SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

The Top 9 ACT English Strategies You Must Use

The ACT English section can be intimidating. You have to know grammar rules that may seem obscure to you, and the ACT folks even expect you to know how to properly use commas. Not only do you have to know your grammar, but also you have to to know how to analyze ACT English passages, and you have to know how to organize them. You're tested on a wide range of skills and you don’t have much time to answer each question. If you’re wondering how to possibly go about studying for ACT English and improving your score, then this is the post for you.

In this article, I’ll give you my top 9 strategies to help you ace the ACT English section. These are meant to be study tips that will require time and diligence. The most important advice I can give you is to keep practicing. Focus your studying on areas that need improvement. However, that's advice that anyone can give. If you can successfully execute the following specific strategies, I guarantee your ACT English success:

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ACT English Prep: The Best Methods and Strategies

Preparing for the ACT English section can feel overwhelming. This section covers a lot of material that is often not taught in school, and the format is probably different from that of any other test you’ve taken.

Even more confusing, there are a ton of different sources for ACT English prep. How do you decide which ones to use? How do you make the most efficient use of your study time? What should you do to prepare for ACT English to reach your target score?

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Add/Delete Questions in ACT English: 6 Strategies

Brace yourself for some more ACT English fun. Add/Delete questions are a common type of rhetorical skills question on the ACT English section.

These questions ask whether you should add or delete a sentence or phrase within a passage. They test your reading comprehension and ability to analyze sentences within a passage.

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Formality on ACT English: Strategies and Tips

You wouldn’t wear a tux on a first date or jeans to a wedding. The ACT also tests you on whether or not you understand what level of formality is appropriate in different circumstances.

Read on to learn more about one of the most unusual topics covered on the ACT!

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Verb Tenses and Forms on ACT English: Grammar Rule Strategy

Knowing when to use different verb tenses and forms will be extremely beneficial to you on the ACT English section because these concepts are tested repeatedly on the ACT. Get excited for a fun-filled journey into the vivid, action-filled world of verbs.

 In this post, I’ll do the following:

  •  Define the verb tenses and forms that are tested on the ACT.
  • Provide information about when to use different verb tenses.
  • Detail how to construct verbs in different tenses.
  • Explain and demonstrate how verbs are tested on the ACT.
  • Provide practice questions to test you on what you’ve learned.
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The Best Sources for ACT English Practice

You’re studying ACT English and learning all about important topics like verbs, pronouns, and transitions. Now you just need some practice tests to implement your new skills on!

But before you rush out to take the nearest practice test, make sure it's the right one. Many students use sub-par practice materials—tests that are formatted strangely or full of the wrong types of questions or even just too hard—and it really hurts their progress.

In this post, I'm going to go over everything you need to know about picking out effective practice material and list the very best sources for practice tests.

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Relevance Questions on ACT English: Strategies + Practice

In high school, I had a history teacher who was known for going off on tangents—he would start giving us his lesson on the French Revolution but end up telling us all about the Peregrine falcon. These facts were interesting, but they were hardly relevant to the issue at hand (how Marie Antoinette got her head chopped off). 

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Transition Questions on ACT English: Strategies and Practice

Transitions are one of the most common and trickiest rhetorical topics tested on the ACT English section. However, there are a couple simple rules that can make answering these questions much easier.

In this post, I'll cover everything you need to know to approach all three types of transition question:

  • Types of transitional relationships
  • Transitions between sentences
  • Transitions between clauses
  • Transitions between paragraphs
  • Key strategies for transitions on ACT English questions
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The 8 Most Common Mistakes You Make on ACT English

Over the past five years, I've tutored dozens of students on the ACT and seen them miss the same types of questions over and over again. The ACT English section really only tests a handful of concepts, so it's easy to make the same exact mistake on three or four questions—which really hurts your score.

Don't worry, though! I've come up with eight simple rules you can follow to help you avoid the most common problems on the ACT English and automatically raise your score 1-2 points. Use my ACT English strategies and practice on a lot of realistic questions, and you'll raise your English score.

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Macro Logic in ACT English: Sentence and Paragraph Order

Macro logic questions on ACT English ask you to determine where to properly place sentences within a paragraph and where to properly place paragraphs within a passage. These rhetorical skills questions test your ability to analyze sentences and determine how to most logically organize a passage. Knowing how to recognize and using my top ACT English strategies to approach these questions will enable you to correctly answer them in an efficient manner.

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Author Main Goal: ACT English Questions

Generally, ACT English tests two things: grammar and reading comprehension. Author main goal is a specific type of reading comprehension question that appears frequently on the ACT. Having a systematic approach to correctly answer these questions will boost your score and help you maximize your limited time to complete the ACT English section. Read this article for a thorough explanation of and guidance on how to figure out author main goal questions. 

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Relative Pronouns on ACT English: Tips and Practice

Relative pronouns tend to inspire a lot of confusion. Is it the boy who cried wolf or the boy whom cried wolf? All's well that ends well or all's well which ends well?

As much as we may think we need the fancier pronouns, like whom and which, more often than not, the ones we're more familiar with are just fine. In both of those cases, the first version of the saying is the correct one.

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How Often Is NO CHANGE the Right Answer on ACT English?

On the ACT English section, in the majority of questions, the first answer choice is “NO CHANGE." The “NO CHANGE” answer choice indicates that the underlined word or phrase is correct. Sometimes, students are hesitant to select “NO CHANGE” because they think that there should be an error.

In this article, I’ll explore the frequency of correct “NO CHANGE” answers to give you an idea of how often the “NO CHANGE” answer will be the right one. Furthermore, I’ll let you know how to use this information.

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Author Technique on ACT English: Passage Strategy


Author technique is a specific type of reading comprehension question that appears frequently on the ACT English section. Author technique questions require you to analyze a specific sentence and determine if it fulfills an author's stated purpose.

Read this article for a thorough explanation of author technique and guidance on how to figure out author technique questions.

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Adjectives vs Adverbs for ACT English: Grammar Rule

You may recall the good ol’ days of elementary school when you learned about adjectives and adverbs. If you had realized that you would have to know about these parts of speech for the ACT, perhaps you would have paid better attention instead of daydreaming about Nickelodeon and The Disney Channel. Don’t worry. If you’ve forgotten or never learned about these parts of speech, I’ll teach you everything you need to know about them for the ACT English section.

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