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Any Tips for the ACT Reading Section?

DrDre94DrDre94 Posts: 265Registered User Junior Member
edited October 2011 in ACT Preparation
Calling all people who got a 29+ on the Reading section...

What strategies did you use on the test? How did you prepare for the Reading test?
Post edited by DrDre94 on

Replies to: Any Tips for the ACT Reading Section?

  • amandachgoamandachgo Posts: 16Registered User New Member
    start by skimming the passage fast. write the main idea of each paragraph in a word or two. underline anything that shows a change in idea like but, however. then go to the question and think of an answer before going through the answers. don't choose an answer until you go through ur 4 choices then answer. Don't get tricked by answer choices that have the same vocab from the text but have a different meaning. also, don't spend more than 8 minutes on each passage. if you get bored or give up easily or have some passages ur better at start with the harder ones. Spend ur time on what u need time on. For example prose fiction is easiest for me so I left it to the end because I don't need as much time on it. Hope that helps. Practice practice practice.
    GOt a 31 on reading after getting 22 the first time. good luck
  • Gecko245Gecko245 Posts: 12Registered User New Member
    what I did was just read each passage, and tried to make myself interested in the passage. No matter how boring it was. After reading the passage then I went through the questions and remember that the answers are almost always explicitly stated SOMEWHERE in the passage. So the extra time I spent on reading allowed me to go through the questions faster because I could remember basically where the answer would probably be. This approach could backfire if you run out of time though, so be careful! (it got me a 36 reading score)

    Give it a shot on some timed practice tests and see how it goes!
  • CAgirl1221CAgirl1221 Posts: 36Registered User Junior Member
    try to skim through each passage, read it as fast as you can but make sure you still get the small details that they may act in the fact questions and try to understand the passage the first time you read it. you also dont want to waste your time going back to the passage for every question because you didnt get what the main point was. One strategy that i learned and worked for me is to try to predict each answer choice for each question by covering up the answer choices. (got a 34 on reading ) Good luck!
  • TechhexiumTechhexium Posts: 624Registered User Member
    Thank you everyone for the tips. I have been struggling to increase my score of 23 (composite 30) I got last September. Today I took an official practice test and I got 28.

    One thing I realize that may help others is I underline with the intent of quickly finding a line if I need it, but after the test I realize underlining it can also help me remember subtle details perhaps because underlining helps me detect important details and so is a less passive way of remembering them.
  • TheValidityTheValidity Posts: 76Registered User Junior Member
    My advice is simply to get better at reading. That may sound obvious but if you are able to read at a high speed and understand what you're reading without spacing out, you will easily finish the reading section with confidence in your answers that is vital for heading into the science section. There are no tricks and no need to skim as the test was made for decently fast readers to finish before the time.

    The best way to do this is to read challenging material and to read it frequently. Reading harry potter will not help your score at all. If I were you I would pick up a copy of the new york times(not a local newspaper!) and read one article a day for a few months. This will increase your score TREMENDOUSLY.

    The logic behind this is all but one of your ACT passages are non-fiction. Reading newspaper articles will train you to focus on things you have no interest in. The small text of newspapers also increases your reading level. And look at the size of the ACT passages. They are identical to the size of newspaper articles.

    Hope that helped. However, if you are a senior and looking to get a last test in before applying this method won't be of much use. Remember, the skills gained from this method are important to both college success and life after college! So read, read, read!

    Sent from my ADR6400L using CC App
  • almost therealmost there Posts: 1,417Registered User Senior Member
    My advice is don't read the passage. Go straight to the questions and answer the ones with a line number. After you go through all of those You'll have a pretty good sense of the passage and you'll be able to answer the other questions and you will finish with plenty of time (as in 5-10 minutes) so you can reread the passages and check your answers. I used this and got a 35 the first time and a 36 the second with no actual practice or anything. The ACT reading is easy because all of the answers are generally explicitly stated in the passage.
  • ToussaintnouvToussaintnouv Posts: 166Registered User Junior Member
    I read everything, feign interest by telling yourself "wow this is such a good read"

    Worked for me, I got a 36 on the section
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