Punctuation  The test doesn’t have tricky rules of punctuation, but the basics:  Comma (,)= pause, offset parenthetical phrases, separate introductory clauses  Semicolon (;) = separate 2 complete but closely related thoughts  Colon (:) = Works like an “=“ sign connecting equivalent things; usually at the beginning of a list  Dash (–) = Can be used for any kind of pause, usually a long one or one indicating a significant shift in thought

30 12 Classic Grammar Errors  -ly Endings (Adjectives & Adverbs) – Nouns and pronouns are modified by adjectives. Verbs and adjectives are modified by adverbs (-ly words)  Its and It’s  Their, There, and They’re  Sang, Sung, Brang, Brung – Brang and brung are not used in standard English

31 12 Classic Grammar Errors  -er and –est, More and Most (Comparatives and Superlatives) – er = comparing 2, est = comparing more than 2  Between and Among – between = 2 things, among = more than 2 (or an unknown #)  Less and Fewer – Less = uncountable things, fewer = countable things  People are always countable (There are always fewer people, but never less people)

32 OMIT Questions  Some questions will offer “OMIT the underlined portion” as one of the answers  Will it make sense if the portion is gone?  Is the portion superfluous?  Just because it gives the options, doesn’t mean it’s correct, but read the section without the part you take out. Does it still make sense? Then OMIT.

33 Nonstandard Questions  Some questions (about 10 per exam), don’t follow the standard format.  They pose a question and offer 4 possible responses  Usually, the responses are “yes” or “no” with an explanation  PAY ATTENTION TO THE REASONING

34 Nonstandard Example …Later, Pike fell while valiantly defending America in the war of 1812. [40] He actually died 40. Suppose the author considered adding the following sentence at this point: “It goes without saying that this occurred after he discovered Pike’s Peak.” Given the overall purpose of the passage, would this sentence be appropriate? F. No, because the sentence adds nothing to the meaning of the passage. G. No, because the passage is not concerned with Pike’s achievements. H. Yes, because otherwise the sequence of events would be unclear. J. Yes; though the sentence is not needed, the author recognizes this fact by using the phrase “it goes without saying”

35 The Correct Answer  Is F.  Though G correctly indicates that the sentence doesn’t belong in the passage, it offers a pretty inappropriate reason  Choices H and J, meanwhile, are wrong because they recommend including a sentence that is clearly redundant

36 Why Nonstandard Questions?  Many of them occur at the end of the passage  They ask about the meaning, purpose, or tone of the text  Others ask you to evaluate  Others ask you to determine the proper order of words, sentences, or paragraphs that have been scrambled.

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