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The Official ACT Prep Guide 2019-2020,


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Table of Contents

Preface xi How This Book Is Arranged xii Before You Begin xii Part One: Getting Acquainted with the ACT Test 1 Chapter 1: About the ACT 3 Description of the ACT 4 English Test 4 Mathematics Test 6 Reading Test 14 Science Test 17 Writing Test (Optional) 19 The Fifth Test 21 ACT Test Formats: Paper and Online 21 Using a Calculator 21 Taking the Test 22 Summary 23 Chapter 2: Preparation, Skills, and Strategies 25 Mental Preparation 26 Identify Strengths and Address Areas of Improvement 26 Develop a Positive Mental Attitude 27 Keep the Test in Perspective 27 General Test-Taking Strategies and Skills 27 Remain Calm 27 Pace Yourself 28 Know the Directions Ahead of Time 29 Read Carefully and Thoroughly 29 Choose Strategies for Answering Easier and More Difficult Questions 30 Use Logic on More Difficult Questions 30 Choose a Strategy for Guessing on Multiple-Choice Questions 30 Choose a Strategy for Changing Answers 31 Write Notes in Your Test Booklet 31 Mark Your Answers Carefully 31 Plan to Check Your Answers 32 Learn Strategies for Specific Tests 32 Summary 32 Part Two: Taking and Evaluating Your First Practice Test 33 Chapter 3: Taking and Scoring Your First ACT Practice Test 35 Simulating Testing Conditions 35 Practice Test 1 41 Scoring Your Practice Test 101 Scoring Your Multiple-Choice Practice Tests 102 Scoring Your Practice Writing Test Essay 108 Reviewing Explanatory Answers 113 Chapter 4: Identifying Areas for Improvement 188 Reviewing Your Overall Performance 189 Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement on the English Test 189 Test-Taking Errors 190 Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement on the Mathematics Test 192 Math Subject Areas 192 Test-Taking Errors 192 Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement on the Reading Test 193 Types of Reading Passages 194 Reading Skills Tested 194 Test-Taking Errors 195 Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement on the Science Test 196 Science Subject Areas 196 Types of Science Questions 197 Test-Taking Errors 197 Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement on the Writing Test 198 Writing Skills Tested 198 Writing Strategy or Process Errors 199 Part Three: Improving Your Score 201 Chapter 5: Improving Your English Score 203 Content of the ACT English Test 203 Types of Questions on the ACT English Test 204 Strategies for Taking the ACT English Test 213 Chapter 6: Improving Your Math Score 229 Content of the ACT Mathematics Test 230 Preparing for Higher Math 230 Integrating Essential Skills 230 Modeling 231 Types of Questions on the ACT Mathematics Test 231 Basic Math Problems 231 Basic Math Problems in Settings 235 Very Challenging Problems 239 Question Sets 246 Strategies for Taking the ACT Mathematics Test 251 Pace Yourself 251 Answer All Questions 251 Answer All the Easy Questions First, Then Go Back to Answer the Hard Ones 252 Read Each Problem Carefully 252 Look for Information in the Answer Choices 252 Use Illustrations Wisely and Whenever You Can 253 Use Your Calculator Wisely 253 Think! 253 Show Your Work 254 Check Your Answers 254 Chapter 7: Improving Your Reading Score 255 Content of the ACT Reading Test 255 Key Ideas and Details 256 Craft and Structure 256 Integration of Knowledge and Ideas 256 Types of Questions on the ACT Reading Test 256 Representative ACT Reading Test Questions 257 Strategies for Taking the ACT Reading Test 267 Pace Yourself 267 Use the Time Allotted 267 Think of an Overall Strategy That Works for You 268 Keep the Passage as a Whole in Mind 268 Find a Strategy for Approaching Each Question 268 Reading Strategies Summary 269 Chapter 8: Improving Your Science Score 277 Content of the ACT Science Test 277 Format of the ACT Science Test 278 Data Representation Format 279 Discussion of Sample Passage I (Data Representation) 281 Research Summaries Format 284 Discussion of