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ACT: The Reading Test.

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1 ACT: The Reading Test

2 ACT READING TEST 4 categories of reading passages Social Studies
Natural Sciences Humanities Prose Fiction Each passage is about 1,000 words long written at about the same difficulty level as college textbooks Each has a very specific theme SKIM ALL READING PASSAGES…DO NOT READ CLOSELY 10 questions after each passage 3 categories of reading questions: Specific Detail, Inference, Big Picture

Read actively, with an eye towards where the author is going Read very quickly but actively, getting a sense of the main idea of the passage and seeing how everything fits together don’t worry about details; you can go back and find them later circle key words (such as names, dates, and unfamiliar words) so that you can find them easily when you are answering the questions

4 READING CLUES Structural clues Signal clues
But, nevertheless, and moreover help you get a sense of where the paper is going Signal clues Clearly, as a result, or no one can deny that… determine logic of the passage Remember you can come back for details later

Indicating a contrast but, however, on the other hand, nevertheless Indicating a continuation with a similar or complementary thought moreover, furthermore, or a semicolon Indicating a conclusion therefore, thus Reasons for a conclusion since, because of , due to Examples or illustration for instance, for example

6 KAPLAN’S 3 STEP METHOD You should spend only about 9 minute per passage less than 3 minutes should be spent pre-reading the rest of the time should be spent considering questions and referring back to the passage to find the answers tale 2 sweeps through the questions for each passage Get the easier questions the first time around Go back for the more difficult ones Questions are not in order of easiest to hardest

7 KAPLAN’S 3 STEP METHOD 1. Pre-read the passage quickly
2. Consider the question stem 3. Refer back to the passage for the answers

8 KAPLAN’S 3 STEP METHOD STEP 1: PRE-READ (3 min. per passage)
understand the main idea of the passage get an overall idea of how the passage is organized underline key points (like a highlighter) jot down notes in the margin circle key clue words DO NOT get bogged down with the details

don’t let the answer choices direct your thinking The test makers intentionally design the answers to confuse you if they can Look at the questions stem ONLY; do not look at the possible answers first

10 KAPLAN’S 3 STEP METHOD You WILL NOT re-read the entire passage
STEP 3: REFER BACK TO THE PASSAGE You WILL NOT re-read the entire passage look only for the area where the answer to the question can be found sometimes the questions will give you a line # to help you out you answer should match the passage--not in exact vocabulary but in meaning (answers are usually a paraphrase of the answer in the passage)

11 ACT READING PASSAGE Prose fiction (1 passage per test)
Nonfiction (3 passages per test, one each in:) Social Studies Natural Sciences Humanities Your approach should be the same for all 3 nonfiction passages

12 PROSE FICTION The prose fiction passage is usually a story in which characters, fully equipped with their own motivations and emotions, interact in revealing ways for this reason, the passage won’t break down into an orderly outline with several key terms and clue words Pay attention to the story

13 PROSE FICTION In the prose fiction passage, almost all the questions relate to the characters your job is to find answers to the following questions: Who are these people? What are they like? How are they related to each other? What is their state of mind? Are they angry, sad, reflective, excited? What’s really going on? What’s happening on the surface? Beneath the surface? Most of the fiction passages focus on one person or are written from the point of view of one of the characters

14 PROSE FICTION Figure out who this main character is and pay special attention to what he or she is like Read between the lines to determine unspoken emotions and attitudes Get a good feel for tone and style of the whole passage before going on to the questions

Know you are more likely to find unfamiliar vocabulary in Science passages Don’t panic! The Science passages on the Reading test require no prior knowledge. Any unknown terms are usually defined in the passage or will have inferable definitions from the context Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed

16 READING PASSAGE The Questions

17 SPECIFIC DETAILS Specific Details questions ask about things stated explicitly in the passage Line reference Always refer back to the passage When given a line reference, always read a few sentences BEFORE and AFTER the cited lines (context)

18 NAILING DOWN DETAILS The challenge with this is finding the proper place in the passage where the answer can be found (sometimes you will be given a line reference) Then, you have to match up what you see in the passage with the correct answer, which will probably be worded differently (paraphrased)

19 INFERENCE QUESTIONS For these types of questions, it is your job to combine ideas logically to make an inference This is something that is not stated explicitly in the passage but that is implied This type of question has words like suggest, infer, or imply in the question stem Common sense is your best tool here Some will give you a line # DO NOT make inferences too extreme (always, never, all the time, etc.)

20 BIG PICTURE QUESTIONS Ask yourself, as you read:
What is the point of this? Why is the author saying this? If you are stumped, try doing all the other questions first and completing this one last.

21 “Comprehend and Remember”
FIND AND PARAPHRASE Your main job is to FIND AND PARAPHRASE, Your task is NOT to “Comprehend and Remember”

22 SKIPPING Answer the EASY questions for each passage first
Skip the tough ones and come back to them later When you return to that question later, try to identify the THREE WRONG answers Guess if you have to and don’t let that get you stressed

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