What To Avoid When Studying For The ACT English Section

December 28, 2022
By AdmissionSight

What To Avoid When Studying For The ACT English Section

What is the English section of the ACT?

What exactly is the ACT English Section? The English portion of the exam consists of several passages or essays, each followed by a set of questions with multiple-choice answers.

  • In the case of paper examinations, certain questions refer to the highlighted parts of the passage and provide several possible answers in place of the highlighted part. For the online test, these questions will refer to the highlighted sections of the passage. You are tasked with determining which option best fits the description provided by the passage.
  • Some questions will ask you about the highlighted part of the passage, a specific section, or the entire passage. It is up to you to decide which option provides the most useful response to the question presented.
  • One of the questions’ choices is “NO CHANGE,” which refers to the passage.

Students talking in a table.

The English portion of the test will put you in the role of a writer responsible for making decisions regarding the revision and editing of a text. Many different rhetorical situations can be found in essays of various genres. These passages were selected because they are suitable for evaluating students’ writing and language skills and reflect their interests and experiences.

Why it is necessary to prepare for the ACT Exam?

Many students are anxious about taking the ACT, and as a result, they spend a lot of time practicing and getting ready for the big day. On the other hand, some capable students are under the impression that it is optional to study for the ACT. Before writing off the time you spend preparing for the ACT in favor of other activities, you should take into consideration the following points:

The expression “practice makes perfect.”

If you put in the effort to study and practice for the ACT English section, your score will almost certainly improve. This is especially true if you have a good idea of what aspects of the test to concentrate on during your study time. This does not imply that you must spend a lot of time studying. However, it does mean that you must study the appropriate topics, take practice exams to identify the areas in which you struggle, and then concentrate on improving your performance.

Suppose you are familiar with the layout of the examination. In that case, it will be easier for you to control your anxiety and concentrate on the task rather than your worries, which will result in a higher score for you. Take ACT practice tests designed to look exactly like the real tests so that the actual exams will feel more comfortable and familiar to you when you sit for them.

This can affect your college application.

When reviewing your application, a college or university will look at more than just your ACT scores to determine whether or not to accept you. Your past activities, interests, and capabilities, as well as any personalized essays you submit, can affect how successful you are in gaining admission to the college or university of your choice.

Female student typing in a table.

However, this does not imply that you can take the ACT on “wing and a prayer.” Your performance on these examinations is still considered one of the most important factors in determining whether or not you will be admitted to a particular educational institution.

Most schools have minimum score requirements for these tests, which are typically posted on their websites to determine student eligibility. Admissions departments at competitive schools (such as universities in the Ivy League) receive more applications than they can accept.

If you have a low score on the ACT, your application may be rejected before anyone even has the chance to read it. In that case, none of the other materials you submitted will be considered. On the other hand, getting a high score on the ACT will help you get your foot in the door, increasing the likelihood that your application will be read and given serious consideration.

In addition, once a college or university has narrowed down the applications and is deciding which students to accept, your score will likely be one of the final determining factors. This is true whether the college or university is a four-year institution or a two-year community college. Even a small number of points can significantly influence the educational goals you have for the future.

There is a bigger chance for scholarships.

A wide variety of organizations can use your ACT score to determine whether you are eligible for one-time or ongoing funding. The higher your score, the greater the number of opportunities for financial aid in the form of scholarships you will have.

Male student reading a book in the hallway.

In addition, several colleges and universities automatically provide scholarships to students who have achieved a certain minimum ACT score. However, in most cases, a minimum ACT score of 25 is required to receive funding. The minimum score required varies depending on which college or university you attend; however, to receive funding, you need to have a minimum score of 25 on the ACT.

What to avoid when studying for the ACT English exam?

Thinking every underlined part contains an error.

When studying for the ACT English exam, it seems as though the answer “no change” must be incorrect, but in reality, it is correct slightly more than 25 percent of the time. You shouldn’t immediately eliminate choice A or F and shouldn’t second-guess yourself if you get “no change” as the answer to multiple questions in a row. Instead, give all of the options a fair chance.

Instead, suppose you are unable to locate an error and believe that selecting “no change” could be the best option. In that case, you should examine the differences between the answers and attempt to identify the type of question being asked.

