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Originally Posted On: ACT Reading Tips: Understanding Purpose and Intent – Tungsten Prep
Is your student taking the ACT soon? Do you want to know more about what will be in the reading section?
One of the major challenges that many students encounter in their ACT exam is the reading portion. This section is challenging because it requires students to understand the author’s purpose and intent.
So how can we better prepare our students for success and the ACT reading test? Our ACT test prep routine includes tips that ready students to approach this section in a manner that will maximize their score potential.
What Do Students Gain From ACT Test Prep?
Just like with sports, music, or any other specialized skill set, academic excellence requires consistent practice and effective coaching. If your student is studying alone in a bubble, they will quickly reach a ceiling where you stop seeing improvements. Students need regular ACT test practice to achieve their full potential and guidance from an experienced test prep tutor will maximize their possible score outcome.
Some of the biggest ways that students can benefit from consistent ACT test prep and coaching include the following:
- Students gain experience with the different test sections and are better able to understand what is being asked of them. This allows them to spend less time interpreting test instructions and more time coming up with correct answers.
- Students gain awareness of their personal strengths and weaknesses when it comes to test-taking. Whether that is in time management, critical thinking, or understanding the content, practicing for ACTs allows students to identify areas for improvement and adapt accordingly.
- Students gain familiarity with how the test is designed and can develop their own test-taking strategies accordingly. For example, knowing how much time to spend reading questions vs. math problems can make a huge difference in how students approach the test.
Understanding Author Intent and Purpose
When it comes to understanding the intent and purpose of a reading passage, students need to first identify the main idea that the author wants to get across. Not all questions on the ACT reading section will directly ask what the purpose is. Sometimes questions will be phrased in a confusing or unfamiliar way to make students think outside of the box.
In order to succeed in these types of questions, students should adopt the following approach:
- Read the full passage before attempting to answer the questions. Reading the questions first may skew a student’s understanding of the passage as they will be skimming for answers rather than actively reading.
- Annotate. Don’t be afraid to mark the test booklet by making notes and underlining important sections. This helps promote active reading and ensure students are thinking critically instead of just looking for correct answers.
- Use critical thinking. Many questions on the ACT reading test will ask why the author wrote what they did. Students need to practice critical thinking by asking themselves why the author wrote what they did, instead of just memorizing what the author wrote.
- Consider all the answer choices. Students shouldn’t select the first answer that sounds right and then move on. It is important to consider every possible answer and use the process of elimination to remove the wrong answers first.
Reaching Full Potential with ACT Test Prep and Tutoring
Following the tips and strategies above can go a long way in improving performance on the ACT English Exam. But still, students and their families should never have to study alone! Working with an experienced test coach and taking practice tests to gauge progress can make a HUGE difference in both the student’s experience and the final outcome.
Tungsten Prep offers customized solutions for ACT Test Prep. Click here to schedule your consultation today and learn how Tungsten Prep will prepare your student to get their best score!