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How to improve Reading Section?

wumanizerwumanizer Registered User Posts: 431 Member
edited September 2013 in ACT Preparation
Recently, I have been studying for the upcoming September ACT, and I am still getting around a 31/32 composite every time I take a practice test. My reading scores are usually only around 29. I am trying to get the reading to at least 32. What strategies do you guys recommend? I have tried reading the questions first before the passage, and I have also tried reading the passage then answering the questions. Both don't particularly give me an advantage over the other. Also, is the Barron's Practice Test harder than the actual thing? Because some of the questions in there seem a tad more difficult.
Post edited by wumanizer on

Replies to: How to improve Reading Section?

  • soontobegradsoontobegrad Registered User Posts: 169 Junior Member
    Whenever they introduce a new name underline it. This saves a lot of time when going through for questions. For practice read newspaper articles thoroughly and try to understand them. Pace yourself on those too. If you read NYT then the act should be easy. Read boring ones too.

    When taking the test when you read the first few sentences or title try to mentally psych yourself up. Think positively like "I wonder what interesting things I am going to learn". This sounds corny but if you have a positive attitude like that you will remember more and get through it faster.

    I got a 35 on reading and that is what I did. Good luck!
  • wumanizerwumanizer Registered User Posts: 431 Member
    Thanks, I've never tried the positive attitude approach before. Also, did you just skim through passage, not really caring about detail?
  • soontobegradsoontobegrad Registered User Posts: 169 Junior Member
    No I read them entirely
  • Latin4LifeLatin4Life Registered User Posts: 339 Member
    I would recommend that you read the questions first, but that is just me. Also, you can try "warming up your brain" by choosing the shortest or most interesting story to read first. I would guess that starting off with a really boring story would not put your mind in the mood for 35 minutes of reading. After the most interesting or shortest story, that's when I would tackle the most dreary of them all. You can usually tell how they will be by the title, the first sentence, or the italicized wording before the story begins.
  • Latin4LifeLatin4Life Registered User Posts: 339 Member
    I forgot to mention that I put all my answers in the test booklet first and then memorize the letters to four or five of the answers at a time to put on the answer sheet all at once. This saves a lot of time, since you are not glancing back and forth from the test booklet to the answer sheet between every single question. Just make sure to fill out the answer sheet right. (you know that the question you are answering corresponds to the correct number). Some people feel that doing the reading section this way will mess up their answer sheet, but once you get the hang of it, it will save you time!
  • wumanizerwumanizer Registered User Posts: 431 Member
    Thanks for your replies!
  • peppermintpig96peppermintpig96 Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    spend 2-3 minutes reading the passage. that will give you about 30 seconds for each question which doesn't sound like a lot but if you read the passage thoroughly then you won't have to refer to it that much when you answer the questions
  • picklechicken37picklechicken37 Registered User Posts: 788 Member
    I got a 23 on my April ACT reading section, 31 composite. Since then I have purchased some ACT books. I read through Barrons 36 and taken about 4 practice reading section tests. Today when I took a practice test and scored a 35 on reading. I missed 2 questions. Still finished in time.

    To improve my score I just indexed the passage. I write 1 word to remind me of each paragraph in the margin as I read it. I spend 4 to 4:30 minutes reading the passage then go on through the questions. I underline possibly important things in the passage. With doing this I remember the entire passage very well and can answer most questions quickly. Many of them I don't even need to refer back to the text, saving time. I can find info quickly. 8 then finish the questions in 3:30 to 4 minutes and move on to the next one.

    I also do the passages in reverse order because I'm a science oriented person and almost always do well with natural science.

    This is all I changed for my strategy and I improved 12 points with just a couple of practice tests. Hopefully I helped!
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