SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

How Science/Math People Can Do Well on SAT/ACT Reading

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jan 29, 2018 9:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies, ACT Strategies, ACT Reading, SAT Reading

The reading sections of the SAT and ACT can be intimidating at first glance if you’re more inclined towards math and science than the humanities. All those passages! The horror!

Fear not, my number-loving friend. The reading sections of these tests are actually more logic and evidence-based than you might expect. In some cases, your science and math skills can even help you find the correct answers.

This article details three strategies for approaching SAT and ACT Reading if you consider yourself a more math and science-oriented student.

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ACT Vocabulary | Words You Must Know

Posted by Laura Registrato | Jan 9, 2018 6:00:00 PM

ACT Strategies, ACT Reading, ACT English

Many students are confused about ACT vocabulary and what types of words they need to know. Is ACT vocab similar to SAT vocab? What's the best way to study ACT vocabulary?

In this article, we break down exactly how the ACT tests vocabulary, go over the words it tests most often, and give you tips on how to approach vocabulary on the Reading and English sections. As a bonus, we also offer a list of our top 15 ACT words and a free study sheet of our top 150 ACT words!

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Vocab In Context Questions and Strategies for ACT Reading

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Dec 21, 2017 5:00:00 PM

ACT Reading

What exactly are vocab in context questions, and what are the best ways to approach answering them? In this article, I'll start by going over the basics of what vocab in context questions are, then segue into an in-depth discussion of each of the two types (complete with examples). Finally, I'll wrap it up by suggesting strategies to use when tackling these types of questions.

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How to Improve Your ACT Reading Score: 8 Expert Tips

Posted by Allen Cheng | Oct 7, 2017 9:02:00 AM

ACT Strategies, ACT Reading

Are you struggling with ACT Reading scores between 14-24? You're not alone - hundreds of thousands of students are scoring in this range. But many don't know the best ways to break out of this score range and score a 26 or above.

Here we'll discuss how to improve your ACT Reading score effectively, and why it's so important to do so. Unlike other fluffy articles out there, I'm focusing on actionable strategies that will raise your score. Put these 8 strategies to work and I'm confident you'll be able to improve your score.

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How to Get 36 on ACT Reading: 11 Strategies from a Perfect Scorer

Posted by Allen Cheng | Sep 29, 2017 9:14:00 AM

ACT Strategies, ACT Reading

Are you scoring in the 26-34 range on ACT Critical Reading? Do you want to raise that score as high as possible - to a perfect 36?

Getting to a 36 ACT Reading score isn't easy. It'll require perfection. But with hard work and my strategies below, you'll be able to do it. I've consistently scored 36 on Reading on my real ACTs, and I know what it takes. Follow my advice, and you'll get a perfect score - or get very close.

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How to Answer ACT Reading Questions: 5-Step Guide

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Feb 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM

ACT Reading

The ACT Reading section is challenging for many students because of the intense focus required to answer questions accurately in such a short time frame. Quickly getting to the root of each question is tough, but it's definitely a skill that you can learn with practice. This guide will present an example-driven step-by-step process for interpreting ACT Reading questions and give you the inside scoop on some of the sneakiest tricks the Reading section has up its sleeve. 

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The Ultimate Prep Guide to ACT Reading: Strategies, Tips, and Practice

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Aug 11, 2015 9:00:00 AM

ACT Reading

This is the best study guide to ACT Reading out there.

No kidding, no exaggerating, and no doubt about it. We've read many ACT prep books, studied ACT, Inc’s resources, and taken the best aspects of each to combine into this magnificent patchwork quilt of a guide. Each question type is covered in detail, organized not by how the questions are asked, but by the essential underlying skills the questions are testing. We cover the best ACT reading tips and strategies and how to get the most out of your ACT Reading practice and prep.

Looking for a comprehensive guide to ACT Reading and how to improve your ACT Reading score? Want to master the important concepts, grapple with practice questions from ACTual (I will probably never stop doing this) ACT Reading tests, and make sure you're taking the most away from questions you miss? This is the ACT study guide that will help you improve your ACT Reading score dramatically by focusing on all those areas (and more!).

