10 Nifty Tips to Improve Your ACT Reading Score

Updated on April 20, 2018
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Winnie is an expert test taker and advisor at GED Study Guide in-Test Prep Toolkit.

Better Test Prep For A Better ACT Reading Score

Are you having difficulties with your test prep for ACT Reading? If so, you are not alone. Many test-takers complain of getting a low score of 14-24 in this topic when they should be achieving 26 or more in order to gain admission to their chosen colleges. If you’re planning to enroll in a humanities, English or communications program in college, then you ought to ace ACT Reading. Don’t think that you can get away with it if you’re keen on majoring in Science either. You’ll need to show your skills in Reading even so because your target college wants to know that you can process complicated texts at the same time. Here are 10 valuable tips to improve your score in ACT Reading.

  1. Read the questions first. You’ll be gaining advanced knowledge about what’s in the passage if you do this. Consider that the Reading test is a strictly timed one, so you need to focus on the necessary points in the passage. Basically, you should read the questions first and find the answers in the passage.
  2. Don’t get discouraged, but be an expert. In the ACT Reading test, four passages are featured on the subjects of natural science, social science, literature and the humanities. Tackle the test although some of these subjects may be unfamiliar to you. Don’t be intimidated because these texts have been designed to fit your level. If you apply the right skills, you’ll be able to get through, that’s why it makes sense to take ACT Reading practice tests during your test prep.
  3. Read the entire Reading test topic passage. Although you should read the questions first, don’t miss reading the whole passage as well. Remember that you need to find context clues in the passage to be able to accord them with the questions that you came across.
  4. Eliminate one or a couple of answer choices in the test questions. As you proceed on to finding the right answer, you’ll need to eliminate one or two answer choices. Be wary of answers that look well-phrased and written but are nonsensical. Eradicate them in your choice.
  5. Look for the lines in the passage that refer to the questions. Arrive at the right answer by referring to the lines in the passage that relate to the questions. Your memory will work to your benefit in this case.
  6. Choose the most appropriate answer. Skip the jargon or high-falutin language. Stick to choosing the answer that makes sense and relates to the question.
  7. Familiarize yourself with the ACT Reading test scoring system. You won’t be penalized for choosing the wrong answer in this test topic, so don’t leave an item blank.
  8. Be aware of the structure of the test topic. There are 4 passages in the ACT Reading test, and they are about the subjects of Prose Fiction, followed by Social Studies, then Humanities and Natural Science (in this exact order). Each of them is followed by 10 (multiple-choice) questions, with every one of them containing 4 answer choices. Work on the topic that you find the easiest so that you can maximize the allocated time limit.
  9. Apply the right methods for taking the ACT Reading test topic. Write down notes after reading each paragraph and decipher the topic and the purpose of the featured passage. What are the opinions mentioned? Who are the characters? Read the questions so that you can obtain hints in finding the right answers.
  10. Understand the types of questions used in the test. They are mainly the “Main Idea” questions that ask about the whole passage, “Inference” questions ask about your understanding about an idea that is implicitly stated. “Detail” questions test your skills in deciphering specific parts. “Vocabulary” questions ask about words that are used in the text and “Function” questions ask about particular aspects of the passage.

Make use of an educational resource that’ll orient and guide you about what to expect in the ACT Reading test so that you can do your best and improve your score.

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