ACT

All juniors take the ACT in March at Danville High School. There is no need to sign up for this March test date since it is provided through Danville High School. However, if you are interested in taking the ACT early, or if you want to retake the ACT, visit the following websites to find information on test dates and registration. The ACT test is predominantly used for college entrance requirement as well as course placement in high school.  Students who are on free or reduced lunch may receive up to 2 waivers, to be used during their Junior and Senior years, to cover the cost of the test.  Please see Mrs. Carter to obtain a waiver.

 

Danville High School School Code is 180645

 

Students may register online at:

ACT Online Registration

ACT Testing Dates

 

CERT (College Equipped Readiness Tool)
All students have access to a CERT account (College Equipped Readiness Tool).  Up to three times per school year, each student will take an ACT-like assessment through CERT.  The results help determine your strengths and weaknesses with regard to the standards in English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science.  CERT offers access to educational videos that explain answers, review important subject matter, and offer sensible test-taking advice.  It is highly encouraged that students use this free online resource in preparation for the ACT.
CERT

Additional ACT Prep
Practice ACT test questions, testing tips, strategies, optional writing test, what to expect on test day and test descriptions:

Test Prep from ACT

Sample Test from ACT

 

ACT Online test preparation course (free):

This website provides a customized course that provides personal tutoring, with immediate feedback on every incorrect answer and practice sessions. It automatically adapts to your personal skill level and can even remind you via e-mail of what's best to study next. The tutorial teaches you how to approach each kind of question, lets you practice questions at your own pace, and monitors your progress. Unlike some other test prep offerings, you don't need to take a lengthy diagnostic test to start.

 

ACT Problem-Solving Videos

Watch an ACT coach use step-by-step strategies to solve different kinds of ACT problems.

 

ACT Test Prep (Free)

Number2.com's online test preparation courses are totally free! By creating an account you can access a customized course that includes user-friendly tutorials, practice sessions that dynamically adapt to each student's ability level, a vocabulary builder, and more..

 

Emails of ACT Questions

Daily emails of ACT test questions: This website offers free practice modules to help you with the ACT exams and daily emails of test questions:

 

Resources

ACT Parent Newsletter

Benchmarks: (EXPLORE,PLAN,ACT)

Description of ACT Test

 

Library Sources:

The students can check out many resources from the DHS and public libraries to prepare for the ACT, including The Real ACT Prep Guide, Cracking the ACT, and Inside the ACT. In addition, free test prep is available through the Kentucky Virtual Library. Visit the school library to get the username and password to access practice tests at home. 

 

Guidance Office Resources:

"Preparing for the ACT" booklet which has a full length practice test with answers. 

 

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English Strategies

Information provided by Petersons.com

Here's what's on the English Test:

  • There are two basic question types on the English Test: Usage/Mechanics and Effective Writing.

  • About 40 of your 75 questions will test punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure.

  • About 35 of your 75 questions will cover the writers' aims, organization, and style.

Pacing Strategy:

Most test takers don't get through all 75 questions in the time allowed. The good news is that you don't have to answer every question to get a good score. For example, in order to score an 18 on the ACT English test, you'll only need to answer about 40 questions correctly. An 18 would be about the 37th percentile, and just 5 more correct answers would bring you up to the 50th percentile!

 

Here are some important tips for choosing the easiest questions to handle:

  • First, answer the questions that only require you to read a sentence or two.

  • If you have time left, answer the questions that require you to read a paragraph.

  • Always fill in an answer for every question, even if it's a random guess.

Typical ACT English Errors:

Here are some typical errors that you'll be expected to spot:

  • Missing subject or verb: for example, consider "Most medicines ineffective." This needs a verb.

  • Modifier errors such as "The sun appeared slow in the sky." As it is written, "slow" is an adjective that describes the noun "sun." The sentence says that the sun looked like it was slow in the sky. It should say: "The sun appeared slowly in the sky."

