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STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU TEST BETTER ON THE ACT reading TEST

JOAN GEYER KALIHER


You will have 40 questions covering 4 passages that need to be answered within 35 minutes. The questions will cover Prose Fiction, Humanities, Social Studies and the Natural Sciences. You will receive a Reading Test score on the 40 questions with subscores on the 20 questions in the Arts/Literature sections and the 20 questions in the Social Studies/Sciences sections. With a total of 35 minutes available, you will have 8 to 8 ½ minutes to read each passage and answer the questions. The Reading Test evaluates your ability to understand the passages that are in the test not your ability to remember facts.

When reading the Prose Fiction passage, do not just note events. Be aware of the tone and mood of the passage, the relationships of the characters, and the emotion implied by what the characters are saying.

The Humanities passage is factual, not fiction. The information presented in Humanities passage is important, but you also need to pay attention to the author and his or her point of view. You may be asked to project how the author would respond to a situation based on what the passage says about the author’s opinions. The passage may have characters who are historical or contemporary people who have lived, not fictional characters like those is the Prose Fiction passages. You will be asked to infer or identify relationships between ideas, events, trends, people, or thoughts.

The Social Studies passage will present information obtained through research. Because of this, you will have to pay attention to dates, names and concepts and understand cause-effect relationships, sequences of events, and comparisons.

In the Natural Sciences passage, you will usually be presented with a scientific topic and the significance of this topic. Be aware of cause-effect relationships, but now, this is relationships between natural phenomena, not relationships between characters. Also be aware of comparisons and sequences of events. Track but do not memorize rules, theories, or scientific laws that are mentioned. If jargon or technical language is used, the passage will help you understand the meaning from the context in which it is used.

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Two types of questions are used: Referring and Reasoning

The questions will test you on your ability to:

• Determine the main ideas of the paragraph(s) or passage
• Identify details and the meanings of those details
• Understand comparative relationships (how things compare and how they contrast)
• Understand Cause and Effect relationships
• Make generalizations (draw a conclusion)
• Figure out meaning of words from the context
• Understand the sequence of events (order)
• Draw conclusions about the author’s voice and approach
(Inferential; may be harder as you have to understand attitude and point of view of author and the main purpose of the article)

ACT READING Test Strategies:

• If you are a slower reader, preview the questions and then look at or scan the passage for the answers. Spend about 2-3 minutes on each passage and an average of 35 seconds to answer each question. Think of the test as four 8 ½ minute sections.

• Answer all questions. Again, there is no penalty for guessing.

• Keep the passage as whole in mind as you answer the questions.

• Read quickly but carefully. Know what each question asks and select the best answer.

• Sample practice tests will help you get a complete picture.

• With all your preparation, you will score better than you would have before the preparation. Maybe even that Coveted 36. If you don't like your score, you can take the test again and keep the best score.

Good luck and here's to you scoring your best on the ACT Reading Test.

"We believe in helping your son and daughter with ACT Reading Test strategies to accomplish their short range goals in the ACT Test. We approach each student by customizing and individualizing ACT subject tutoring focusing on areas of weakness for improvement.

Included are ACT PREP strategies with all subject reviews. In Reading, pacing is one of the most important strategies you will learn and practice in our ACT PREP. Exceling on this high stakes ACT test can impact your son or daughter's long range potential to excel in their college of choice and life long learning."

If you are looking for a SAT or ACT PR The ACT test prep strategies were prepared based on a review of the ACT.org test prep materials.


Call to set up your ACT PREP tutoring at 630.416.6843 or contact us with our website contact form.



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Students choose this method due to time constraints and distance.

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Joan Geyer Kaliher is a Certified Illinois Teacher and has been tutoring students in the Naperville & surrounding area for 29 years. We offer our tutoring services through SKYPE or FaceTime Nationally.

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