Reading and English Tips:
Use these time-tested tips to help bump up your scores on these sections of the ACT.
The reading section is designed to test reading comprehension skills and show your understanding of statements with direct and implied meanings.
Duration: 40 questions, 35 minutes
Strategy #1: Find the answers to the questions that are paragraph or line-specific first.
Strategy #2: Quickly skim through the entire passage. Use the margins of the booklet to take notes as you read along. Jot down words that will help you remember the story or what you think may be important.
Strategy #3: The prose passages in the reading section cover topics in social studies, natural sciences, short stories, and humanities. Convince yourself that you’re interested in the passages to help you retain the material. This will also add to your understanding of it.
Strategy #4: Cover the answers and answer the question before looking at the choices.
Strategy #5: Pay close attention to what each question is asking. Be careful not to fall for a common ACT trap of choosing a “factually true” statement—one that is a true statement but doesn’t actually answer the question asked.
The English section tests grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure as well as rhetorical skills as they relate to organization and style.
Duration: 75 questions, 45 minutes
Strategy #1: Skim through the questions before reading the passage.
Strategy #2: Think simple. Well-written passages typically use concise words to convey ideas.
Strategy #3: Mark all the grammar questions and answer them as you read the passage.
Strategy #4: Immerse yourself in the topic as you read along. Ask yourself questions; it’ll help you remember the material better.
Strategy #5: Keep your first answer unless you know it’s wrong. There are several answer choices that seem right, but be sure to pick the ones that actually answer the question.
A FEW TIPS:
Write in your test booklet to help analyze passages. Remember: There’s no penalty for guessing.