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The Official ACT Prep Guide, 2016 - 2017

ISBN: 978-1-119-22541-6
720 pages
May 2016
The Official ACT Prep Guide, 2016 - 2017 (1119225418) cover image

Description

Everything you need to know about the 2016-2017 ACT test, with real full-length practice tests from the makers of the ACT!

The Official ACT Prep Guide 2016-2017 is the bestselling resource for students gearing up for the ACT test. This comprehensive guide walks you through the entire test experience, from registration through results, with expert advice straight from the test's creators. You'll find effective test-taking strategies, tips for boosting your score on the English, math, reading, and science tests, and detailed information on the enhanced optional writing test. Three new full-length practice tests help you assess your readiness so you can spot weak areas well in advance, and the ACT experts provide valuable advice on preparing both mentally and physically so you can manage anxiety and be fully confident on test day. You also get free online bonus content to help you start college on the right foot, including tips for preparing an application that gets noticed, getting into your first-choice school, being a successful student, and much more.

The 2016-2017 version of the ACT guide includes a number of changes, including reading test sections with two shorter prose passages and the enhanced writing test's prompts. This guide provides a preview of what to expect for the entire exam, so you can go into the test feeling fully prepared and ready to excel.

  • Get insider tips and strategies from the exam's creators
  • Improve your score in all five content areas, including the optional writing test
  • Practice with full-length test forms taken from the actual ACT
  • Gear up for college with bonus online advice for a successful first year

The ACT is different from other standardized tests. It tests your accumulated skills and knowledge, so sheer memorization and vocabulary lists are unproductive prep strategies. For preparation strategies that actually make a difference in your score—and beyond—go straight to the source with The Official ACT Prep Guide 2016-2017.

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Table of Contents

Preface  xi

How This Book Is Arranged  xii

Before You Begin  xii

Part One: Getting Acquainted with the ACT Test  1

Chapter 1: About the ACT  3

Description of the ACT  4

English Test  4

Mathematics Test  6

Reading Test  13

Science Test  15

Writing Test (Optional)  18

ACT Test Formats: Paper and Online  20

Using a Calculator 20

Taking the Test  21

Summary  22

Chapter 2: Preparation, Skills, and Strategies  23

Mental Preparation  24

Identify Strengths and Address Areas of Improvement  24

Develop a Positive Mental Attitude  25

Keep the Test in Perspective  25

General Test-Taking Strategies and Skills  26

Remain Calm  26

Pace Yourself  26

Know the Directions Ahead of Time  27

Read Carefully and Thoroughly 27

Choose Strategies for Answering Easier and More Difficult

Questions  28

Use Logic on More Difficult Questions  29

Choose a Strategy for Guessing on Multiple-Choice Questions  29

Choose a Strategy for Changing Answers  29

Write Notes in Your Test Booklet  30

Mark Your Answers Carefully 30

Plan to Check Your Answers  30

Learn Strategies for Specific Tests  31

Summary  31

Part Two: Taking and Evaluating Your First Practice Test  33

Chapter 3: Taking and Scoring Your First ACT Practice Test  35

Simulating Testing Conditions  35

Scoring Your Practice Test  96

Scoring Your Multiple-Choice Practice Tests  97

Scoring Your Practice Writing Test Essay 103

Reviewing Explanatory Answers  108

Chapter 4: Identifying Areas for Improvement  183

Reviewing Your Overall Performance  184

Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement on the English Test  184

Test-Taking Skills  185

Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement on the Mathematics Test  187

Math Subject Areas  187

Test-Taking Errors  187

Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement on the Reading Test  188

Types of Reading Passages  189

Reading Skills Tested  189

Test-Taking Errors  190

Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement on the Science Test  191

Subject Matter  191

Types of Science Questions  192

Common Science Test-Taking Errors  192

Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement on the Writing Test  193

