ACT Test Prep Fast & Furious Competing with the Nation or Why worry about test prep • 1. ACT is marked on a curve • 2. The ACT is very predictable • ACT is highly vulnerable to test strategies and techniques. • Think strategically and creatively. Understanding Test Scores • Nearly half of all test takers score within the 17 – 23 range on a scale of 1 – 36. • A score of 17 is at the 28% • A score of 20 is at the 54% • A score of 23 is at the 76% • A score of 26 is at the 90% • A score of 31 is at the 99% Should you guess on the ACT • YES • The score is based on the number of correct answers only. • There is no penalty for incorrect or blank answers. The Subject Tests • English Writing Science • Math Reading • For all of these test be sure you have read & understand the directions prior to taking the test. • YOU CAN GAIN VALUABLE TIME IF YOU ALREADY UNDERSTAND THE DIRECTIONS AND CAN BEGIN WORKING. English • The test 45 minutes long with 75 questions. In the English test you have to get almost 2/3rds of the test correct just to get an average score of about 20. • Never spend more than 45 seconds on an English question, the average is 30 seconds. • In English trust your ears. The correct answer is usually the one that “sounds right.” Math • • • • • • • • The test is 60 minutes long and has 60 questions All math questions are multiple choice, 5 choices. Easier questions tend to come first. Questions covering math learned in high school may feel easier as the material is fresher in your mind. About 1/3 of the questions either use a diagram or describe a situation that should be diagramed. LET THE DIAGRAM TELL YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW. 1/3 of the questions are story problems. 1/3 of the questions ask you to demonstrate your knowledge of specific math concepts. READING The reading test is 35 minutes long and has 40 questions. There are 4 passages with 10 questions each. Again about 30 seconds per question. SKIM THE PASSAGES, DO NOT READ THEM CAREFULLY! There are 3 kinds of questions: a. specific detail questions b. Inference questions c. Big picture questions Science • There are 35 questions and 40 questions, again about 30 second each. • YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A SCIENTIST TO SUCCEED IN THIS TEST. • 1/3 of the questions ask you to analyze data from graphs or tables • Other questions require that you understand how experiments are designed and what they prove. • The rest of the questions will ask you to apply a principle logically or identify ways to defend or attack one. Writing • The writing test is 30 minutes long and has you write one essay. • You area asked to take a position on an issue and support if with evidence using a persuasive essay. • Now that I have given you a brief overview of the different test components it is time for some overall strategies. • 1. Perform Question Triage: Make a quick analysis on how hard and time consuming a question may be. – If the question feels easy do it right away and move on – If it appears tough and time consuming skip and come back. – If it looks impossible guess and move on. Go back to the skipped questions; 2 times through. • 2. Put the material into a form that you can understand – Reword questions to help you figure out what they are asking – Draw diagrams to help you visualize it. 3. Ignore irrelevant issues 4. Check back: on the reading and science tests always refer back to the place in the passage where the question can be found. 5. Answer the right question: the correct answer to a different question may be hidden in the wrong answers to another question. • 6. Look for the hidden answer. Many questions will have more than 1 possible solution but only one correct answer will be given. It is usually the less obvious. • 7.Guess intelligently • 8. Be careful with the answer grid. • 9.Keep track of the time. So you thought we were finished? • This is just the beginning. • Now we will share some specific strategies for each test. • We have a printed hand out so that you can take this information home and spend additional time letting it sink in. • Stay with us and remember most students throughout the country are taking the time to prepare to insure they get the highest score possible. Specific Strategies for the English Test • 1. Ask yourself,” does this stuff belong here?” – Does the underlined section belong? Is it written concisely? If n,o then choose the answer that gets rid of it. • 2. Ask: “does this stuff make sense?” – If not choose the answer that turns the writing into good sense. • 3. Ask: ”Does this sound like English?” – Many grammar errors will sound wrong. Study ahead of time the 12 basic grammar errors (coming soon) • 4. Skim each paragraph, answer the questions that pertain to it, then read on. • 5. The long answer is not always better, when in doubt, take it out. • 6. The rules of economy – Redundancy: The text in a sentence should never repeat itself – Verbosity: Write concisely as long as it has correct grammar. – Irrelevance: Omit complete ideas that are not directly related to the purpose of the passage. 7. Look at the entire passage and make sure that your answer goes along with the logical direction it is taking. GOOD GRAMMAR MAKES SENSE • • • • • • • • Completeness: at least one entire thought per sentence Tone: the tone of the text should be consistent. Sentence Structure: avoid fragments and run on sentences Modifiers: should be as close as possible to the things they modify. Idiom: make sure words in the sentence are used in the correct manner Pronouns: make sure it is explicit to whom or what it refers. Logic: is it logical when you read it? Verbs: be sure that the verbs match their subject & tense. 12 Classic Grammar Errors (Be Sure That you Understand the Rules For These) • • • • • • • • • • • • 1. It and They ( singulars & plurals) 2. Commas or Dashes 3. Run-ons and Comma Splits 4.Fragments 5.Misunderstood punctuation marks 6. –ly Endings (adverbs & adjectives) 7. Its & It’s ( use of apostrophe) 8. There, Their, They’re and Are, Our 9. Sang, Sung, Brang, Brung ( verb forms) 10.