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The ACT What you need to know By Talent Search Science Tips Pace yourself if you spend 2 minutes reading the passage, you have 30 seconds for each question Read ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The ACT

  • What you need to know
  • By Talent Search

  • The Test
  • The Dates
  • How to sign up
  • The cost
  • How to prepare for it
  • Tips
  • Additional Resources

The Test
  • The ACT is a national standardized test
  • Many colleges require it
  • May take it more than once
  • Two test options
  • Regular (Multiple-choice tests in English, math,
    reading, and science)
  • Plus Writing (Same as above with additional 30
    minute writing test)
  • (Most schools in Midwest DO NOT require the

2009-2010 Test Dates
  • Test Date Deadline Late Fee Req
  • Sept. 12 Aug. 7, 2009 Aug. 8-21
  • Oct. 24 Sept. 18, 2009 Sept. 19-Oct. 2
  • Dec. 12 Nov. 6, 2009 Nov. 7-20
  • Feb. 6 Jan. 5, 2010 Jan. 6-15
  • April 10 March 5, 2010 March 6-19
  • June 12 May 7, 2010 May 8-21

Registering for the ACT
  • Online version
  • Go to
  • Must pay with MasterCard or Visa
  • Online is faster
  • Very convenient

Registering for the ACT
  • Paper version
  • Obtain copy from HS counselor or call (319)
    337-1270 to request one
  • Slower than online version
  • Allows you to
  • Request test accommodations
  • Request test date change
  • Pay with fee waiver
  • Request a test center change

The Cost
  • Basic Registration 32.00
  • Optional Fees
  • Late Fee 21.00
  • Optional Writing test 15.00
  • 5th and 6th college choices 9.00 each
  • Test date change 20.00

The Fee Waiver
  • A limited number of fee waivers are available to
    juniors and seniors
  • Once funds have been exhausted, request will be
  • These waivers may be used twice per person
  • Waivers may only be used for the Basic
  • No late Fee charges
  • Only up to 4 colleges

Fee Waiver Eligibility
  • Must meet all 3 of following requirements.
  • Economic need (meet at least 1)
  • Students family receives public assistance
  • Student is a ward of the state
  • Student resides in a foster home
  • Student participates in the free or reduced lunch
    program at school
  • Student participates in federally funded TRIO
  • Total family income in chart on next page

Family Income Chart
  • 2009 Total Income
  • Before Taxes
  • 12,100
  • 19,800
  • 27,200
  • 33,600
  • 39,600
  • 46,300
  • 46,300
  • (plus 3,600 for additional members)
  • Number in Family
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • Over 6

Fee Waiver Eligibility
  • Grade Level
  • Fee waivers are only available to students
    currently enrolled in a high school as a junior
    or senior
  • Two-times use
  • Fee waiver may be used twice during either the
    students junior or senior year

Fee Waiver
  • To obtain a fee waiver, please see your high
    school counselor
  • If using fee waiver, you must submit your
    registration by paper copy, not online.

Checklist for Taking the ACT
  • After you have Registered
  • Prepare for the test
  • Get a copy of preparing for the ACT from hs
    counselor or download from
  • Read both sides of your admission ticket
  • Make sure you have acceptable photo ID

Checklist for Taking the ACT
  • On the Test Date
  • Arrive by 800 am
  • You will not be admitted late
  • Have appropriate supplies

Things to Bring
  • Test center Admission ticket
  • Acceptable photo ID
  • Sharpened soft lead 2 pencils with good erasers
    (no mechanical pencils or ink pens)
  • A watch to pace your self
  • A permitted calculator
  • Almost any 4-function, scientific, or graphing
  • No Calculators with computer algebra systems

Things NOT to Bring
  • Food or Drinks, including water
  • Books, Dictionaries, notes, scratch paper
  • Highlighters, colored pens or pencils
  • Pagers, timers, beepers, cell phones, IPods, CD
    or tape players, PDA, headphones, or camera
  • Reading materials
  • Tobacco in any form

ACT Description
  • English 75 Questions 45 Minutes
  • Mathematics 60 Questions 60 Minutes
  • Reading 40 Questions 35 Minutes
  • Science 40 Questions 35 Minutes
  • Optional
  • Writing Test 1 Prompt 30 Minutes

Tips for Taking the ACT
  • Carefully read the instructions on the cover of
    the test booklet.
  • Read the directions of each section carefully.
  • Read each question carefully.
  • Pace yourself Dont spend too much time on any
    one section or question.
  • Use a soft lead No. 2 pencil with good eraser
    not mechanical pencil or pen.
  • Answer easy questions first, then go back and
    answer harder questions.
  • On difficult questions, eliminate as many
    incorrect answers, then make an educated guess
    among those remaining.
  • Answer every question. Not penalized for
    incorrect answers.
  • Review your work. If you finish early, go back
    and check your work.
  • Mark your answers neatly. If you erase, erase
    completely and cleanly.
  • Do not mark or alter any ovals on test after time
    has been called.

