If there is any section of the ACT to love, the English section is it. It’s quick to finish, and you’re likely to score well each time--if you study! That’s the true reason to love this section: rife with patterns that only need to be pointed out, the section can be mastered by any student who puts in the time. Before you begin intensive studying, read these tips for strategies to make the most of your time:
1. Familiarize yourself with the grammar rules being tested
When students perform poorly on the English section, it is often because they don’t know what’s being tested. This leads to guessing with little rationale (“It just sounds right!”). But if you know the handful of grammar concepts that are being tested, you only need to be on the lookout for violations of a few rules. The test then becomes tremendously easier. For most students, reviewing a test-prep book will sufficiently acquaint you with the material.
2. Practice, practice, and...practice again
Knowing the content is not enough, though. It must be coupled with substantial practice. Identifying errors in sentences is a true skill that must be learned. Thankfully, return on investment is high. The material in this section cannot be manipulated to the extent that math concepts can, for example. As a result, if you take enough practice exams, you will see every type of problem that could appear on the exam. We suggest taking no less than five practice exams--and ideally seven to ten.
3. Track your errors and use them to target your studying
For students trying to crack 30, you need to take this approach one step further. When grading your practice exams, keep a record of the types of problems you get wrong. (We suggest using Excel or some other technological tool that ensures you won’t lose this data.) Over time, you will probably see that only one or two types of questions are keeping you from your ideal score. Correct for this by googling grammar worksheets on the error types that trip you up, and practice correcting them over and over again. Conclude by taking a few more practice sections--if you don’t apply your knowledge to questions in the ACT format, your studying may not translate to test day.
These tips will help any student improve his or her score. But if you are still not achieving the gains you hoped for, Signet is here to help. Sometimes it just takes a professional--someone with countless English sections under his or her belt--to pinpoint and correct your unique grammar challenges.
Looking for a professional tutor to help you study for the ACT? Signet has you covered!