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ACT Test Taking Tips For English

The ACT wants you to be a top notch editor. You will be asked to correct sentences in paragraphs, and comment on the passage as a whole. You will need to know common grammar mistakes to be able to identify what the ACT is looking for.

Common Grammar Errors

Invest time into understanding common grammar errors. Its and it’s; they’re, their, and there; and whom and who, are all words that people are quick to use incorrectly. These words show up often on the ACT. Put time into studying the context that is appropriate for each word. Subject/verb and pronoun agreements are also tested on the ACT. Some test prep tips suggest trusting your ear, but in many cases your ear will lead you astray. The ACT often tests phrases that sound right when they are incorrect, or are often used incorrectly so it is part of your everyday speech. Analyze the rules and know what you are looking for, rather than just relaying on the sound of a sentence.

Clear and Concise

Clear and concise writing is also what the ACT is looking for. They will ask you to eliminate redundancy or make changes that clarify. When you are looking at answer choices, the correct answer should not change the meaning of the text, or make an incomplete sentence. Eliminate any choices that obviously don’t fit within the passage.

No Change

No Change is a viable option. About a quarter of the writing questions on the ACT have No Change as the correct answer. Before you bubble in that choice, double check the other answers to be certain that none of them fit.

Use the Answers

Use the answers to discover what the question is asking. When the question asks you to correct the sentence and the options all offer a different pronoun, you should take a careful look at the subject the pronoun should agree with. Use the answers to find what part of the sentence you should analyze to make the right choice.

Practice Tests

Taking practice tests is the best way to try out these tips and put your knowledge into action. When you take a timed practice test you will develop the right pacing and become familiar with every type of question that could be on the exam. It will also help you identify weak spots and focus your studies appropriately.

Learn the Tricks

Even if grammar isn’t your best subject, you can study and learn grammar tricks so that you can score well on this section of the exam.


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