I've divided this guide into three sections, based on level of information. We'll start with understanding the ACT Reading section at a high level, move on to the ACT reading test and the different question types therein (divided by the underlying skills that are tested), and end with study plans and how to maximize your study time for score improvement.

I suggest reading all of the articles below in order to start off, then using this guide as a reference page to come back to as you progress in your test prep.

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The Best ACT Reading Practice Tests and Questions

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jul 28, 2015 10:30:00 AM

ACT Reading

Doing well on ACT Reading requires a fair amount of practice, especially if you’re not used to the format and timing of the test. In order to get the most out of your study time, you need to be using the highest quality practice materials available to you.

In this article, I’ll go through some of the best resources for ACT Reading practice tests and tell you why you should use them!


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Why ACT Reading Paired Passages Are So Hard

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Jul 25, 2015 9:00:00 AM

ACT Reading

Paired passages on the ACT are a relatively new phenomenon, first announced by ACT, Inc in spring of 2013. Just as the changes to the new SAT have made it resemble the ACT, so have some of the changes to the ACT made it more like the SAT.

What are paired passages, why are they suddenly on the ACT, and what’s the best way to prep for them? Read on to find out.

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Function and Development Questions on ACT Reading

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Jul 25, 2015 8:00:00 AM

ACT Reading

Function questions (also sometimes known as “meaning in context” questions) make up approximately 20% of all ACT Reading questions (based on my survey of four publicly available ACTs). The ACT Reading will also occasionally have "development" questions, which are sort of like larger-scale versions of function questions (they ask about the structure of the passage or passages).

Both function and development questions require you to judge the effect of a phrase in a certain place (as opposed to little picture and vocab in context questions, which are just concerned with meaning). So how do you get asked function questions on the ACT, and what strategies can you use to answer them? Keep on reading to find out!

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The Top 4 ACT Reading Strategies You Must Use

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jul 24, 2015 1:00:00 PM

ACT Reading

If you struggle with the ACT Reading section, you're probably on the lookout for some new strategies to help you improve your performance. In this article, I’ve put together four of our top strategies for fixing whatever problems you have on the Reading section and dramatically increasing your scores!

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Inference Questions in ACT Reading: Strategies + Practice

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Jul 22, 2015 5:34:14 PM

ACT Reading

Questions that ask you about what infomation can be inferred from a line or series of lines on ACT Reading comprise about 15% of ACT Reading questions (based on my analysis of 4 publicly available ACTs). In order to answer these inference questions correctly, you must be able to understand what is written in the text and take one tiny, logical step beyond what is directly stated.

But how are inference questions asked, and what ACT Reading strategies can you use to answer them? Keep reading to find out and prep for this important question type!

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Complete Breakdown of Every ACT Reading Question Type

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jul 15, 2015 9:00:00 AM

ACT Reading

It’s helpful to know how much certain types of questions show up on the ACT Reading section in order to make the most of your studying. We’ve collected data from publicly available ACT tests on the types of questions that show up most frequently.

In this article I’ll go through the different question types, how much they show up on the test, and how this information can help you. 

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Top 10 ACT Reading Tips: Use These and Improve

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jul 11, 2015 9:00:00 AM

ACT Reading

If you’re taking the ACT and find the Reading section to be a challenge, you’re probably looking for some quick ways to improve your scores. Well, you’re in luck. Here are our top 10 tips for acing the ACT Reading section!

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Full Review: Erica Meltzer's Complete Guide to ACT Reading

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Jul 11, 2015 7:30:00 AM

ACT Reading

Erica Meltzer’s test prep books have burst onto the test prep scene (if that wasn't a thing before, it is now) in the last few years, to great acclaim. She's published 2 books on the ACT: The Complete Guide to ACT English and The Complete Guide to ACT Reading (which is what I will be reviewing in this article). While Meltzer's books are high quality, they are not without their flaws, so read on to figure out whether or not this book is appropriate for you and if you should integrate it into your own ACT test prep. All shall be explained!

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