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The ACT English Test. Overview. The test lasts 45 minutes. Includes 75 questions that are NOT arranged in order of difficulty. Spend about 30 seconds per question. Spend less time on easier questions and more time on harder ones. Overview.

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overview
Overview
  • The test lasts 45 minutes.
  • Includes 75 questions that are NOT arranged in order of difficulty.
  • Spend about 30 seconds per question.
  • Spend less time on easier questions and more time on harder ones.
overview1
Overview
  • Divided into 5 passages with about 15 questions each.
  • The ACT is designed to test you on grammar, punctuation, mechanics, usage, and rhetorical skills.
  • Students nearly always get more questions correct on the English section.
  • The test makes have higher expectations for the English section; therefore, students have to get two-thirds of the questions right.
format
Format
  • More than half of the English questions follow a format.
  • A word, phrase, or sentence is underlined.
  • A student has four options: NO CHANGE (which is always the first choice) or replace it with one of three options.
format example
Format Example
  • The correct answer is D.
omitting answers
Omitting Answers
  • The chance to omit the underlined portion is usually the last of the four choices.
  • On recent ACTs, the OMIT choice has been right more than half of the time.*
  • The shortest answer is usually right—OMIT is considered the shortest answer.

*Read the passage without the underlined portion to make sure the passage makes sense.

the directions
The Directions
  • The directions are long and complicated, therefore is important to be familiar with them BEFORE the test.
nonstandard format questions
Nonstandard-Format Questions
  • About 20 questions per test do not follow a typical question format.
  • For questions like these, it’s important to read very carefully!
nonstandard example
Nonstandard Example

The correct answer is F.

overview2
Overview
  • The reading test is 35 minutes long with 40 questions
  • Four categories: Prose Fiction, Social Science, Humanities, and Natural Science
  • One passage with about 1,000 words at a college textbook level
  • 10 questions after each category
  • 3 minutes to read and annotate and 30 seconds for each question
question types
Question Types
  • Specific Detail questions – what does the author say?
  • Inference questions – why is this included? What conclusions can you make?
  • Big Picture questions – what is the overall topic?
directions
Directions

There are four passages in this test. Each passage is followed by several questions. After reading a passage, choose the best answer to each question and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. You may refer to the passages as often as necessary.

active act reading
Active ACT Reading
  • The key to ACT Reading is to read quickly but actively
  • Get a sense of the gist or main idea of the passage and how it all fits together
  • Don’t look for anything outside of the passage i.e., original ideas or deep reading
  • At the end of each paragraph and passage, you should be able to give a brief summary of what it was about
annotations
Annotations
  • Abbreviate margin notes
  • Bracket key sentences
  • Circle key words and phrases
  • Labeling each paragraph with its main topic helps you to quickly know where to look when answering questions.
  • Many questions don’t contain specific line references to help you locate information
directions1
Directions

There are four passages in this test. Each passage is followed by several questions. After reading a passage, choose the best answer to each question and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. You may refer to the passages as often as necessary.

prose fiction
Prose Fiction
  • In the Prose Fiction passage, concentrate on who the characters are and what they are doing
  • What are the character’s attitudes towards each other?
  • What is the author’s attitude toward the characters?
natural science
Natural Science
  • Ask yourself “what’s new?”
  • Don’t get bogged down in details or terminology
  • All you need is the general ideas of how the paragraph fits together
know where you re going
Know Where You’re Going
  • You’d think that the recipe for a strawberry souffle would be complicated, but my friend’s version was _____.
  • I can’t believe my good luck! The one time in my life I buy a lottery ticket, I _____.
  • As their habitat is destroyed, wild animals _____.
overview3
Overview
  • 30 minutes long which includes 1 essay
  • You will be given a topic or issue on which you must take a position and support it with examples and evidence—PERSUASIVE
  • You have to show that you can argue your point of view and stay on topic—CLARITY
  • You are being tested on your ability to communicate
  • Some colleges require the written portion*
directions2
Directions

This is a test of your writing skills. You will have thirty (30) minutes to write an essay in English. Before you begin planning and writing your essay, read the writing prompt carefully to understand exactly what you are being asked to do. Your essay will be evaluated on the evidence it provides of your ability to express judgments by taking a position on the issue in the writing prompt; to maintain a focus on the topic throughout the essay; to develop a position by using logical reasoning and by supporting your ideas; to organize ideas in a logical way; and to use language clearly and effectively according to the conventions of standard written English.

slide24

You may use the unlined pages in this test booklet to plan your essay. These pages will not be scored. You must write your essay in pencil on the lined pages in the answer folder. Your writing on those lined pages will be scored. You may not need all the lined pages, but to ensure you have enough room to finish, do NOT skip lines. You may write corrections or additions neatly between the lines of your essay, but do NOT write in the margins of the lined pages. Illegible essays cannot be scored, so you must write (or print) clearly.

If you finish before time is called, you may review your work. Lay your pencil down immediately when time is called.

DO NOT OPEN THIS BOOKLET UNTIL YOU ARE TOLD TO DO SO.

writing test skills
Writing Test Skills
  • The content of your essay is not relevant—not checking your facts or opinions
  • State a clear perspective on an issue
  • Provide supporting evidence and logical reasoning
  • Maintain focus and organize ideas logically
  • Write clearly
  • *Not so much grammar and punctuation as it is reasoning and communication
what should i do
What Should I Do?
  • Answer the question in the prompt
  • Build an argument
  • Maintain focus and organize your specific points logically
  • Address the complexity of the issue (don’t switch sides!)
  • Write clearly!
perfect score tips
Perfect Score Tips
  • Organization is key
  • Read the question quickly and immediately begin developing 3 paragraphs and a thesis
  • ACT essays always deal with “high school situations”
  • The question will ask you to take a position—do not argue both sides, and pick the one you can develop the most
  • Don’t wait until the test day to think of examples
slide30

Make a T-Chart with agree/disagree and come up with at least two reasons for each

Fast-food franchises are installing outlets in some high schools, selling hamburgers, fried chicken, tacos, fries, and sodas. Many soda companies already pay a great deal of money to be allowed to install soda machines in high schools. The money from these commercial ventures helps pay for athletic equipment, field trips, and audio-visual equipment. On the other hand, fast food is greatly contributing to the epidemic of obesity among America’s youth. Placing fast-food outlets in schools encourages students to eat food that is high in salt, fat, and empty calories. In your opinion, should fast-food franchises be allowed in high schools?

slide31

Think of at LEAST one example or explanation for each of the following: experiences, books/TV, news

In some states, legislators have debated whether teenagers should be required to maintain a “C” grade average in school before receiving a driver’s license. Some people think this wouldbe a good policy because having passing grades shows that students are responsible enough to be good drivers. Other people think such a policy would not be appropriate because they see no relationship between grades in school and driving skills. In your opinion, should teenagers be required to maintain a “C” average in school before receiving a driver’s license?

slide32

P-TECH 6 Year HS

Develop a thesis on the following issue:

Educators debate extending high school to five years because of increasing demands on students from employers and colleges to participate in extracurricular activities and community service in addition to having high grades. Some educators support extending high school to five years because they think students need more time to achieve all that is expected of them. Other educators do not support extending high school to five years because they think students would lose interest in school and attendance would drop in the fifth year. In your opinion, should high school be extended to five years?