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The Official ACT Prep Guide, 2018: Official Practice Tests + 400 Bonus Questions Online, Revised and Updated

ISBN: 978-1-119-38689-6
720 pages
May 2017
The Official ACT Prep Guide, 2018: Official Practice Tests + 400 Bonus Questions Online, Revised and Updated (1119386896) cover image


The only guide from the ACT organization, the makers of the exam, revised and updated for 2017 and beyond

The Official ACT Prep Guide, 2018 Edition, Revised and Updated is the must-have resource for college bound students. The guide is the go-to handbook for ACT preparation and the only guide from the makers of the exam. The book and online content includes the actual ACT test forms (taken from real ACT exams). In addition, this comprehensive resource has everything students need to know about when they are preparing for and taking the ACT. The book contains information on how to register for the exam, proven test-taking strategies, ideas for preparing mentally and physically, gearing up for test day, and much more.

This invaluable guide includes additional questions and material that contains articles on everything from preparing a standout college application and getting into your top-choice school to succeeding in college

  • The bestselling prep guide from the makers of the ACT test
  • Offers bonus online content to help boost college readiness
  • Contains the real ACT test forms used in previous years

This new edition offers students updated data on scoring your writing test, new reporting categories, as well as updated tips on how to do your best preparing for the test and on the actual test day from the team at ACT. It also offers additional 400 practice questions that are available online.

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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 14

Science Test   17

Writing Test (Optional)  19

ACT Test Formats: Paper and Online  21

Using a Calculator 21

Taking the Test 22

Summary   23

Chapter 2: Preparation, Skills, and Strategies 25

Mental Preparation 26

Identify Strengths and Address Areas of Improvement 26

Develop a Positive Mental Attitude . 27

Keep the Test in Perspective  27

General Test-Taking Strategies and Skills   27

Remain Calm    27

Pace Yourself    28

Know the Directions Ahead of Time     29

Read Carefully and Th oroughly 29

Choose Strategies for Answering Easier and More Difficult Questions  30

Use Logic on More Diffi cult Questions 0

Choose a Strategy for Guessing on Multiple-Choice Questions   30

Choose a Strategy for Changing Answers 31

Write Notes in Your Test Booklet  31

Mark Your Answers Carefully  31

Plan to Check Your Answers 32

Learn Strategies for Specifi c Tests 32

Summary   32

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  101

Scoring Your Multiple-Choice Practice Tests 102

Scoring Your Practice Writing Test Essay    108

Reviewing Explanatory Answers 113

Chapter 4: Identifying Areas for Improvement 188

Reviewing Your Overall Performance 189

Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement on the English Test  189

Test-Taking Skills 190

Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement

on the Mathematics Test 192

Math Subject Areas 192

Test-Taking Errors 192

Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement on the Reading Test 193

Types of Reading Passages  194

Reading Skills Tested 194

Test-Taking Errors 195

Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement on the Science Test  196

