2What’s the difference between PSAT and ACT? The ACT is not an aptitude or an IQ test. Instead, the questions on the ACT try to emulate what students have learned in high school English, mathematics, and science courses.
4Usage and Mechanics Strategies Punctuation: (10 questions ) Brush up your knowledge of commas, apostrophes, colons, semicolons, and quotation marks.Grammar and Usage: (12 questions) This section demands an understanding of subject/verb agreement, pronoun and verb forms, case, and tense. You’ll be given a sentence with an underlined word or phrase, and will have to identify the most appropriate replacement for that underlined word or phrase from the choices listed below it.Sentence Structure: (18 questions) Watch out for misplaced modifiers (adjectives, adverbs) clause issues, and problems with parallel structure.
5Rhetorical Skills Strategies Writing Strategy: (12 questions) Identify an author’s purpose, tone, main point, and theme. Fully read the text! Skimming the passage yields incorrect answers because the broader questions are often explained in the details.Organization: (11 questions) Choose correct introductory, transitional and closing sentences as well as decide on accurate placement of words within sentences and sentences within the paragraph.Style: (12) This section requires elimination of redundancy, wordiness, and ambiguity. Choose words and sentences that keep the tone and overall style of the passage the same throughout the text while maintaining clarity.
7Reading Test Strategies Neither the passages nor the questions on the Reading Test are ordered by difficulty. Different students find different passages of the Reading Test difficult. Some people can’t make heads or tails of Prose Fiction, while others get bogged down by the slew of facts in the Natural Science passage. Similarly, different students have difficulty with different types of questions on the Reading Test. Some students may find it difficult to remember facts, while others may become confused drawing inferences.
8More Specific Strategies for Reading The Reading Test demands a little extra something from you: in addition to answering its questions, you must digest approximately 3,000 words worth of information. In order to be effective on this test, you must achieve an optimum balance between the time you spend reading the passages and the time you spend answering the questions.
9There are only ten questions accompanying each passage. These ten questions cannot cover the entire content of a passage, so reading for every detail is a waste of time.When reading an ACT passage, read carefully to understand general elements: the topic, theme, argument, etc. When you see details that seem important, don’t fuss painstakingly over those details. Instead, lightly note them in your mind and perhaps make a quick mark in the margin.This way, you’ll reduce wasted time and gain a good enough comprehension of the passage to answer questions that cover general aspects of the passage correctly. You’ll also have a good enough sense of the passage’s layout, so that when the passage asks about specific information, you’ll be able to go back quickly to the passage, check the information, and choose the correct answer.
10Read the passage with an awareness of the general questions you might be asked. What is the author’s goal in writing the passage? What are the tone, themes, and major points? When you finish a passage, you should be able to answer these questions and also have a sense of the passage’s layout.After you finish the passage, go to the questions. Since you read the passage with the big picture in mind, you should be able to answer the general questions dealing with main points, point of view, tone, etc. When you get to a question on a specific detail, don’t immediately look at the answer choices to avoid being influenced by “trick” answers. Instead, articulate to yourself exactly what the question is asking. Then quickly go back to the passage and come up with your own answer to the question. Finally, choose the answer that best matches yours.If you get to a question that is very hard and threatens to take a lot of time, place a mark next to it, skip it, move on to the next question, and come back if you have time. Answer all questions dealing with a passage while the passage is still fresh in your mind.
11The Writing Test measures skill in planning and writing a short essay. 30 minute essay•Attempts to measure writing skills emphasized in high school English classes and in entry-level college composition courses.•One writing prompt describing two points of view on an issue•Students write a response to their position on the issue•Prompts appropriate for 30 minute timed test and reflect student’s interests and experiences
12The ACT Essay Directions – DO’s and DON’T’s Write only on the given topic. Write on a topic that relates vaguely to the one given.Take a clear position on the topic. Take a wishy-washy position or try to argue two sides.Write persuasively to convince the rater. Write creatively or ornately just to show off.Include reasons and examples that support your position. Include examples not directly related to your position.Write with correct grammar and spelling. Forget to proof your work for spelling and grammar mistakes.Write as clearly as possible. Use too many fancy vocabulary words or overly long sentences.Write specifically and concretely. Be vague or use generalizations.Write about five paragraphs. Put more importance on length than on quality.Write only on the given lined paper. Make your handwriting too large (or you’ll sacrifice space).Write as neatly as possible in print. Write in cursive. Print is much easier to read.
13Thesis Statement1 sentenceDescribe your position clearly and concisely.The Essay Summary3 sentencesLay out the three examples you will use to support your thesis statement.Example Paragraph #1Topic SentenceDescribe your example and fit it into the context of your overall thesis statement.Example Development3–4 sentencesShow how your example supports your argument. Be as specific as possible.Example Paragraph #2Describe your example and fit it into the context of your overall thesis. Provide a transition from the previous example paragraph.Example Paragraph #3Describe your example and fit it into the context of your overall thesis. Provide a transition from the previous paragraph.Use specific facts to show how your example supports your argument. Be as specific as possible.The ConclusionRecapSummarize your argument and examples, and link the examples to broader things like politics, history, art, business, etc.Broaden Your Argument2–3 sentencesExpand your position by contemplating what would happen in the world if other groups followed the argument you make in your essay