Knowing What to Study for the ACT is Half the Battle

A qualified test prep tutoring service can help you study for the ACT. A high ACT score is needed to get into the best colleges.

A qualified test prep tutoring service can help you study for the ACT. A high ACT score is needed to get into the best colleges.

To know how to study for the ACT, we must first look at what the ACT is made up of. Tear it apart, and tackle each component one by one. The ACT is made up of 5 sections. Here is a closer look at each of the components and what it entails:

English

This section comprises of 75 questions and you will have a total of 45 minutes to complete it. There will be 5 text passages and 15 questions will be tested for each passage. This works out to about 30 seconds for each question, so you will have to be quick about it. There are two sub categories on the ACT English test – standard English and rhetorical skills. The mean score for this section is roughly 21. To get a shot at higher ranking universities, the score to aim for is between 30 and 34.

Mathematics

The math section is made up of 60 questions and you have 60 minutes to complete it. It tests you on grades 9 to 11 math. You may use an approved calculator for this section, so make sure that your calculator is approved and in good working condition. Since the bulk of the questions will be about algebra and geometry, it is useful to brush up on these skills before the test. Similar to the ACT English test, the average score is 21, but in order to be considered for the top ranking universities, you will need to score between 30 and 34.

Reading

This section may sound like an easy section but you should not take it lightly. There are 40 questions in this section, with just 35 minutes to complete. There will be 4 passages for you to read and 10 multiple choice questions after each passage. All passages are in the form of a prose, so there will be no need for you to interpret any poetry. There are 4 main categories for the passages – social studies, natural sciences, prose fiction and humanities. Much like the previous two ACT sections, the average score is 20, but in order to into top ranking universities, you will need to score much higher than average.

Science

There are 40 multiple choice questions in this section. You have 35 minutes to complete this part of the test. The 4 main categories tested are biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences. This ACT test is mostly about scientific reasoning, so there will be no need to remember all the content details. There will be 7 passages, and you will have to use the data presented to address 5 questions, do a research summary with 6 questions, and use 1 conflicting viewpoints passage to complete 7 questions.

Writing

This is the only non-multiple choice section of the ACT test. It is also an optional test that will earn you 2 additional scores. This section is a bonus for those who attempt it and do well; however, it does not affect your composite score. The purpose of this test is to see if the writer is able to stay focused on a particular topic as well as support arguments with facts and examples.

Our test prep tutoring service can help you prepare for the ACT. Contact us today to meet with a qualified tutor in your area.