Subject Matter  196

Types of Science Questions 197

Common Science Test-Taking Errors   197

Highlighting Strengths and Areas for Improvement on the Writing Test 198

Writing Skills Tested 198

Writing Strategy or Process Errors 199

Part Three: Improving Your Score 201

Chapter 5: Improving Your English Score 203

Content of the ACT English Test 203

Types of Questions on the ACT English Test 204

Strategies for Taking the ACT English Test 213

The ONLY Official Prep Guide from the Makers of the ACT

Chapter 6: Improving Your Math Score     229

Content of the ACT Mathematics Test  230

Preparing for Higher Math  230

Integrating Essential Skills  230

Modeling 231

Types of Questions on the ACT Mathematics Test   231

Basic Math Problems  231

Basic Math Problems in Settings  235

Very Challenging Problems  239

Question Sets    246

Strategies for Taking the ACT Mathematics Test   251

Pace Yourself    251

Answer All Questions  251

Answer All the Easy Questions First, Th en Go Back to

Answer the Hard Ones  252

Read Each Problem Carefully  252

Look for Information in the Answer Choices 252

Use Illustrations Wisely and Whenever You Can 253

Use Your Calculator Wisely  253

Think!  253

Show Your Work     254

Check Your Answers  254

Chapter 7: Improving Your Reading Score   255

Content of the ACT Reading Test 255

Key Ideas and Details  256

Craft and Structure    256

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas  256

Types of Questions on the ACT Reading Test 256

Representative ACT Reading Test Questions  257

Strategies for Taking the ACT Reading Test   267

Pace Yourself    267

Use the Time Allotted  267

Think of an Overall Strategy Th at Works for You 268

Keep the Passage as a Whole in Mind   268

Find a Strategy for Approaching Each Question   268

Reading Strategies Summary  269

Chapter 8: Improving Your Science Score   277

Content of the ACT Science Test 277

Format of the ACT Science Test  278

Data Representation Format 279

The ONLY Official Prep Guide from the Makers of the ACT

Discussion of Sample Passage I (Data Representation)   281

Research Summaries Format 284

Discussion of Sample Passage II (Research Summaries) 286

Conflicting Viewpoints Format  288

Discussion of Sample Passage III (Confl icting Viewpoints) 290

Strategies for Taking the ACT Science Test 293

Develop a Problem-Solving Method  293

Take Notes 294

Pace Yourself    294

Practice Interpreting Graphs, Tables, and Diagrams   294

Make the Most of the Information in Graphs  295

Make the Most of the Information in Tables   297

Develop an Understanding of Scientifi c Investigations   298

Carefully Analyze Confl icting Viewpoints  298

Chapter 9: Improving Your Score on the Optional Writing Test    299

Content of the ACT Writing Test .. 300

How Your Essay Will Be Scored  300

Sample Prompt and Essays    300

Sample ACT Writing Test Prompt  301

Sample Essay Responses  303

Strategies for Taking the ACT Writing Test   327

Prewrite 327

Write   327

Review Your Essay   328

Practice 328

Part Four: Taking Additional Practice Tests 329

Chapter 10: Taking Additional Practice Tests     331

Explanatory Answers  397

Explanatory Answers  537

Chapter 11: Scoring the Additional Practice Tests   621

Scoring Your Practice Tests    622

Scoring Practice Test 2    623

Scoring the Multiple-Choice Tests  623

Scoring Your Practice Writing Test 2 Essay  629

Scoring Practice Test 3    632

Scoring the Multiple-Choice Tests  632

Scoring Your Practice Writing Test 3 Essay  637

Chapter 12: Interpreting Your ACT Test Scores and Ranks    639

Understanding Your ACT Test Results  641

How ACT Scores Your Multiple-Choice Tests   641

How ACT Scores Your Writing Test  641

Recognizing Th at Test Scores Are Estimates of

Educational Achievement 641

Using Ranks to Interpret Your Scores   642

Comparing Your Test Scores to Each Other   642

Comparing Your Scores and Ranks to Your

High School Grades  642

Comparing Your Scores to Th ose of Enrolled First-Year College Students 642

Using ACT College and Career Readiness Standards to Help You Understand Your ACT Scores  643

Planning Your Education and Career  644

Seeking Additional Information and Guidance     644

ACT College and Career Readiness Standards—English   645

Production of Writing   645

ACT College and Career Readiness Standards—Mathematics  652

ACT College and Career Readiness Standards—Reading     661

Text Complexity Rubric—Reading 668

ACT College and Career Readiness Standards—Science 675

Part Five: Moving Forward to Test Day 679

Chapter 13: Registering, Planning, and Packing for Test Day 681

National Testing Program versus School/District/State Testing 682

Registering for the ACT 682

Selecting a National Testing Date and Location 682

Selecting a Test Option 684

Registering 684

Registering Under Special Circumstances 685

Planning and Packing for Test Day 685

Getting to the Test Center 685

Dressing for Test Day 686

Packing for Test Day: What to Bring 686

Obtaining Additional Test Details 687

At the Test Center 687

Checking In  687

The ONLY Official Prep Guide from the Makers of the ACT Following the Rules 688

Communicating with the Testing Staff 689

Maintaining Your Composure and Energy 690

Voiding Your Answer Documents on Test Day  690

Testing More Than Once 691

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Author Information

ACT® is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization that offers a uniquely integrated set of solutions designed to provide personalized insights that help individuals succeed from elementary school through career.

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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.

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