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!

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