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ACT Prep - English

ACT Prep - English . AVID. 45 minutes, 75 questions Most English questions follow the same format: A word, phrase or sentence is underlined You’re given four choices: One to leave alone (NO CHANGE) Three alternatives On this section you are tested on the following:

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ACT Prep - English

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  1. ACT Prep - English AVID

  2. 45 minutes, 75 questions • Most English questions follow the same format: • A word, phrase or sentence is underlined • You’re given four choices: • One to leave alone (NO CHANGE) • Three alternatives • On this section you are tested on the following: • You’re understanding of the conventions of English • Punctuation, grammar, sentence structure • Rhetorical skills • Such as: organizational skills, and style English Basics

  3. ACT English Question Breakdown • 18 sentence structure • 12 grammar and usage • 12 strategy • 12 style • 11 organizational • 10 punctuation English Basics

  4. To Omit or not to Omit • Some questions offer the alternative to “omit” • Usually it’s the last answer choice • On recent ACT, when “omit” is a choice it has been the correct answer more than 50% of the time • DOES NOT mean you should automatically select it English Basics

  5. Nonstandard Format Questions • Some questions, usually about 10, do not follow the standard format • These items pose a question about an excerpt • Responses are often yes or no with an explanation • Pay attention to the reasoning of the explanation English Basics

  6. Sentence Sense questions test your understanding of how words are combined to form clear and correct sentences • Characteristics of Sentence Sense Questions • Clause = group of words that contain both a subject and a verb • Two types of clauses: • Independent – can stand alone as a sentence • Two indep. Clauses cannot be combined with a comma • Dependent – cannot stand alone as a sentence Lesson 1 – Sentence Sense

  7. Most Common Types of Sentence Sense Questions • Sentence Structure • Consistency • Word Order Lesson 1 – Sentence Sense

  8. Sentence Structure • Recognize whether a sentence expresses a complete thought or not or if too many thoughts are strung together incorrectly • Rules: • A sentence must contain an indep. clause • An –ING verb cannot stand alone • “that” always introduces a depend. clause • 4 options for fixing a run-on sentence • Separate in to two sentences • Join with a semicolon • Use a transition word • Use a comma by a FANBOYS word (for, and, nor, but, or yet, so) Lesson 1 – Sentence Sense

  9. Consistency • How non-underlined verbs/pronouns dictate underlined verbs/pronouns • Verb Tense Consistency: • Verb tense of the underlined portion must relate to the non-underlined verb in the sentence • Pronoun Consistency: • If the underlined portion includes a pronoun, make the the non-underlined portion includes the noun or pronoun to which it refers Lesson 1 – Sentence Sense

  10. Word Order • Recognize problematic phrase combinations that lead to illogical statements • Think of these questions as a scrambled sentence • You’re task is to rearrange it to make logical sense Lesson 1 – Sentence Sense

  11. The Trap Door – Steering Clear of Answer Traps • Typical Traps: • Watch for words that introduce dependent clauses • If you see one of the following words make sure the sentence contains an independent clause After Although Because Before If Since That though Unless Whereas Which While Who Whoever Lesson 1 – Sentence Sense

  12. Verbs ending in –ING • If there is not a helping verb with it, a revision is always needed • Underlined Sentences • When an entire sentence is underlined: • Occasionally NO CHANGE is the correct answer, usually you should pick OMIT because the sentence is usually off topic • And the other choices won’t make sense Lesson 1 – Sentence Sense

  13. 1. Identify each question type: • Sentence structure (SS) • Consistency: Verb or Pronoun (VC or PC) • Word Order (WO) 2. Answer the questions Lesson 1 Practice

  14. Rules for Commas • Separate introductory words from the main part of the sentence • Set off words or phrases that are not essential to the sentence • Separate two indep. clauses joined by FANBOYS • Separate items in a list or series Lesson 2 - Punctuation

  15. Rules for Semicolon (for the ACT) • Joins two closely related independent clauses without a FANBOYS word • Ex. Connecting Words That Can Follow a Semicolon: Furthermore However Moreover Nevertheless Therefore Thus Lesson 2 - Punctuation

  16. Rules for Colons • After an indep. clause to introduce an example, an explanation, a short phrase, a quotation,or a list Lesson 2 - Punctuation

  17. Rules for Dashes • Not tested frequently • Use a dash to indicate a hesitation or break in thought • Use a dash before and after the break • Can’t a pair a dash with a comma Lesson 2 - Punctuation

  18. Rules for Apostrophes • Show possession • Show that one or more letters are omitted in a contraction Lesson 2 - Punctuation

  19. The Trap Doors – Types of Punctuation Answer Traps • Comma Trap • Answer choices with the most commas tend to be wrong • AVOID unnecessary commas Lesson 2 - Punctuation

  20. Identify the punctuation being tested in each question (some questions may test more than one): • Commas (Com) • Semicolon (SC) • Colon (Col) • Dashes (D) • Apostrophes (Ap) • Answer the Questions Lesson 2 Practice

  21. Key Rules: • Irregular verbs • Ex: wrong = begun, correct = had begun • Comparatives and Superlatives • Adj. that end in –er, comparative form ends in –er • Two things being compared • Superlative is usually –est when three or more things are being compared • Idiomatic Usage • Make sure the “sound” correct • Adjectives and Adverbs • If and adj./adv. Is underlined make sure it modifies a noun/verb Lesson 3 – Word Choice

  22. Answer the questions Lesson 3 Practice

  23. Wordiness Rule: Eliminate Unnecessary Words • Best answer choice forms a direct, concise statement • Keep an eye out for: • Repetitive words • Too many words • String of prepositional phrases Lesson 4 - Wordiness

  24. Answer the questions Lesson 4 Practice

  25. Asks you to explicitly consider specific choices an author makes in the writing process • Need to understand the passage as a whole • 4 categories of writing strategy questions: • Whether or not a particular sentence should be added to a passage • The effect of deleting a particular phrase or sentence • Whether or not the passage fulfills a given purpose or assignment • The most effective wording to accomplish a specified purpose Lesson 5 – Writing Strategy and Style

  26. Key Rules: • Understand what the question is asking • Skip a question - know when to skip and come back after reading the passage • Use the title of the passage to understand the focus of the passage Lesson 5 – Writing Strategy and Style

  27. Answer the questions Lesson 5 Practice

  28. Organization questions ask you to think about how a passage • Most common types of Organization questions • Sequence: • Determine the correct order of paragraphs • Focus: • Either paragraph or whole passage • …or appropriate sentence for transition • Need to look at paragraph before and after • Connections: • Looking at transition words or phrases • Focus on relationships and logical flow Lesson 6 - Organization

  29. Key Rules • Order of paragraphs • Look for introduction, conclusion and body paragraphs • Order of sentences • Look for key words such as: first, next, finally, etc. • Biographical information -> usually chronological order • Recognizing Connections • Commonly used words and phrases • Causes and effect – as a result • Contrast – although, but • Examples – for instance Lesson 6 - Organization

  30. Key Rules: • Don’t rush when reading questions stems • NOT-LEAST-EXCEPT questions • Printed in all caps • Circle word that appears in all caps • Read carefully • Two questions answer the easier one first • Sentences that contain underlined parts that relate to two different questions, answer the easier one first. • Use context clues Lesson 7 – Challenging English Questions

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