Writing Skills Tested  193

Writing Strategy or Process Errors  194

Part Three: Improving Your Score  195

Chapter 5: Improving Your English Score  197

Content of the ACT English Test  197

Types of Questions on the ACT English Test 198

Strategies for Taking the ACT English Test  207

Chapter 6: Improving Your Math Score  222

Content of the ACT Mathematics Test  223

Types of Questions on the ACT Mathematics Test  224

Basic Math Problems  224

Basic Math Problems in Settings  227

Very Challenging Problems  232

Question Sets  239

Strategies for Taking the ACT Mathematics Test  242

Pace Yourself  242

Answer All Questions  243

Answer All the Easy Questions First, Then Go Back to Answer the Hard Ones  243

Read Each Problem Carefully  243

Look for Information in the Answer Choices  243

Use Illustrations Wisely and Whenever You Can  244

Use Your Calculator Wisely 244

Think!  244

Show Your Work 245

Check Your Answers  245

Chapter 7: Improving Your Reading Score  246

Content of the ACT Reading Test  246

Types of Passages on the ACT Reading Test  247

Prose Fiction  247

Humanities  247

Social Studies  248

Natural Sciences  248

Types of Questions on the ACT Reading Test  248

Representative ACT Reading Test Questions  249

Strategies for Taking the ACT Reading Test  259

Pace Yourself  259

Use the Time Allotted  259

Think of an Overall Strategy That Works for You  260

Keep the Passage as a Whole in Mind  260

Find a Strategy for Approaching Each Question 260

Reading Strategies Summary 261

Chapter 8: Improving Your Science Score  269

Content of the ACT Science Test  269

Format of the ACT Science Test  270

Data Representation Format  271

Discussion of Sample Passage I (Data Representation)  272

Research Summaries Format  275

Discussion of Sample Passage II (Research Summaries)  277

Conflicting Viewpoints Format  279

Discussion of Sample Passage III (Conflicting Viewpoints)  281

Strategies for Taking the ACT Science Test  284

Develop a Problem-Solving Method  284

Take Notes  285

Pace Yourself  285

Practice Interpreting Graphs, Tables, and Diagrams  285

Make the Most of the Information in Graphs 286

Make the Most of the Information in Tables  288

Develop an Understanding of Scientific Investigations  288

Carefully Analyze Conflicting Viewpoints  288

Chapter 9: Improving Your Score on the Optional Writing Test  289

Content of the ACT Writing Test  290

How Your Essay Will Be Scored  290

Sample Prompt and Essays  290

Sample ACT Writing Test Prompt  291

Sample Essay Responses  293

Strategies for Taking the ACT Writing Test  317

Prewrite  317

Write  317

Review Your Essay 318

Practice  318

Part Four: Taking Additional Practice Tests  319

Chapter 10: Taking Additional Practice Tests  321

Explanatory Answers  379

Explanatory Answers  513

Chapter 11: Scoring the Additional Practice Tests  597

Scoring Your Practice Tests  598

Scoring Practice Test 2  599

Scoring the Multiple-Choice Tests  599

Scoring Your Practice Writing Test 2 Essay 605

Scoring Practice Test 3  608

Scoring the Multiple-Choice Tests  608

Scoring Your Practice Writing Test 3 Essay 613

Chapter 12: Interpreting Your ACT Test Scores and Ranks  615

Understanding Your ACT Test Results  616

How ACT Scores Your Multiple-Choice Tests  617

How ACT Scores Your Writing Test  617

Recognizing That Test Scores Are Estimates of Educational Achievement  617

Using Ranks to Interpret Your Scores  617

Comparing Your Test Scores to Each Other  618

Comparing Your Scores and Ranks to Your High School Grades  618

Comparing Your Scores to Those of Enrolled First-Year College Students  618

Using ACT College and Career Readiness Standards to Help You Understand Your ACT Scores  619