-er and –est, More & Most 11Confusing between and Among 12Confusing Less and Fewer MATH STATEGIES • Break out of questions: 24 pre-algebra and elementary algebra, 10 intermediate algebra, 9 coordinate geometry, 14 plane geometry, and 4 trigonometry questions YOU CAN DO THIS. • Understand, analyze and select • Stuck?: use estimates and guesstimates, don’t forget to use your eyes on diagrams • Important Technicalities – Integers include 0 and negative whole numbers – Evens & odds include 0 and negative whole numbers – Prime numbers do not include 1 – Remainders are integers – Know the symbol that represents the positive square root – Rectangles include squares Make a ball park estimate When in doubt look at diagrams Worry about the right answers, not the right way to solve the problem Make sure you know what the problem is asking Never spend more than a minute on a question the first time through, you can always return on the second pass. Algebra, Coordinate Geometry, Percents & Averages • 1. restate the problem: ( how would handle an easy problem that tests the same principle?) • 2.Remove the disguise: a complex problem is often just an easier problem in disguise. • 3.Pick numbers: make abstract numbers more concrete by substituting numbers for the variables in the question. • Back solve: when using this strategy start with the middle choice. ( C or H) Story Problems • Percent problems: Part = percent x Whole • Percent increase & decrease problems: – To increase a number by a certain percent, calculate the percent of the original number & add it on. – To decrease a number by a certain percent, calculate the percent of the original number & subtract – Don’t just add and subtract percents. Pick 100 as the original number & work form there. Story Problems con. • 3. Weighted Average Problems: – To get a combined average, it’s usually wrong just to average the averages – As with regular average problems, the key is to use the sum. 4. Probability Problems: The probability of what will happen is not affected by what has happened already. Geometry Strategies 1.Know the textbook geometry equations: – – – – – Area of square or other rectangle A= l x w Area of a circle Area of a trapezoid Pythagorean theorem Area of a triangle A= ½ bh2 2. If you Get stuck look for hidden information 3.Pencil in additions to the given diagrams 4.Figureless Problems: draw your own diagrams 5.Multi-step problems: break down into smaller steps READING STRATEGIES • Always refer to the passage before answering a question • When given a specific line reference read a few additional sentences before and after it. • Read between the lines. • Make inferences by combining baits of information from different parts of the passage. Look for words like: suggest, infer, inference, or imply in the question stem. • Don’t make your inference too extreme. • Focus on the main point or purpose of the passage, author’s attitude or tone, logic underlying the argument, how ideas relate to each other and the difference between fact and opinion. Science Strategies 1.Pre read the passage: a first time skim through 2.Make sure you understand exactly what the question is asking 3.Always look back at the passage and the question stem before choosing your answer (be clear of the units and/or words like not and except 4. What to do if you are running out of time: Don’t reread the passage. Glance over the questions without reading the passage and do as many data interpretation questions as possible. READING TABLES & GRAPHS – Determine what is being represented – Determine what the axes (or columns and rows) represent – Take note of units of measurement – Look for trends in the data. When first looking at the graph or table look for the patterns 3 Characteristic Patterns in Graphs & Tables • 1.Extremes (maximums and minimums): the highest and lowest points that indicators reach • 2.Critical Points: points of change, values at which something dramatic happens • 3.Variation(proportionality): the way that two different things change in relation to each other – Direct Variations: 2 things vary in the same way – Inverse Variation: 2 things vary in opposite ways The Scientific Experiments • 2 Different kinds of Logic – General to Specific Thinking: scientists use a general rule to find a specific fact. – Specific to General thinking: Scientists look at something specific to hypothesis a general rule. (most ACT questions are specific to general) 3.You can tell what a researcher is trying to find out by identifying what is allowed to vary. 4. When looking at an experiment ask: What is the factor being varied? What’s the control group? What do the results show? Conflicting Viewpoint Passages • -Don’t worry about figuring which scientist is correct, just understand the different viewpoints. Identify the conflict • Don’t mix up the scientist and their viewpoint. • Focus on the questions and the countering evidence. • Always carefully note the data of each scientist. The Writing Test How It Is Scored • Graded on a holistic scale of 1 – 6 • Specific Skills Tested – Stating a clear perspective on an issue, answering the question in the prompt – Providing Supporting Evidence and logical reasoning – Maintaining focus and organizing your ideas logically – Writing clearly • 1. Be sure you are focusing on the prompt: choose our position & support your opinion with examples • 2. Take about 5 minutes to plan before you write – Subject matter: avoid emotional or offensive examples – You are looking for workable examples and arguments – use past readings, personal experience, and remembered historical data – Structure your essay: A clear introduction with a hook, a body with transitions, and a conclusion that ends with a bang • 3. Appearances count: Write 3 -5 paragraphs, WRITE NEATLY • 4.Stick with the plan: don’t introduce new ideas in the middle of the writing • 5. Write carefully: low scores can result from misspellings & grammatical errors • 6. Make your writing direct a & persuasive. • 7.Transitions: Make sure that your ideas follow each other logically. • 8.Aim for 350 – 450 words • 9. Leave time to PROOF READ • Organization and clarity are key to a above average score • Use words from the prompt to tie paragraphs together • Vary your sentence structure, sometimes using simple sentences and other times using compound and complex ones • Adding a few college level vocabulary words will boost your score. • Save our best example for last & stress its relative importance Why is All of This Important ? • According to the Princeton review: • The national average score of for ACT is 20 and 21. If you are close to these scores you will likely be accepted into a considerable number of college and universities( as long as you have decent grades) but may not be selected at more selective schools. • A good ACT score can also help you snag additional scholarship money. Sample Scholarship Money Based on ACT Scores • At Whitworth University in Washington : • • • • A 3.75 plus ACT score of 30 = $19,000 a year A 3.75 plus ACT score of 28 = $17,000 a year A 3.6 plus ACT score of 27=- $13,000 a year A 3.5 plus ACT score of 25 + $11,000 a year So……. • Reread and study these strategies to increase your ACT score • TAKE A PRACTICE TEST see what your score is without pre test study. Study, than take another one. Remember the goal it is not just taking the test but getting the best score that you are capable of earning.
© Copyright 2021 Paperzz