Are you taking the ACT soon and wondering how you can get a perfect score? In this blog, we take a look at strategies to help you maximize your score on the ACT Reading Section.
Tip 1 – Do not read, manage the passage
We don’t mean to not read at all, by any means. What we do mean is for you to stop focusing on the reading itself. You get zero points for reading every single word of a passage, you only get points for answering questions correctly. Instead of reading, you need to manage the passage. This may mean you need to skim at times but be sure you map your passage by summarizing each paragraph so you know what information is where when you go back to the passage for evidence. Write a note next to each paragraph about the author’s purpose or the message trying to be conveyed. Another tip is to NOT REREAD. Move on and avoid reading over a particular sentence because you don’t get it. Not only does it waste time but it can frustrate you if you are in that endless cycle.
Tip 2 – Go back and find the answers
A huge mistake students do is settling for guessing or treating the ACT like traditional school work where you read a passage thoroughly and move on to the questions without going back. Remember that, unlike your school tests, the ACT is an open book exam that you can go back and not have to memorize before tackling the questions. On the ACT, on 98% of the questions there is a direct line that is clear evidence for the answer choice you are looking for. If you can’t figure out which answer choice is correct you need to go back and get more evidence from the passage.
Tip 3 – Learn the test
You have to know and understand how the test works and how it asks questions that are out to get you. Use real tests, which can be found at supertutortv.com/resources, and get a feel for the exam. Set your own pace and try it out your first time without timing yourself. Then challenge yourself by timing to simulate an actual exam day experience.
Tip 4 – Build your vocabulary
Students can hit a ceiling in their prep if their vocab isn’t strong enough. Practice and use flash cards, get yourself a vocabulary book (check out our influencer page here), and use practice tests to highlight unfamiliar words to look up and add to your repertoire.
Tip 5 – Avoid extremes
Look out for words like ALL or NEVER in answer choices – a lot of times wrong answers on the ACT are really extreme so be sure to avoid them.
Tip 6 – Half right is not right
Sometimes students fall in love with half an answer choice and don’t look at the second part falling into a dangerous trap. Make sure the whole thing is right, not just a select few words that sound right.
Tip 7 – Reasonable can be right, but it doesn’t have to be
Often times there are answer choices that sound reasonable then there are answer choices that sound ridiculous and extreme. Just because it makes sense, however, doesn’t make the answer choice right.
Tip 8 – Consider reordering passages and questions
On the ACT exam, you have the freedom, under the time allotted for the section, to approach and attack it however you want. Mapping the passage, as previously mentioned, gives you that ability to know where everything is at, giving you that freedom of worry when you move on to the questions in however order you please.