ENGLISH - Kentucky Department of Education

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Transcript ENGLISH - Kentucky Department of Education

ACT Prep
ACT General Tips
 Don’t Get Bogged Down
 Skip past hard questions so you can quickly rack
up points on easier questions
ACT General Tips
 Do Questions Triage
 The first time you look at each question, make a
quick decision about how hard and time
consuming it looks. Then decide whether to anser
it now or skip it and do it later.
 Comprehensible/Reasonable = DO RIGHT AWAY
 Tough/Time Consuming = LEAVE FOR LATER
 Impossible = FUGETABOUTIT
Passage-Based Triage
 Do each passage as a block
 Long first pass through questions (triage
pass), doing easy ones & guessing
 Second pass (clean up pass), doing those you
can solve with extra effort
 **Mark the questions in your test blooklet**
ACT General Tips
 Rephrase for understanding
 ACT Questions are rarely presented in the
simplest, most helpful way.
 Your main job for many questions is to figure out
what the question means so you can solve it
 Reword the questions so you can understand
ACT General Tips
 Mark Up Your Test Booklet
 Circle or Underline the Main Idea
 Make a Road Map of the Passage
 Quick notes about each paragraph so you get how it
fits together
 That way, you know WHERE to find what you NEED to
ACT General Tips
 Ignore Irrelevant Issues
 Just because it looks interesting, or just because you’re
worried about something, doesn’t make it important:
…China was certainly one of the cradles of
civilization. It’s obvious that, China has a
long history. As is the case with other
ancient cultures, the early history of China
is lost in mythology…
G. It’s obvious that China has a long
H. Obviously; China has a long history.
I. OMIT the underlined portion.
ACT General Tips
 Check The Text
 All the information you need is in the test itself
 Don’t be afraid to refer to it
 Especially in reading and science, always refer to
the place in the passage where the answer can be
 Often, the wrong answers will be “misplaced
details” – details taken from different parts of the
passage. (They don’t answer the question properly,
but sound good if you aren’t careful.)
ACT General Tips
 Answer the RIGHT question
 ACT test makers TRY to trick you
 They can throw in a “red herring” answer that is
correct for another question
ACT General Tips
 ALWAYS GUESS on every question you can’t
 An unanswered question is ALWAYS a WRONG
 Blind Guessing: Impossible questions
 Considered Guessing: (you will do mostly) –
questions you’ve done some work on, but can’t
make headway with
ACT General Tips
 Circle your answers in your test booklet, then
transfer them in groups of 5 or more or after every
2 pages.
 Unless you’re close to the end of the time…then grid
them one at a time so you don’t get caught without
an answer bubbled in
 At 5 minutes, grid one at a time
 At 2 minutes, fill in everything that’s blank
ACT General Tips
 Keep Track of Time!
 You have about 30 seconds per question on
reading-based sections, and about 1 minute per
question in Math
 English and Reading passages should take about 9
minutes each
 Science passages should take about 5 minutes
The ACT English Test Stats
 45 minutes
 75 questions
 = 36 seconds per question
 5 passages
 +/- 15 questions per passage
 A score of 20 requires 2/3 correct responses
 You have to move FAST
Standard Format
 Almost all questions have a word, phrase, or
sentence in the passage underlined with 4
 One option (A) is always “NO CHANGE”
3-Step Method for English
1. Read until you have enough information to
identify the issue
Think about what issue the question is testing (why
are they asking the question?)
2. Eliminate choices that DO NOT address the issue
If there’s no error, mark NO CHANGE, then eliminate
choices that don’t fix the error
3. Plug in the remaining choices
And choose the one that’s most correct, concise, and
Types of Questions
 1/3 of the questions test writing economy
 1/3 of the questions test logic and sense
 1/3 of the questions test hard-and-fast rules
of grammar
Economy Questions
 “Padding” by repeating the same thing over
and over
 Redundancy: Never let the text in a sentence
repeat itself
 Verbosity: Remember that the best way to
write something is the shortest way as long
as it’s grammatically correct
 Irrelevance: Omit ideas that are not directly
and logically tied in with the purpose of the
Economy Questions, cont.
 Almost 1/3 of the questions (more than 20
questions) test your awareness of
redundancy, verbosity, relevance, and similar
 The shortest answer is often correct. When in
doubt, take it.
 Ask yourself: Does the information belong here?
Can the passage/sentence work without it?
ACT English Test Tip
 The directions for the English test are always the
same. Read them now so you know what they are.
 Don’t waste time reading the directions if you
already understand them before the day of the
test. *In the English test, you’ll need all the time
you can get!*
Practice #1
Sense Questions
 Sense questions test meaning errors. Once
you get the hang of them, they can be easy to
 Errors of meaning are often funny once you
see them.