Sample Passage II (Research Summaries) 286 Conflicting Viewpoints Format 288 Discussion of Sample Passage III (Conflicting Viewpoints) 290 Strategies for Taking the ACT Science Test 293 Develop a Problem-Solving Method 293 Take Notes 294 Pace Yourself 294 Practice Interpreting Graphs, Tables, and Diagrams 294 Make the Most of the Information in Graphs 295 Make the Most of the Information in Tables 297 Develop an Understanding of Scientific Investigations 298 Carefully Analyze Conflicting Viewpoints 298 Chapter 9: Improving Your Score on the Optional Writing Test 299 Content of the ACT Writing Test 300 How Your Essay Will Be Scored 300 Sample Prompt and Essays 300 Sample ACT Writing Test Prompt 301 Sample Essay Responses 303 Strategies for Taking the ACT Writing Test 327 Prewrite 327 Write 327 Review Your Essay 328 Practice 328 Part Four: Taking Additional Practice Tests 329 Chapter 10: Taking Additional Practice Tests 331 Practice Test 2 337 Explanatory Answers 397 Practice Test 3 477 Explanatory Answers 537 Practice Test 4 625 Explanatory Answers 683 Practice Test 5 757 Explanatory Answers 815 Chapter 11: Scoring the Additional Practice Tests 886 Scoring Your Practice Tests 887 Scoring Practice Test 2 888 Scoring the Multiple-Choice Tests 888 Scoring Your Practice Writing Test 2 Essay 894 Scoring Practice Test 3 897 Scoring the Multiple-Choice Tests 897 Scoring Your Practice Writing Test 3 Essay 902 Scoring Practice Test 4 904 Scoring the Multiple-Choice Tests 904 Scoring Your Practice Writing Test 4 Essay 909 Scoring Practice Test 5 911 Scoring the Multiple-Choice Tests 911 Scoring Your Practice Writing Test 5 Essay 916 Chapter 12: Interpreting Your ACT Test Scores and Ranks 918 Understanding Your ACT Test Results 920 How ACT Scores Your Multiple-Choice Tests 920 How ACT Scores Your Writing Test 920 Recognizing That Test Scores Are Estimates of Educational Achievement 920 Using Ranks to Interpret Your Scores 921 Comparing Your Test Scores to Each Other 921 Comparing Your Scores and Ranks to Your High School Grades 921 Comparing Your Scores to Those of Enrolled First-Year College Students 921 Using ACT College and Career Readiness Standards to Help You Understand Your ACT Scores 922 Planning Your Education and Career 923 Seeking Additional Information and Guidance 923 ACT College and Career Readiness Standards-English 924 Production of Writing 924 ACT College and Career Readiness Standards-Mathematics 931 ACT College and Career Readiness Standards-Reading 940 Text Complexity Rubric-Reading 947 ACT College and Career Readiness Standards-Science 954 Part Five: Moving Forward to Test Day 959 Chapter 13: Registering, Planning, and Packing for Test Day 961 National Testing Program versus State and District Testing 962 Registering for the ACT 962 Selecting a National Testing Date and Location 962 Selecting a Test Option 964 Registering 964 Registering Under Special Circumstances 965 Planning and Packing for Test Day 965 Getting to the Test Center 965 Dressing for Test Day 966 Packing for Test Day: What to Bring 966 Obtaining Additional Test Details 967 At the Test Center 967 Checking In 967 Following the Rules 968 Communicating with the Testing Staff 969 Maintaining Your Composure and Energy 970 Voiding Your Answer Documents on Test Day 970 Testing More Than Once 971

About the Author

ACT (Iowa City, IA) is a not-for-profit organization providing assessment, research, information, and program management services to support education and workforce development. Known most widely as the makers of the ACT exam--the college readiness and placement assessment taken by some 1.8 million high school students each year--ACT produces a number of assessments and services reaching more than 10 million people along the kindergarten through career continuum. ACT's rigorous research informs policy decisions and helps develop programs that boost lifelong learning potential in schools and workplaces around the world. To learn more, visit www.act.org.

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