Are you taking the ACT® soon and wondering how you can totally crush the English portion of the exam? In this blog, we’re going to go through the steps that it takes to get a perfect score on the ACT® English portion.

1. Become a grammar ninja

The first step to acing the ACT English section is to master English grammar. That means covering every rule. We cover this in our online course, or you can get an ACT specific book or tutor to walk you through all the rules you’ll need.

These include topics like:

Possessives & Apostrophes

Pronouns (Case, Agreement, Clarity)

Commas

Parallel Structure

Idiomatic Usage

Dashes, Colons, Semicolons

Diction

Modifiers

Adjectives vs. Adverbs

Subject-Verb Agreement

Verb Tense/Form

Pronouns

Transitions

Redundancy/Wordiness

Comparisons

Then after you learn the rules, you need to drill the rules! Again you can turn to something like our online course, a book, or if you can’t afford those, online resources to drill down how to use these devices. That means doing 10-40 exercises on each rule until you know each rule and its application very well.

2. Learn how to approach ACT® specific questions

The second step to mastering the ACT English section is addressing what I call “ACT specific” questions. These are typically questions that don’t deal with general grammar but instead are a matter of style, selection and usage and asked in a particular way according to the ACTs preferences.

Most of the time these are “questions with stems,” or rather, questions that are actually questions, not just a series of answers from which you pick the best option.

There are specific ways to approach these and you should do your best to learn each question type and how to tackle each one. Like grammar rules, these ideas should also be drilled if possible with material whether from a course like our online course or material in an ACT grammar book.

3. Practice with real tests

The final step in mastery of this section is PRACTICE! You must practice as much as possible with real materials.

You can find a few free tests on our resources page. You can also find real exams as part of the Official ACT Prep Guide or the Official ACT Prep Pack (please note these affiliate links support our free content!).

When you miss questions, go over your answers and learn from your mistakes. What is right and why?

If you’re not able to improve and are still missing things you know you reviewed, you also may need to work on your identification skills. As you approach each question, identify its problem type and then remember specific things to check given that category of question.