Test Day Tips
  • Get plenty of rest the night before the test
  • Dress comfortably. Some test centers are warmer
    or cooler on weekends. Dress in layers.
  • Check your admission ticket for your test options
    and location.
  • If you are not sure of the test centers
    location, drive to it ahead of time.
  • Plan to arrive by the time indicated on your
    admission ticket.
  • Make sure you have acceptable identification.
  • Be ready to start after everyone has checked in.

English Tips
  • Be aware of the writing style used in each
  • Consider the elements of writing that are
    included in each underlined part of the passage.
    Some questions will ask you to base your
    decision on some specific element of writing,
    such as the tone or emphasis the text should
  • Be aware of questions with no underlined
    portions-that means you will be asked some
    questions about the entire passage.
  • Examine each answer choice and determine how it
    differs from the others. Many of the questions
    will involve more than one aspect of writing.
  • Read and consider all of the answer choices
    before answering.
  • Determine the best answer.
  • Reread the sentence, using your selected answer.

Content Covered
  • Usage/Mechanics
  • Sentence Structure (16)
  • Test your understanding of relationships between
    and among clauses, placement of modifiers, and
    shifts in construction.
  • Grammar and Usage (16)
  • Test your understanding of agreement between
    subject and verb, between pronoun and antecedent,
    and between modifiers and word modified verb
    formation pronoun case formation of comparative
    and superlative adjectives and adverbs and
    idiomatic usage.
  • Punctuation (13)
  • These questions test your knowledge of the
    conventions of internal and end-of-sentence

Content Covered
  • Rhetorical Skills
  • Strategy (16)
  • This tests how well you develop a given topic by
    choosing expressions appropriate to an essays
    audience and purpose judging the effect of
    adding, revising, or deleting supporting
    material and judging the relevancy of statements
    in context.
  • Organization (15)
  • This tests how well you organize ideas and choose
    effective opening, transitional, and closing
  • Style (16)
  • This tests how well you choose precise and
    appropriate words and images, maintain the level
    of style and tone in an essay, manage sentence
    elements for rhetorical effectiveness, and avoid
    ambiguous pronoun references, wordiness, and

Math Tips
  • Read each question carefully to make sure you
    understand the type of answer required.
  • If you use a calculator, be sure it is working on
    test day and has reliable batteries. Use your
    calculator wisely.
  • Solve the problem.
  • Locate your solution among the answer choices.
  • Make sure your answer the question asked.
  • Make sure your answer is reasonable.
  • Check your work.
  • Pace yourself-60 questions in 60 minutes 1
    minute per question

Tips for Using a Calculator
  • Know which kinds of calculators ACT allows.
  • http//
  • You are not required to use a calculator.
  • All the problems can be solved without a
  • If you regularly use a calculator in your math
    work, use one youre familiar with.
  • Using a more powerful, but unfamiliar calculator
    is not likely to give you an advantage over using
    the kind you normally use.

Math General info
  • Questions set for math skills of beginning 12th
  • Emphasized content areas prerequisites to
    successful performance in entry-level college
    math courses
  • Requires reasoning skills to solve practical
  • Four Score Areas
  • Total score base on all 60 questions
  • Sub-score in Pre-Algebra/Elementary Algebra (24
  • Sub-score in Intermediate Algebra/Coordinate
    Geometry (18 questions)
  • Sub-score in Plane Geometry/Trigonometry (18

Content Covered
  • Pre-Algebra/Elementary Algebra
  • Pre-Algebra (23)
  • These questions are based on basic operations
    using whole numbers, decimals, fractions, and
    integers place value square roots and
    approximations the concepts of exponents
    scientific equations factors ratios
    proportion, and percent linear equations in one
    variation absolute value and ordering numbers by
    value elementary counting techniques and simple
    probability data collection, representation, and
    interpretation and understanding simple
    descriptive statistics.
  • Elementary Algebra (17)
  • These questions are based on properties of
    exponents and square roots, evaluation of
    algebraic expressions through substitution, using
    variables to express functional relationships,
    understanding algebraic operations, and solution
    of quadratic equations by factoring.

Intermediate Algebra/Coordinate Geometry
  • Intermediate Algebra (15)
  • These questions are based on an understanding of
    the quadratic formula, rational and radical
    expressions, absolute value equations and
    inequalities, sequences and patterns, systems of
    equations, quadratic inequalities, functions,
    modeling matrices, roots of polynomials, and
    complex numbers.
  • Coordinate Geometry (15)
  • These questions are based on graphing and the
    relations between equations and graphs, including
    points, lines, polynomial, circles, and other
    curves graphing inequalities slope parallel
    and perpendicular lines distance midpoints and

Plane Geometry/Trigonometry
  • Plane Geometry (23)
  • These questions are based on the properties and
    relations of plane figures, including angles and
    relations among perpendicular and parallel lines
    properties of circles, triangles, rectangles,
    parallelograms, and trapezoids transformations
    the concept of proof and proof techniques
    volume and applications of geometry to three
  • Trigonometry (7)
  • These questions are based on understanding
    trigonometric relations in right triangles
    values and properties of trigonometric functions,
    graphing trigonometric functions modeling using
    trigonometric functions use of trigonometric
    identities and solving trigonometric equations.

