SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

The #1 Critical, Fundamental Strategy of ACT Reading

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jul 6, 2015 8:30:00 AM

ACT Reading

You only need to know one fundamental rule to do well on ACT Reading, and it’s not all that complicated.  That rule is this: There’s only one correct answer choice for every question, and the other three answers can be eliminated based on definitively incorrect elements. In other words, the questions on the ACT Reading section are NOT subjective in any way! 

In this article, I’ll go through the types of incorrect answers you’ll see on the ACT Reading section and how to ruthlessly eliminate them so you’re only left with one solid winning choice.

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The Hardest ACT Reading Questions Ever

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jul 5, 2015 9:00:00 AM

ACT Reading

If you’re aiming for a top score on the ACT Reading section, you probably want to know what the hardest questions look like so you’re prepared for everything the test throws at you. In this article, I’ll walk you through the answers to some of the toughest questions I’ve seen on the ACT Reading section.

Why exactly are they so hard? How do you tackle them? How well will you do? Challenge yourself for that top score.

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How To Attack Paired Passages in ACT Reading

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Jul 3, 2015 7:00:00 PM

ACT Reading

Paired passages on the ACT are a relatively new phenomenon; it was only announced that they would be added to the Reading section in Spring 2013.

So how should you go about attacking paired passages? Read on for strategies.

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The Best Way To Practice ACT Reading

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Jul 3, 2015 8:30:00 AM

ACT Reading

At last, the time has come when you must tackle the ACT Reading. How can you practice for the ACT Reading? Where can you find ACT Reading practice questions? Is it even possible to practice for the Reading section? Read on for the answers to these questions.

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Little Picture Questions in ACT Reading: Find the Detail

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Jul 2, 2015 2:30:00 PM

ACT Reading

Little picture questions account for a huge amount of the questions on ACT Reading. Of the 4 publicly available ACTs I surveyed, between 25% and 50% of ALL Reading questions were little picture questions. So what does this mean for you and your ACT test prep? It means that it is well worth your time to make sure you can consistently answer little picture questions accurately and in a reasonable amount of time (what "reasonable" is will depend on the score you're aiming for).

In this article, I’ll provide examples of the different ways ACT Reading will ask you to use little picture skills and explain the strategies you can use to help with these questions. I'll end with a walkthrough of a sample question as well as practice questions for you try out on your own. First, however, I’ll explain what exactly I mean by “little picture” questions

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Big Picture Questions in ACT Reading: What's the Main Point?

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Jul 2, 2015 8:30:00 AM

ACT Reading

On ACT Reading, you'll encounter questions that ask you to be able to read large amounts of text and distill them down; we call these "big picture" questions here at PrepScholar. Big picture questions can ask about the entire passage, a series of paragraph, or even just one paragraph (as opposed to "little picture" questions, which will ask for specific information). Being able to answer these types of questions will prove very useful for college/university, where professors will expect you to use these skills with even more dense and academic writing.

What are “big picture” questions on ACT Reading, and what are the best ways to approach answering them? I’ll start by discussing the two primary types of big picture questions you’ll encounter on the ACT, along with common ways the ACT will ask you about each. After that, I’ll give you some strategies to answer both types of questions, illustrated with examples from prose fiction and academic writing.

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The Best ACT Vocabulary Lists on the Web

Posted by Halle Edwards | Jun 8, 2015 9:22:37 PM

ACT Reading, ACT English

This could take a while.


Do you need to study vocabulary for the ACT but aren’t sure where to start? We have links to free lists of ACT vocab from around the web.

We also have found other vocab study resources – from videos to apps to browser plug-ins – to help you study ACT-specific vocabulary.

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The 4 Types Of ACT Reading Passages You Should Know

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | May 27, 2015 3:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Reading

One of the nice things about the ACT is that it doesn't change all that much from test to test. This is especially true for the Reading section: Reading is always the third section of the ACT, there will always be passages on four subject areas, and each subject area will have 10 questions.

So what are the 4 types of ACT Reading passages? Read on to find out!

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How To Stop Running Out Of Time On ACT Reading

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | May 25, 2015 5:00:00 PM

ACT Reading

Running out of time on any test is extremely frustrating. For me, it’s always a fight between my anxiety arising from racing the clock and the feeling of “if only I had more time, I could do better!” (spoiler: no matter which feeling wins, I lose). It’s even worse on tests like the SAT and ACT because they’re so lengthy: if you run out of time on a section, you don't get the relief of "Well, at least I'm done with the test" because you have to move right on to the next section.

Since you can’t actually stretch out time (probably?) and, except under special circumstances, can’t get extra time, you'll need another solution to help you avoid running out of time on the ACT. So what strategies can you use? I’ll discuss the top misconception students have about running out of time on the ACT Reading section and strategies to avoid running out of time.

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The Best Way to Approach the ACT Reading Passage

Posted by Rebecca Safier | May 13, 2015 7:00:00 PM

ACT Strategies, ACT Reading


Last year the average Reading score on the ACT was 21.3. With a strategic approach to reading the passages quickly and efficiently, you should be able to break away from this average and boost your scores!

Let's review what you'll see on the ACT Reading section and then talk about the most efficient way to read the passages and answer the questions with time to spare.

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What's Actually Tested on the ACT Reading section? Skills You Need

Posted by Rebecca Safier | May 2, 2015 5:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Reading

Just like the ACT has four different sections, the ACT Reading section has four different types of passages for you to read. This article breaks down exactly what's on this section of the ACT so you can plan your best approach.

First, let's consider how the ACT Reading section is formatted.

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ACT Reading Vs. SAT Reading: Which is Easier?

Posted by Halle Edwards | Mar 21, 2015 11:30:00 AM

SAT versus ACT, ACT Reading, SAT Reading


What’s the harder section, ACT Reading or SAT Critical Reading? We will break down the differences between SAT and ACT Reading to help you decide which test is hardest for you.

We will also compare percentile scores for both tests to see where the scoring advantage is. You might be surprised which one is easier!

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