  • Punctuation problems. Knowing when to use a period as opposed to a comma will be worth points. For example, consider "The author's book was quite controversial, many people refused even to read it." The comma after "controversial" should be a period or a semicolon.

  • Subject/verb agreement. For example, consider "Each of the historians spent many hours researching letters and documents. Eventually, they all reach the same conclusion." Since the research happened in the past, "reach" should have been "reached."

 

Math Strategies

Information provided by Petersons.com

 

Here's the math that you'll need to succeed on your ACT:

 

Arithmetic:

  • Simple addition, subtraction, multiplying, and dividing

  • Averages, mean, median, and mode

  • Percents, ratios and rates, and some probability

  • Knowledge of integer properties such as primes, factors, and multiples

Algebra:

  • Simplifying algebraic expressions

  • Solving simple algebraic equations

  • Factoring of quadratic equations

  • Working with simple roots and exponents

  • Translating from English to algebra, word problems

Geometry:

  • Properties of parallel lines

  • Properties of triangles, especially right triangles

  • Properties of rectangles, squares, and circles

  • Finding the volume and surface area of boxes and cylinders

  • Coordinate geometry, including lines and linear equations

Trigonometry will be tested,but will only appear on 4 questions. At least 2 of these can be answered by knowing the definitions of sine, cosine and tangent.

General Tips

  • Skip harder questions until after you've answered questions you know.

  • The questions appear in the order in which you probably covered them in school. So you'll see arithmetic questions first, and trigonometry questions last.

  • Know the directions going in to the exam; don't waste exam time reviewing them.

Calculator Use:

  • Use a calculator you are comfortable with. Use the same one on test day that you use for your practice. You don't need a fancy calculator. A standard four-function one is fine.

  • If you need to punch a lot of numbers into your calculator to answer a question, think again; you are going about it the wrong way. 

Problem-Solving Methods

Working Backwards

 

Rather than setting up and solving an equation to find the right answer, working backwards takes advantage of the fact that all Math Test questions give you the right answer; you just have to work out which one it is. You do this by running the answers through the equation in the question until you find the one that works. Use working backwards when:

  • You are asked to solve an equation (this is especially true when the question is in the form of a word problem).

  • The answer choices are numbers.

How to work backwards:

  • Step 1: Start with the middle choice. If the one you picked works, then it's correct. Stop working! Otherwise, proceed to Step 2.

  • Step 2: Eliminate answers that are too big or too small. (If (C) is too small, everything less than (C) must also be too small, because the choices are arranged in order from smallest to largest. If (C) is too big, then everything greater than (C) must also be too big.)

  • Step 3: Run the remaining answers through the question until you find the right one.

Plugging in Numbers

 

Plugging in Numbers works with the answers, eliminating incorrect ones, and homing in on the right one. It almost always involves less messy algebra, and so it is often a lot easier than using traditional algebra.

 

Use working backwards when:

  • The answers are variables

  • You are working with percents, fractions, or ratios, and no actual values are given.

How to plug in numbers:

  • Step 1: Pick a simple number to replace the variable. Always use 100 for percent questions.

  • Step 2: Plug your chosen number into the equations. The result is your target number.

  • Step 3: Plug your chosen number into the answer choices, eliminating those that do not yield your target number.

 

Reading Strategies

Information provided by Petersons.com

  1. Before you choose a passage, look at all four passages. Start with the easiest one, and save the harder ones for later.

  2. Outline the passage as you read. Keep track of paragraph topics so you can look up answers later.

  3. Always check back with the passage when answering questions. Don't try to answer from memory.Wrong answers are designed to trip you up by mentioning something from the passage that will sound familiar.

  4. You may not get to every question, but be sure you answer the questions with specific line references. They can usually be answered by reading only a few lines.

  5. Don't get too creative when picking your answer. Stick to the plain facts as they're written.If you have to come up with a creative argument to support picking a choice,then that choice is probably wrong.

Types of Reading Passages

  • Natural science: passage topics may include biology, chemistry, geology, and other sciences. Some passages may address these issues from a social or historical perspective.

