The English Section
The ACT English Section consists of 75 questions that students are asked to complete in 45 minutes. There are three main “types” of questions in this section: Production of Writing, Knowledge of Language, and Conventions of Standard English. The Production of Writing questions ask students about passage organization, topic development, and order of information. Knowledge of Language questions ask students about word choice, concision in language, and consistency in style/tone. Conventions of Standard English problems ask students about sentence structure and all types of punctuation. A lot of people are put off with the idea of mastering vocabulary. Worry not! Unlike the ISEE and SSAT the ACT has no section that strictly tests vocabulary knowledge and most questions regarding such words are not looking for synonyms but instead ways to make the sentences more precise. This is a fast section with 75 questions to answer in a mere 45 minutes you only have 36 seconds per question. In order to make sure you have sufficient time to answer every question, don’t get too hung up on one question. It is much better than you get four easy questions right instead of that one difficult question. What I recommend doing is putting a star next to any question you are still struggling with after 30 seconds, move on, and then return in your extra time at the end. Towards the end of my preparations for the ACT I found that I almost always had 5-7 minutes left after answering all of the English questions. I used this time to go over the 1-2 questions that really stumped me earlier. This section does require a great deal of practice, too. Whilst it is helpful to learn the theory behind grammar (and that is something 4Schoolers tutors can help with!) it is very important to take a lot of practice tests for this section in particular. There are many similar question types that arise on many tests and eventually you will have seen all of them. Therefore, for the English section, my biggest piece of advice is to practice this section a lot. This will help not only in your content knowledge but also in your timing.