If the idea of spotting rogue commas and dangling participles makes your blood run cold, the ACT English section likely presents a major source of apprehension as you approach the conclusion of your high school career. Made up of seventy-five multiple-choice questions to be answered in forty-five minutes, even students who have succeeded in their English and writing courses can find themselves stumped. In preparing for the ACT English section, it is important to recognize that the test employs two general types of questions and to ready yourself for each one. Whether you need top ACT English tutors in Atlanta, ACT English tutors in Houston, or top ACT English tutors in San Francisco, working with a pro may take your studies to the next level.
In most questions, the ACT English section tests students’ abilities to identify and fix a wide variety of common grammatical errors introduced by a specified word or as part of an indicated phrase or sentence. Where do commas go in lists? How do you format indirect quotations? Which conjunction makes logical sense? Reviewing the rules of standard English grammar can help you prepare to answer these questions, and reading appropriately difficult material of any genre can reinforce what you learn by presenting you with examples of grammatical concepts in action. Don’t forget: you don’t need to be able to name a particular type of error to answer an ACT English question correctly—you just have to be able to pick out which answer choice fixes it!
Just as it is important to bolster your grammatical knowledge when preparing for the ACT English section, it is also important to recognize that not all ACT English questions focus on nitty-gritty details. The section also asks students to act as editors in a larger sense, proposing changes to the passage at hand and asking them to select the most effective option. Which transition works best? Is this phrase adding anything to the argument? Where should this sentence be placed in the first paragraph? All of these are questions you may find yourself asking on the ACT English section. These questions often require you to consider the context, tone, and main idea of the passage as a whole. Practicing describing features of articles or practice passages can be extremely helpful, and help you improve your ability to understand exactly what goes into determining a passage’s character. You can practice yourself or try ACT English tutoring.
The ACT English section can seem particularly difficult to review for because of the many different kinds of grammatical errors that can appear on the test, as well as the variety of forms that those grammatical errors can take. Varsity Tutors’ free ACT English resources can help you create a detailed study plan by helping you to recognize and work on the concepts that you find to be most tricky. Beginning with one of our ACT English Diagnostic tests exposes you to questions taken from each concept tested on the section, and allows you to get an idea of how ready you are for each one. You can then work on improving your ability to correct specific errors and make particular types of editing decisions by working through our ACT English Practice Tests or ACT English Flashcards in a given concept. A good first step would be registering for a free Learning Tools account, which tracks your scores and your progress as you use each of our free tools. A free digital ACT prep book is also available.
Reviewing for the different types of questions featured on the ACT English section has benefits other than preparing you for your test date. You may benefit from working with an ACT English tutor. Virtually every college class requires some form of written assignments, whether in the form of essays or lab reports, and tightening your grasp on tricky grammatical concepts can help you avoid being ambiguous, or worse, misunderstood by your readers. Furthermore, looking beyond the collegiate environment, written communication forms a part of most jobs, meaning that the ability to write clearly and precisely can help you present yourself as an attractive candidate when applying to the job of your dreams. After all, in many circumstances, your first impression is conveyed through a resumé and cover letter, written documents that can suffer from all of the grammatical errors the ACT English section challenges you to recognize and correct. So, even if the ACT English section seems challenging, know that with careful preparation, you can be ready to feel confident on test day, and that the skills you develop while reviewing will serve you well in your future endeavors.