Reading Tips
  • Pace yourself- 40 questions in 35 minutes
  • If you spend 2-3 minutes reading each passage,
    youll have 35 seconds to answer each question
  • Read the passage carefully.
  • Read and consider all of the answer choices
    before you choose the one that best responds to
    the question.
  • Refer to the passage when answering the question.

Reading General Information
  • This test measures your reading comprehension in
    2 ways
  • Derive meaning by referring to what is explicitly
    stated (1) and implicitly stated (2)
  • Specific areas
  • Determining main idea
  • Locate and interpret significant details
  • Understanding the sequences of events, make
  • Make comparisons
  • Comprehend cause-effect relationships
  • Determine the meaning of context-dependent words,
    phrases, and statements
  • Draw generalizations
  • Analyze the authors or narrators voice and

Reading Scoring Information
  • Three Scoring Areas Reported
  • First - Based on all 40 questions
  • Second Sub-score in Social Studies/Science (20
  • Third Sub-score in Arts/Literature (20
  • Prose fiction and humanities passages

Content Covered
  • These reading selections are based on 4 types of
  • Social Studies (25)
  • Passages are based on content areas of
    anthropology, archaeology, biography, business,
    economics, education, geography, history,
    political science, psychology, and sociology
  • Natural Sciences (25)
  • Passages are based on content areas of anatomy,
    astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, ecology,
    geology, medicine, meteorology, microbiology,
    natural history, physiology, physics, technology,
    and zoology

Reading Content Covered
  • Prose Fiction (25)
  • Passages are based on intact short stories or
    excerpts from short stories or novels
  • Humanities (25)
  • Passages are based on personal essays and memoirs
    and in the content areas of architecture, art,
    dance, ethics, film, language, literary
    criticism, music, philosophy, radio, television,
    and theater

Science Tips
  • Pace yourself if you spend 2 minutes reading
    the passage, you have 30 seconds for each
  • Read the passage carefully.
  • Read and consider all of the answer choices
    before you choose the one that best responds to
    the question.
  • Note different viewpoints in passages.
  • NOT Allowed to use calculator on this section

Science General Information
  • Questions will measure the interpretation,
    analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and
    problem-solving skills required in natural
  • This test presents 7 sets of scientific
    information followed by a number of
    multiple-choice questions.
  • Information is conveyed in 1 of 3 formats
  • Data Representation (Graphs, tables, and other
    schematic forms)
  • Research summaries (descriptions of several
    related experiments)
  • Conflicting viewpoints (expressions of several
    related hypotheses or views that are inconsistent
    with one another)

Science information
  • Questions require you to recognize and understand
    the basic features of, and concepts related to,
    the provided information to examine critically
    the relationship between the information provided
    and conclusions drawn or hypotheses developed
    and to generalize from given information to gain
    new information, draw conclusions, or make
  • One score is totaled based off of all 40

Content Covered
  • Content includes biology, chemistry, physics,
    and the Earth and Space Sciences (for example,
    geology, astronomy, and meteorology.)
  • Advanced knowledge is not required.
  • Test emphasizes scientific reasoning skills over
    recall of scientific content, skill in math, or
    reading ability.
  • Information is conveyed in 1 of 3 formats
  • Data Representation (38)
  • Presents graphic and tabular material similar to
    that found in a scientific journal
  • Questions measure skills such as graph reading,
    interpretation of scatter plots, and
    interpretation of information presented in tables

Science Content
  • Research Summaries (45)
  • Format provides descriptions of one or more
    related experiments
  • Questions focus on design of experiments and
    interpretation of experimental results
  • Conflicting Viewpoints (17)
  • Format presents expressions of several hypotheses
    or view that, being based on differing premises
    or on incomplete data, are inconsistent with one
  • Questions focus on understanding, analysis, and
    comparison of alternative viewpoints or

Writing Test Tips
  • DONT take it unless you know your college looks
    at it. Most in area DO NOT look at it. Waste of
    time and money
  • 30 minutes to write about something they tell you
  • Pace yourself
  • Pre-Write
  • Gather your thoughts and make a plan on how and
    what you are going to write about
  • End with strong conclusion that summarizes or
    reinforces your position
  • Review your essay

Additional resources
  • http//
  • Take Practice Test in booklet.
  • Do it like your are going to do it on test day.
  • This will help you feel better informed for the
    real test day.
  • GOOD LUCK Youll do great.