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ACT for Busy Students: 15 Simple Steps to Tackle the ACT



ACT for Busy Students: 15 Simple Steps to Tackle the ACT PDF

Author: Kaplan Test Prep

Publisher: Kaplan Publishing

Genres:

Publish Date: February 2, 2016

ISBN-10: 9781506209067

Pages: 384

File Type: Epub

Language: English

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Book Preface

How to Use This Book

This is the perfect ACT prep book for the overextended high-schooler with a hyperactive lifestyle. ACT for Busy Students Fifth Edition crunches Kaplan’s years of test-prep know-how into a book that’s fast, easy to read, and effective.

Here’s how. Studying for the ACT is pretty straightforward:

• You learn overall test-taking skills and strategies.

• You learn Reading and English skills and strategies.

• You learn Math and Science skills and strategies.

• You learn the optional Writing skills and strategies.

• You apply these skills and strategies on a full-length practice ACT.

ACT for Busy Students Fifth Edition teaches the most important skills and strategies in 15 super organized steps. Each Busy step helps you:

• Know the details of each ACT subject test

• Learn the specific skills that help you with that subject test

• Master Kaplan’s proven strategies for answering ACT questions on that subject test

ACT for Busy Students Fifth Edition covers general ACT information and strategies. Each step covers its subject in detail. At the end of the book is a timed, full-length practice ACT. Take it, score it, and you’re ready for the real deal.

Okay, you’re busy, so let’s start.

INTRODUCTION

You’ve probably heard rumors to the effect that the ACT is a tough exam. Well, the rumors are true. Nevertheless, just because this is a challenging test, does not mean you can’t earn a great score. If you follow the steps in this book, you’ll have done more preparation for the ACT than most other people sitting with you on test day. You’ll learn three things that will enable you to take control of the ACT: the test format, test strategies, and the concepts tested.

The Test Format

The ACT is very predictable. You’d think the test makers would get bored after a while, but they don’t. The same kinds of questions, testing the same skills and concepts, appear every time the ACT is given.

Because the test specifications rarely change, you should know in advance what to expect on every subject test. Just a little familiarity with the directions and common question types can make an enormous difference.

The Test Strategies

The ACT isn’t a normal exam. Normal exams test mostly your memory. But the ACT tests problem-solving skills as well as memory, and it does so in a standardized test format. That makes the test highly vulnerable to test-smart strategies and techniques.

Most students miss a lot of ACT questions for no good reason. They see a tough-looking question, say to themselves, “Uh-oh, I don’t remember how to do that,” and start to gnaw on their No. 2 pencils.

But many ACT questions can be answered without complete knowledge of the material being tested. Often, all you need to do to succeed is to think strategically and creatively.

The Concepts Tested

The ACT is designed to test skills and concepts learned in high school and needed for college. Familiarity with the test, coupled with smart test-taking strategies, will take you only so far. For your best score, you need to sharpen the skills and knowledge that the ACT rewards.

The good news is that most ACT content is pretty basic. You’ve probably already learned in high school most of what the ACT expects you to know. But you may need help remembering.

In short, follow these three principles:

•Learn the test format.

•Learn test strategies.

•Learn the concepts tested.

If you do, you’ll find yourself in full command of your ACT test-taking experience.

WHAT IS THE ACT?

Okay, let’s start with the basics. The ACT is a three-hour exam (two hours and 55 minutes, to be precise) taken by high school juniors and seniors for admission to college. It’s a test of problem-solving skills—which means that you can improve your performance by preparing for it.

All students who take the ACT complete four subject tests: English, Math, Reading, and Science. All four subject tests are designed primarily to test skills rather than knowledge, though some knowledge is required—particularly in English, for which knowledge of grammar and writing mechanics is important, and in Math, for which you need to know the basic math concepts taught in a regular high school curriculum.

The ACT:

Is about three hours long

Includes a short break (between the second and third subtests)

Consists of a total of 215 scored questions

Has four subject tests:

—English (45 minutes, 75 questions)

—Math (60 minutes, 60 questions)

—Reading (35 minutes, 40 questions)

—Science (35 minutes, 40 questions)

Includes an optional Writing test:

—Writing (40 minutes, 1 essay question)

WHAT IS THE ACT WRITING TEST?

The ACT Writing test is a 40-minute, optional section of the ACT that measures your writing skills. Colleges and universities have the option to make the Writing test a requirement for admission or to use the results to determine course placement. Students who are applying to college can decide whether to take the Writing test based on the requirements of the schools to which they plan to apply. For this optional test, students write an essay in response to a prompt that asks them to take a stand on an issue. The ACT Assessment plus Writing takes approximately three hours and 40 minutes to complete. You must decide when you sign up to take the ACT whether or not you will be taking the Writing portion. The registration fee for the ACT plus Writing is $56.50; the fee for the basic ACT without the Writing test is $39.50. A list of the schools that require or recommend scores from the ACT Writing test are available at: https://actapps.act.org/writPrefRM.

Should You Take the Writing Test?

Find out the requirements of the schools to which you’re applying so you can determine whether to complete the essay on test day.


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