Are verbs the only option for each answer? It is likely a question about the verb tense or the subject-verb agreement. Does each answer contain commas positioned in a different part of the sentence? It sounds like you have a question about commas. (It is important to remember, however, that certain questions test more than one idea.) After you have determined what kind of question it is, you will be able to check to see if the error was corrected in the initial version. Is there an error in the conjugation of the verb? Are the commas in the right places?

Treating the answer “no change” as you would any other answer is the key to avoiding confusion. Choose option A if the version of the highlighted passage that was originally written is the one that works best.

Including further words than necessary.

On the ACT English test, the two concepts requiring the least amount of intuition to understand are relevance and redundancy. To pass questions on these topics, you will need to eliminate phrases that are completely grammatically acceptable but frequently appear to add information.

Recognizing that not all information is useful is essential to getting a handle on how to approach these questions appropriately. If a response adds information that is not immediately relevant to the issue or restates something that has already been established, that response is most likely incorrect. Try removing the unnecessary words one at a time to determine whether or not the sentence retains its meaning (both grammatically and logically). If this is the case, the best option is to omit superfluous words.

Female student using a laptop for research.

You shouldn’t be afraid to choose the option to OMIT the portion that has been underlined if you believe the passage can function adequately without the entire section that has been underlined.

Including commas where they are not needed.

Many students think a comma should be inserted into a sentence whenever there is a pause in the text; however, if you take this approach, you will fail to answer many questions correctly. These commas may be appropriate, but they’re not needed. The reality is that commas should only be used when appropriate in a limited number of contexts. “When in doubt, leave it out!” is a good rule of thumb that can be applied in many situations.

Incorrectly connecting separate clauses in a sentence.

A comma splice is an error that occurs when a comma is used to connect two independent clauses. It is one of the most common English comma issues students make on the ACT English exam. The correct way to connect two complete thoughts is by using a period, a semicolon, a colon, or a coordinating conjunction followed by a comma.

Using It’s, Its, and Its’ interchangeably.

It’s easy to get confused about the differences, particularly if you haven’t reviewed them in a while, but in reality, they’re not that difficult to understand.

The possessive pronoun “its” is used when there is no apostrophe before it. It is like saying “his” or “her,” neither of which has an apostrophe.

The phrase “it is” or “it has” can be contracted to “it’s” by placing an apostrophe before the letter “s.” An apostrophe must always be used to indicate a contraction to replace the letter or letters that have been dropped.

The form of the word “its'” with an apostrophe after the second “s” is not a valid word. The ACT will ask questions with this construction as a possible answer, but it is invariably incorrect.

Try replacing the word in question with “it is” (or “it has,” depending on the context) and seeing if the sentence still makes sense. This will help you determine whether or not the word in question requires an apostrophe. In that case, “it’s” is the correct usage. If not, the answer is “its.”

When a singular pronoun such as “They or Their” is used.

When referring to people whose gender is not clear, we most often refer to them with the plural pronouns “they,” “their,” and “them” in conversation (e.g. the child, the teacher, the inventor). However, this usage is considered an error in pronoun agreement in written English since the noun is singular, but the pronoun used to replace it is plural.

Neglecting to read the question.

It is easy to gloss over questions when they come up on the ACT English test because the majority of the questions on the test only focus on the highlighted parts of the passage. However, as with the other parts of the ACT, it is important to carefully read the questions and think about what they are trying to get you to do. In most cases, the question provides the clearest possible indication of the correct response.

This rule is important to remember when attempting to respond to questions that inquire about the most effective version of a phrase or sentence. It’s easy to give in to the temptation to go with the answer that seems to make the most sense to you at the time, but doing so will almost always lead to an incorrect conclusion. Instead, focus on the question’s requested information, such as “specific details” or “information that establishes a contrast.”

Incorrect placement of modifiers.

Another type of strange error that frequently does not appear to be incorrect is the use of misplaced or dangling modifiers, which are descriptive words or phrases that are positioned incorrectly within a sentence.

However, the ACT does include them fairly regularly, so make sure you keep in mind this essential rule: a modifier must be placed next to the thing that it modifies. The use of dangling modifiers is particularly difficult. Keep an eye out for sentences that start with descriptive phrases; the noun they describe must come after them in the sentence.

With the knowledge that you have acquired about studying for the ACT, passing the exam should be a breeze. However, to guarantee your entry to the college of your dreams, you will need the help of AdmissionSight. You can get all the right information and guidance from experts at AdmissionSight. Start your journey today with an initial consultation.






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