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Tips on ACT Reading Section

TenebrousNightTenebrousNight Posts: 228Registered User Junior Member
edited March 2013 in ACT Preparation
I like the SAT Critical Reading section much more than the ACT Reading Section. Everything is in order, the questions give specific lines to help solve problems, and there is much more inferring. However, the ACT Reading Section is usually out of order and does not take a lot of inferring. Rather, some answers come straight out of the text.

My question is this: What is the best approach to solve these questions? My ultimate goal is a 34-36, so I was wondering how I should tackle these questions. Do I look at all of the questions first and then somehow try to remember everything while I am reading the passage, or do I read the passage first and try to remember everything? Any input at all would be helpful.
Post edited by TenebrousNight on

Replies to: Tips on ACT Reading Section

  • OregonSeniorOregonSenior Posts: 273Registered User Junior Member
    The ACT reading also does not have nearly enough time as the SAT reading does. You won't have enough time to look at the questions first. Read the passage and simultaneously mark what you subjectively think is important information (for example, lists, dates, and names are normally important). Also, allocate enough time to reading the passage/answering the questions.
  • TenebrousNightTenebrousNight Posts: 228Registered User Junior Member
    ^ It just doesn't make that much sense to me to read the entire thing, look at the questions, and then reread the part of the passage where I can find the answer. Does this work efficiently?
  • OregonSeniorOregonSenior Posts: 273Registered User Junior Member
    If you mark the passage and have a good memory, you'll likely only have to search the passage for 2-3 questions per passage. Of course, there's no universal template for how to approach the test; do some practice tests and see what works best for you.
  • 082349082349 Posts: 2,228Registered User Senior Member
    ^ It just doesn't make that much sense to me to read the entire thing, look at the questions, and then reread the part of the passage where I can find the answer. Does this work efficiently?

    Actually, I did that. I wouldn't advise you to do that because I was left with seconds to go. I did get a 36 for reading, though.
  • kash moneykash money Posts: 93Registered User Junior Member
    "It just doesn't make that much sense to me to read the entire thing, look at the questions, and then reread the part of the passage where I can find the answer. Does this work efficiently?"

    I did the same thing too and got a 35 in the reading section. IMHO, the reading section of the ACT does not provide nearly as much time to look at the questions first and then the text. You just gotta keep practicing on timing till your brain explodes ;)
  • blob793blob793 Posts: 237Registered User Junior Member
    How much time do you get for how many questions? I understand there are 4 Passages, but other than that I am unfamiliar with the rest of format.
  • OregonSeniorOregonSenior Posts: 273Registered User Junior Member
    You have 35 minutes to answer 40 questions; there are ten questions per passage and the passages are approximately 750 words long.
  • TenebrousNightTenebrousNight Posts: 228Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks for all of the replies! Since most of the high scorers have been using the same tactic, reading the entire passage first and then looking at/doing the questions, I will apply this on my next practice test.
  • atomvseveatomvseve Posts: 227Registered User Junior Member
    I got a 34 on Reading and did the same thing mentioned above.
  • KudryavkaKudryavka Posts: 867Registered User Member
    36 here. I read part of the piece, looked for any questions that pertained to what I read, then went on. I finished with 10 minutes to go.

    The biggest thing is to just read fast and have good reading comprehension. If you're a slow enough reader that you actually need to strategize to save time reading, you're probably just not gonna get a top score in Reading. The Reading test is probably the hardest one to study for.
  • ACTTesterACTTester Posts: 1,432Registered User Senior Member
    ^ I did the same thing: reading part of the passage and then answering the related questions, and got a 35 on Reading.
  • jeandevachesjeandevaches Posts: 31Registered User Junior Member
    What would you recommend for slow readers? I'm not a slow reader, but I teach and tutor people who are. Right now I've been teaching them speed-reading (really helps some, doesn't help others at all) on the off-chance it works, having them read the whole passage in any case, then picking key words in the question to go back and skim through the passage to locate. The answer to the question is always going to be right next to that key word, either right before it or right after it.

    The problem I've been having is that some people are bad skimmers for the same reason they are slow readers, and can't skim both quickly and accurately (unlike me, where if I'm looking for a specific word, it'll jump out at me). What would you recommend for these people? As others have said, I've found Reading to be the hardest to help people with.
  • ThereseRThereseR Posts: 419Registered User Member
    You have 35 minutes to answer 40 questions; there are ten questions per passage and the passages are approximately 750 words long.


    I thought that the passages were longer than 750 words
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