While there’s certainly more than one tip that can help you on the ACT English Section, the helpful hint I’m going to share with you today is to USE CONTEXT.

The importance of context in the English section is often overlooked.  You can spend forever learning grammar rules, but if you don’t actually consider the entire sentence or its context, you’ll often fail to see the mistake that you might otherwise make.

In the video above, I work through a few questions that demonstrate how using context can help you eliminate wrong answers and arrive at the right conclusion.

The first question performed in the video above deals with a transition word– these are words such as “however,” or “additionally.” In order to choose the right transition, you must know where you’re coming from and where you’re going– you’ll need to read more than just the sentence you’re correcting.  It may seem obvious — but this fact is overlooked by so many students in “mode” to simply look at as little material as possible so they can finish the exam quickly.

The next example uses key phrases such as, “earlier in the passage” and “follows the next sentence,” which are essentially clues that indicate you must look at other elements of the passage to come to an informed decision.  Don’t rely on instincts or what sounds best to you– look at what the rest of the passage says.

The last question shows how the physical format of the test can try to trick you into carelessly skipping over the information you need– big white gaps do not necessarily mean you’ve begun a new sentence or new paragraph!  They may just be the test’s way of spacing out questions on the exam! Without looking at the sentence in its entirety, any of the answer choices could make sense. However, once you read the whole sentence, the answer becomes clear.

Thanks for checking out my tips. Hope it helps you ace this section!

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