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What’s the best Reading strategy for the ACT?

The next ACT will be given on February 9th 2019. It’s too late to register for this one but the next one is April 13, 2019.

Most of my students who are preparing for the reading portion of the ACT find that they have one of the three flaws in their test taking experiences. The first step in fixing some of these problems is to figure out where you weakness comes from. Many high school students do not enjoy reading for pleasure. It’s sad because vocabulary weaknesses come from a lack of reading.

Strategy #1 Improve your vocabulary skills by learning the most common Greek or Latin root stems to increase your vocabulary. A complete list can be found here.  

Strategy #2 Time management skills may be improved with continued practice. If you want to use the sample ACT test provided free of charge from the ACT the youtube video will help you complete the test according to the official test times. The video is here.

Strategy #3 Understand what each passage calls for. Make sure that every word in the answer is supported by the question and passage. If just one word is not supported the answer is wrong. If your answer is too specific and can’t be used to support the main idea for example then it is the wrong choice. Your answer can’t be too broad and overreach the actual passage. The true relationship in the passage might be reversed in the answer so ready carefully. The easiest type of wrong answers are the ones that have nothing to do with what is in the passage.

Strategy #4 Try to predict what the answer should be after carefully skimming the passage. Look for your passage in the answer choices. Remember that the main idea could come from the title or first few sentences. Don’t miss what is handed to you in the beginning of the passage.

Keep practicing and remember that practice makes permanent so be sure to check your answers and keep track of what concepts you are missing. Use your mistakes to show what tests you need more work on. Check if your school accepts super-scores which are the best scores from all of your tests taken. Relax and do your best!

ACT and SAT Test Dates Through July 2019

ACT TEST DATES

February 9, 2019

April 13, 2019

June 8 2019

July 13, 2019

SAT TEST DATES

March 19, 2019

May 4, 2019

June 4, 2019

Register for the ACT

Register for the SAT

How to Apply for College for Free

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http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2012/09/13/how-to-apply-to-college-for-free-2

Via usnews.com

How can I reduce the cost of applying to college?

1. If you apply online you can score free application submissions at many colleges. In addition to Washington and Jefferson College, the numerous institutions that waive application fees for online applicants include Upper Iowa University, Millikin University, Juniata College, Kettering University, York College of Pennsylvania, Drake University, Smith College, Barry University, and Mercyhurst College.

Often, schools advertise the fact that they waive application fees for online applicants. As you’re exploring the websites of colleges you’re considering, keep your eyes peeled for a money-saving application option.

2.  If you’ve made an on-campus visit be sure to ask if you can have a fee-waiver for the application fee.  Many schools will be glad to issue you a waiver if you have visited the campus.

3. At Western New England University in Massachusetts, for instance, students can apply for free if they have a parent or grandparent who attended or if they’re are able to secure a letter of recommendation from another grad.  Be sure to ask if you have an alumni connection as well.

4.Many schools have indicated that they will waive the application fee for students who demonstrate financial need, including Dartmouth College, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Colorado—Boulder. Ask and all they can say is NO.  With proof of financial need, students may be able to secure fee waivers from the National Association of College Admission Counseling, and students who have received an SAT/ACT fee waiver can apply for free passes from the College Board. Students can also go to guidance counselors at their high schools for help; at schools such as Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa, a fee waiver signed by a counselor grants a free application.

5.  Reach out to college admissions officers at your first choice school and indicate it is your first choice and here is my GPA and test scores.  Ask for their opinion before you spend the money and apply.  Chances are if you reach a real person they will be honest with you and save you the cost of applying if you aren’t in their target for scores.

 

Thanks to US New and World Report for their valuable tips.

 

ACT English-What’s on the test?

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Grammar and punctuation have been the bane in many student’s existence when studying for the ACT and SAT.  Whether this material was ever taught or never reviewed it is material that must be mastered before taking any standardized test at the high school level or above.

The ACT Usage and Mechanics include: Punctuation as in commas, colons, semicolons, apostrophes,exclamation marks, periods and quotation marks.  Know that a semicolon has two complete clauses on either side but a colon only has one complete clause and a list of 3 or more items on the right hand side.

Grammar and Usage:  subject-verb agreement, pronoun forms and agreement, modifier and verb forms, parallelism. comparisons and idioms and possession. Make sure the pronouns agree with the antecedent and don’t be fooled by the clutter in the sentence.  Make sure the nouns, verbs, and prepositions are in the same form.

Sentence Structure:  Fragment and whole sentences, modifier placement and verb tense and voice.

Sounds impossible right?  No it’ s not.  I have a great series of worksheets that go through each grammar point and explain it along with two pages of related problems.  After you’ve completed those the answer is imprinted into your brain-seriously-I-swear.  Know a dash from a hyphen?  Hope so.

 

Timing Problems and the ACT

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Using the ACT practice test online:

Practice some problems timed and untimed but in order to finish the English section you will need to answer 15 questions in 9 minutes or each question in 36 seconds.  Use a timer and see how far you can get in 36 seconds.

Math section:  You have 60 seconds per problem.

Reading: 53 seconds per problem or a whole passage of 10 questions in 9 minutes.

Science: 53 seconds per question or the whole passage of 7 questions in 6 minutes.  In order to practice the shorter passages drop one or more questions and do the passage in 5 minutes.

Practice, review and re-do.  Remember it is the Summer when you have the most time to devote to testing.

For my students message me and let me know when you are ready for a link to a practice test online.  Other interested students feel free to message me for more info.

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