  • Social science: passage topics may include history, social and political movements, and other issues involving people.

  • Humanities: passage topics may include poetry, literature, languages, philosophy, and other issues related to thinking and writing.

  • Narrative: memoir or a personal account of an event in someone's life.

Common Reading Question Types:

  • Primary Purpose/Main Point: ask about the main points in a reading passage (don't answer these until you have read the entire passage).

  • Detail: test your understanding of what is explicitly mentioned in the passage.

  • Inference: ask you to read between the lines and recognize what the author implies in the passage.

  • Vocabulary-in-Context: test your understanding of how certain words are used in the passage.

  • Why?: ask for the reason the author does or says something specific in the passage.

  • Tone: ask how the author expresses her or her ideas.

 

Science Reasoning Strategies

Information provided by Petersons.com

 

The Science Reasoning part of the ACT consists of 7 science passages, each 100-300 words long. Each passage is followed by a question set containing 5-7 questions. Altogether, there are 40 questions on the Science Reasoning Test. You have 35 minutes to answer them.

The topics could come from many different fields, including Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. But have no fear. The ACT Science Reasoning Test doesn't test your knowledge of all of these different subject areas. Instead, it tests your ability to apply scientific reasoning based on information you're given in passages that address these subject areas. In addition to using your basic science knowledge, you'll also use basic math skills on this part of the test. You'll have to do some arithmetic to compute the answers to certain questions. You can't use calculators on Science Reasoning, but you won't need to because the math required is pretty simple.

Science Reasoning Question Types

  • Lookup Questions: Lookup questions are the easiest question type that you'll see on the Science Reasoning test. They simply require you to "look up" information given in a table or graph. If you can read the table or graph, you can answer the question correctly. To ace a Lookup question, you just look at the table or graph in question and locate the answer! It's that simple.

  • Spotting Trends Questions: These questions ask you to determine the value of a new piece of data not given in a table or chart. To answer a Spotting Trends question correctly, you must use your logic skills to deduce the value of a new piece of data, based on the other data that you've been given.

  • Inference Questions: These questions ask you to draw conclusions and make predictions based on the information given in a passage. They're a bit more difficult than Lookup or Spotting Trends questions, because they require higher reasoning skills. To score well on an Inference question, you must again use your logical skills of deduction. This time you use logic to deduce a conclusion or prediction based on information given in a passage.

  • Scientific Method Questions: These questions ask you to identify the purpose and procedures of an experiment or to come up with ways to test a given scientific hypothesis. They might also ask you to devise entirely new experiments. Scientific Method questions can be pretty difficult. To answer them correctly, you must draw on your knowledge of scientific procedures and your understanding of how research is conducted.

  • Compare/Contrast Questions: These may ask you to determine similarities or differences between the viewpoints given in the passage. They may also require you to identify particular features of one or both viewpoints. To score well on Compare/Contrast questions, you must use your understanding of scientific arguments to differentiate between two or three given views.

Pacing Strategy

Always read the easiest passages first, and answer the easiest questions first, too.

 

The easiest passages take less time to read and contain concepts that are easier to understand. You're more likely to finish these passages quickly, with greater confidence about answering the questions. The easier questions can also be answered simply, without much effort on your part. If you answer these questions first, you'll rack up some easy points before moving on to the harder questions. The harder questions may be a gamble, but you'll have scored as many points as you can before tackling the tough questions.

Two rules for choosing easier passages:

  1. Data analysis passages are easier than compare/contrast passages. You'll only have one compare/contrast passage on the test. Save it for last.

2.    Passages with one table or figure are easier than passages with two or more tables or figures.Passages with one table are usually easier to read and contain easier questions, since you only have to look up information in one place. Similarly,passages with two tables are easier than those with three.

 

Two rules for choosing easier questions

  1. Always answer lookup and spotting trends questions first, and then inference and scientific method questions. Save compare/contrast questions for last.

If a question gives you trouble, move on. One of your prime strategies as a successful test taker is moving on from questions that bog you down. If a question seems too hard, or if it takes more