Planning Your Education and Career  621

Seeking Additional Information and Guidance  621

ACT College and Career Readiness Standards—English  622

Production of Writing 622

ACT College and Career Readiness Standards—Mathematics  629

ACT College and Career Readiness Standards—Reading  638

Text Complexity Rubric—Reading  645

ACT College and Career Readiness Standards—Science  652

Part Five: Moving Forward to Test Day  657

Chapter 13: Registering, Planning, and Packing for Test Day  659

National Testing Program versus School/District/State Testing  660

Registering for the ACT  660

Selecting a National Testing Date and Location  660

Selecting a Test Option  662

Registering 662

Registering Under Special Circumstances  663

Planning and Packing for Test Day 663

Getting to the Test Center  663

Dressing for Test Day  664

Packing for Test Day: What to Bring  664

Obtaining Additional Test Details  665

At the Test Center  665

Checking In  665

Following the Rules  666

Communicating with the Testing Staffff  667

Maintaining Your Composure and Energy  668

Voiding Your Answer Documents on Test Day  668

Testing More Than Once  669

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Author Information

ACT is a not-for-profit organization providing assessment, research, information, and program management services to support education and workforce development.

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Downloads

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Errata from math questions found in The Official ACT Prep Guide, 2016-2017 Edition 40.43 KB Click to Download
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Errata

Do you think you've discovered an error in this book? Please check the list of errata below to see if we've already addressed the error. If not, please submit the error via our Errata Form. We will attempt to verify your error; if you're right, we will post a correction below.

ChapterPageDetailsDatePrint Run
Errata from math questions found in The Official ACT Prep Guide, 2016-2017 Edition
See the Downloads area for the latest Official ACT Math Questions errata document.
08/05/2016
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Press Release

June 01, 2016
Wiley Announces Publication of The Official ACT® Prep Guide 2016-2017

Wiley recently announced  that it was selected by ACT, Inc. (“ACT”) to be the exclusive publisher for The Official ACT® Prep Guide 2016-2017 (ISBN:  978-1-119-22541-6).  The 2016-2017 edition of The Official ACT® Prep Guide is the inaugural edition published by Wiley for ACT, the nation’s leader in college and career readiness and the makers of the ACT® test.  Wiley and ACT’s relationship serves to enhance both organizations’ test prep product portfolios.

The ACT test is a curriculum- and standards-based educational and career planning test that measures students' academic readiness for college. ACT provides colleges and universities with reliable data for recruiting, advising, placement, and retention. The exam includes four multiple-choice tests: English, math, reading, and science--and an optional writing test. The ACT questions are designed to measure students' skills and knowledge; students are not required to memorize facts or vocabulary to do well on the test.

The ACT test is administered six times annually (in September, October, December, February, April, and June). Students taking the ACT are typically high school juniors or seniors. Many students elect to take the ACT multiple times between spring of their junior year and fall of their senior year. During 2014-2015 ACT introduced a number of modest changes to the ACT test, including "paired passages" in the reading test and an enhanced writing test.

 

The Official ACT® Prep Guide 2016-2017 (Wiley; June 2016; $32.95; Paper; ISBN: 978-1-119-22541-6) is the bestselling resource for students gearing up for the ACT test.

 “The Official ACT Prep Guide is an important, low-cost tool ACT provides to students who desire more advanced preparation and practice for the ACT test,” said ACT Chief Commercial Officer Suzana Delanghe. “Wiley is respected and trusted around the world as a premier educational publisher, and we are delighted to be working with them on this guide as we work to help students better prepare for success in college and career.”

“ACT is the most popular assessment for academic readiness among high schoolers. For students, taking the ACT opens up opportunities for them to learn, grow and succeed in their chosen career.” said David Pugh, Senior Vice President, Professional Learning, at Wiley. “Wiley is excited to partner with ACT in their mission of helping people achieve education and workplace success.”

This year's version of the ACT guide includes a number of changes, including reading test sections with two shorter prose passages and the enhanced writing test's prompts.

This guide provides a preview of what to expect for the entire exam.

  • Includes 3 new full-length ACT tests forms to help assess readiness
  • Get insider tips and strategies from exam's creator
  • Proven test-taking strategies and tips for managing anxiety on test day
  • FREE online bonus content to help start college on the right foot including: tips for preparing an application that gets noticed, getting into your first choice school, being a successful student, and much more.

 

See More