The ACT forms a critical hurdle for students applying to many colleges and universities in the United States. In order to submit an impressive application, good grades and extracurricular involvement are not enough; schools can grade on a number of different scales, and high school classes teaching and testing the same material can be graded with varying difficulty. In order to place all applicants on a level playing field, schools use the ACT as a standardized measure of the skills students are expected to develop over the course of their high-school education. Whether you need ACT tutoring in New York, ACT tutoring in Chicago, or ACT tutoring in Los Angeles, working one-on-one with an expert may be just the boost your studies need.
Many students mistake their knowledge of information pertinent to a specific course for proof that they have developed the skills they need on the ACT. Don’t be fooled: the ACT is interested in examining abilities that are quite abstract. Take the ACT Science section as a prime example: you don’t need to know details that are pertinent to your science courses to succeed on this section, such as the difference between mitosis and meiosis and how to balance a chemical equation. Instead, the ACT Science is a test of your ability to reason through data presented on the exam—no memorization is necessary for success! The section asks students to read reports of scientific data, descriptions of scientific experiments, and differing viewpoints of natural phenomena, and then reason their way through questions analyzing the provided content. The ACT Science test thus has quite a bit more in common with the ACT Reading section than many students anticipate.
Like the Science section, the ACT’s other sections examine skills that you have developed in your high school courses. The ACT English section asks you to amend grammatically incorrect sentences and make editorial decisions about which changes to an essay most improve its consistency and best allow for the effective delivery of its main point. The most challenging factor of the ACT English section may be the variety of error types that could potentially appear on it, as well as the subtlety of some of the larger-scale writing decisions the test asks about. The best way to prepare for this test in addition to ACT tutoring, is using Varsity Tutors' free resources like a free ACT prep book to help with your self-paced study.
The ACT Math section gathers together mathematical concepts from algebra, geometry, and trigonometry to see what you’ve learned from your high-school math courses. Here, again, variety may be the most difficult element of the section, and reviewing concepts from courses you took a year or more ago can be prudent to make sure that you have sharpened skills you may have once learned, but have since grown dull with disuse.
The ACT Reading section tests your ability to navigate through dense prose passages and ascertain main ideas, make inferences, analyze the organization of the text, and correctly characterize the author’s tone and method. Many students find themselves prepared to answer relatively straightforward questions wherein the necessary information is directly stated in the passage, but these same students may find themselves stumped by more abstract questions requiring them to pick up on subtle connotations and make challenging logical leaps to infer information.
Whether you are just beginning to prepare to take the ACT or well into your review, Varsity Tutors’ free ACT Help content is available to help you get a good grasp on whichever concepts covered on the ACT are giving you trouble. Oftentimes, students find themselves in need of a few model questions with answers and explanations; consulting such examples can help them recognize patterns and idiosyncrasies that they can apply when approaching difficult questions on their own. Varsity Tutors’ free ACT practice tests content offers such content for each multiple-choice section of the ACT. Whether you need to learn where and how to use the quadratic equation or how to identify and fix a dangling participle, our ACT Help pages are resources that can help you do so. There are many ways to study for this exam, perhaps you work better with other people and would benefit from a study group or an ACT tutor. Don’t let a certain topic you just can’t figure out stop your ACT prep—consult Varsity Tutors’ free ACT Help content and keep progressing in your review!