Top 3 ACT English Strategies That You Haven’t Heard Of

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ACT English Strategies and Tips : Overview

The English section of the ACT is a challenging and fast-paced section, consisting of 75 questions. In order to get a perfect or near-perfect score on the English section, you will need to memorize the grammatical material it covers. However, there are always a few questions in the English section that are extremely tricky no matter how well one knows grammar. For these situations, I offer three little-known strategies for helping you determine the right answer to a question.

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1. Which Answer Would Anderson Cooper Choose?

The ACT deals with what is called ‘Standard English’(the type of English that a TV newscaster would use). So if you are stuck between two choices, ask yourself, how would a CNN reporter say it? That will usually guide you toward the right answer.

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2. Shorter is Better.

The correct answer is always short and concise. Standard English doesn’t have ‘fluff’ adjectives or adverbs in it; the sentences are never longer than they need to be.  For example, if an answer choice contains a phrase like “he was happy and felt very cheerful”, that answer choice is probably incorrect because it needlessly long. If someone is happy, by definition they are also feeling cheerful; therefore, the phrase is redundant. So remember, even if an answer choice is grammatically correct, if the word count is longer than it absolutely needs to be, is not Standard English.

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3. Read Your Choices Out Loud

If you are having trouble with a grammar question, reading the answers out loud to yourself can help you figure things out. Our ears can pick up on nuances in the language better than you think; many times, hearing something out load will help you hear it for what it really is! Of course, using this strategy on ACT test day probably isn’t the wisest idea – but by then you should have practiced this technique enough to be able to simply mouth things to yourself during the test.

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Let me know if any of these ACT English strategies helped, or if you have other ones to suggest!

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