 E.g.: An answer that says, “Abraham Lincoln’s
father was a model of hardworking selfsufficiency. He was born in a log cabin he built
with his own hands.”
 Look at the literal meaning of the statement.
Practice #2
Short Answers
 Sense questions can be more difficult than
economy questions, but you will notice that
the shortest answer is often the correct one.
(Almost half in practice #2)
Grammar Questions
 Completeness (Q#1) – the requirement that
every sentence should consist of an entire
 What is the sentence saying? Is it independent?
 Sentence Structure (Q#4)
 Fragments or Run Ons?
 REMEMBER: Make sure every sentence
contains at least one, but not more than one,
complete thought.
Grammar Questions, cont.
 Modifiers (Q#2) – it must be clear exactly
what words or phrases are modifying
(referring to) what other words and phrases in
the sentence.
 Modifiers should be as close as possible to the
things they modify.
 Idiom (Q#3) – language particular to a group/
native speakers learn this naturally
 Trust your ear
Grammar Questions, cont.
 Pronouns (Q#5) – Sometimes, the test will throw
you a sentence in which the meaning of a
pronoun is unclear
 Identify what the pronoun is replacing
 Make sure it’s perfectly clear to what or to whom all
pronouns refer
 Logic (Q#10) – Structural clues are signal words
that show where the author is going
 On the other hand = contrast
 moreover, = continuation
 Make sure structural clues make logical sense
Grammar Questions, cont.
 Verb usage (Q#7) – Verbs must match their
 Who did what when?
 Verbs need to match their subject in tense of the
surrounding context
 Tone (Q#13) – fluctuates from formal to
 Slang, etc. = informal; Stuffy = formal
 Good style = consistent tone throughout the text
12 Classic Grammar Errors
 It and They – Singulars & Plurals (match with
 Commas or Dashes – Parenthetical phrases
must start and end with the same
punctuation mark
 Run-Ons and Comma Splices – you can’t
combine 2 sentences with one comma
 Fragments – Is the idea complete?
12 Classic Grammar Errors Punctuation
 The test doesn’t have tricky rules of
punctuation, but the basics:
 Comma (,)= pause, offset parenthetical phrases,
separate introductory clauses
 Semicolon (;) = separate 2 complete but closely
related thoughts
 Colon (:) = Works like an “=“ sign connecting
equivalent things; usually at the beginning of a list
 Dash (–) = Can be used for any kind of pause,
usually a long one or one indicating a significant
shift in thought
12 Classic Grammar Errors
 -ly Endings (Adjectives & Adverbs) – Nouns
and pronouns are modified by adjectives.
Verbs and adjectives are modified by adverbs
(-ly words)
 Its and It’s
 Their, There, and They’re
 Sang, Sung, Brang, Brung – Brang and brung
are not used in standard English
12 Classic Grammar Errors
 -er and –est, More and Most (Comparatives
and Superlatives) – er = comparing 2, est =
comparing more than 2
 Between and Among – between = 2 things,
among = more than 2 (or an unknown #)
 Less and Fewer – Less = uncountable things,
fewer = countable things
 People are always countable (There are always
fewer people, but never less people)
OMIT Questions
 Some questions will offer “OMIT the
underlined portion” as one of the answers
 Will it make sense if the portion is gone?
 Is the portion superfluous?
 Just because it gives the options, doesn’t mean it’s
correct, but read the section without the part you
take out. Does it still make sense? Then OMIT.
Nonstandard Questions
 Some questions (about 10 per exam), don’t
follow the standard format.
 They pose a question and offer 4 possible
 Usually, the responses are “yes” or “no” with an
Nonstandard Example
…Later, Pike fell while valiantly
defending America in the war of
1812. [40] He actually died
40. Suppose the author considered adding
the following sentence at this point:
“It goes without saying that this occurred
after he discovered Pike’s Peak.”
Given the overall purpose of the passage,
would this sentence be appropriate?
F. No, because the sentence adds
nothing to the meaning of the
G. No, because the passage is not
concerned with Pike’s achievements.
H. Yes, because otherwise the
sequence of events would be
J. Yes; though the sentence is not
needed, the author recognizes this
fact by using the phrase “it goes
without saying”
The Correct Answer
 Is F.
 Though G correctly indicates that the
sentence doesn’t belong in the passage, it
offers a pretty inappropriate reason
 Choices H and J, meanwhile, are wrong
because they recommend including a
sentence that is clearly redundant
Why Nonstandard Questions?
 Many of them occur at the end of the passage
 They ask about the meaning, purpose, or
tone of the text
 Others ask you to evaluate
 Others ask you to determine the proper order
of words, sentences, or paragraphs that have
been scrambled.