{How I got a 35 on the English ACT}

“I admire people who dare to take the language English, and understand it and understand it’s melody.” –Maya Angelou

Let me clue you in on a little secret: I hate studying. Especially mechanical things like historical dates, math equations, or grammar rules. With that being said, around 60% of the English section of the ACT is exactly what I just described: mechanical things like grammar rules.

I definitely have to work on staying focused and paying attention during that 60% of questions, and the other 40% too. Below are some tips and tricks to aid you while taking the English section of the ACT, but first, let’s break the test down.


english

The English test consists of 75 questions to be answered in a 45-minute time span. The questions are:

Usage and Mechanics

Punctuation: 7-11 q’s

Grammar and usage: 11-15 q’s

Sentence structure: 15-19 q’s

Rhetorical Skills

Strategy: 11-15 q’s

Organization: 7-11 q’s

Style: 11-15 q’s


Tips for Usage and Mechanics:

  • Use Practice Questions to Your Advantage. There are so many practice tests and worksheets out there. Try to do a couple each day, and at the end of the week grade them. The ones you had trouble on the most, practice the next week.
  • The 4 C’s. Make your sentences Complete, Clear, Concise and Competent. Read sentences out loud to yourself and make sure they sound accurate.
  • Cross out answers that are obviously wrong immediately. Instead of trying to choose between four answers, choosing between two or three is a lot easier.
  • Know the W’s. Who and Whom. Who goes with he, she and it. Whom goes with Them.
  • Commas go in pairs. (Unless separating two independent clauses)

read.jpg

Tips for Rhetoric Questions:

  • I cannot stress it enough how much reading helps. When reading, you are constantly being exposed to new vocabulary and correct sentence structure and grammar. Make sure what you are reading is officially published, so it is edited correctly.
  • Read above and below the sentence the question is on. Know the style and tone of the paragraph you are answering the question in.
  • Focus on the NOT. A lot of people miss simple questions because they do not notice a question that say which is NOT right, compared to the contrary.

Know the basics of English. If you have been taking Literature or British Storytelling for two years, you might need to review the basics!


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