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ACT Prep 2023 For Dummies with Online Practice

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  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2022-06-28
  • Publisher: For Dummies

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Conquer test anxiety and prepare for the ACT like a pro

Every year, hundreds of thousands of high school students take the ACT as part of the college admissions process. A good score on this exam could be the deciding factor that gets you accepted to your dream school. In ACT Prep 2023 For Dummies with Online Practice, you’ll find the hands-on and practical tools needed to succeed. Whether you need a math refresher or handy tips to power through the reading comprehension section, this book will guide you through each part of the exam with easy-to-read explanations, flash cards, and practice tests.

In the book, you’ll find:

  • Online access to useful practice tests
  • Updated information on the reading comprehension section, as well as improved strategies for answering reading questions
  • Fulsome explanations, descriptions, and techniques for all four required ACT subject areas—math, science, reading, and English—and the optional essay

A must-have resource for anyone preparing for the challenging ACT exam, ACT Prep 2023 For Dummies with Online Practice can help you maximize your chances of getting into your dream university or college, as well as give you a leg up on securing valuable scholarships.

Author Biography

Lisa Zimmer Hatch has been preparing students for the ACT for over 30 years. She offers private online tutoring for the ACT, SAT, GMAT, GRE, and LSAT and, as an Independent Educational Consultant, assists students with all aspects of the college application process.

Scott A. Hatch develops courses for a variety of careers and assists those seeking advanced degrees in law, business, and other professions.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 4

Figuring Out How Long All This Studying Will Take 5

Part 1: Coming to Terms with Reality: An Overview of the ACT 7

Chapter 1: Getting Your ACT Together: ACT 101 9

What to Take to the ACT 10

What Not to Take to the ACT 11

What to Do If You Have Special Circumstances 12

Guessing for Points to Maximize Your Score 12

Your Number’s Up: Scoring on the ACT 13

What the ACT Expects You to Know 13

Repeating the Test for a Better Score 14

Chapter 2: Succeeding on the ACT 17

Surviving the ACT with Four Stress-Busters 17

Inhaling deeply 17

Stretching a little 18

Thinking positive thoughts 18

Practicing POE 18

Avoiding a Few Dumb Mistakes That Can Mess Up Your ACT 18

Losing concentration 19

Panicking over time 19

Messing up on the answer grid 19

Rubbernecking 19

Cheating 20

Worrying about previous sections 20

Worrying about the hard problems 20

Forgetting to double-check 20

Chapter 3: Surviving the College Admissions Process 21

What’s the Main Thing Colleges Look For? 21

How Do Higher ACT Scores Increase My Scholarship Chances? 22

Do Schools Care Whether I Repeat the ACT? 22

What Classes Should I Take in High School? 22

How Helpful Are Sports and Charity? 23

What Should I Say on the College Essay? 23

What Will They Ask Me in the Interview and What Should I Say? 23

How Do I Decide Which School Is Best for Me? 24

What’s the Biggest Mistake Most Students Make in College Planning? 24

How Do I Make My Final Decision? 25

Part 2: Serving Your “Sentence”: The English Test 27

Figuring Out What the English Questions Want You to Know 29

Seeing Is Believing: The Test’s Format 30

The passages 30

The question types 30

Their Pain, Your Gain: Looking Out for Traps That Others Fall into 32

Chapter 5: Getting a Grip on Grammar and Usage 35

Reviewing the Parts of Speech 36

Getting in the action with verbs 36

Identifying the culprit with nouns 37

Avoiding repeating yourself with pronouns 37

Defining nouns with adjectives 37

Clarifying the questions with adverbs 37

Joining together with conjunctions and prepositions 38

Piecing Together the Parts of a Sentence 38

Subjects and predicates 38

Phrases and clauses 39

Keeping Track of Punctuation Rules for Every Occasion 39

Periods and question marks 39

Semicolons 40

Colons 40

Commas 40

Dashes 42

Apostrophes 43

Chapter 6: Spotting Usage Errors and Ripping through Rhetorical Questions 45

Spotting Questions That Test Standard English Conventions 45

Properly placing punctuation marks 45

Picking up on pronoun errors 48

Forming possessives 49

Evaluating verbs 50

Calling out sentence fragments 51

Identifying problems with parallelism 51

Recognizing misplaced modifiers 51

Checking for Proper Production of Writing 53

Eliminating superfluous words 53

Completing the mission 54

Determining the function of a deletion 54

Pondering an addition 55

Creating smooth transitions 55

Organizing and positioning elements 56

Seeing the big picture 57

Sticking to appropriate vocabulary and standard expressions 57

Chapter 7: It’s Not What You Say but How You Say It: English Practice Questions 61

Part 3: Don’t Count Yourself Out: The Math Test 67

Chapter 8: Numbers Nuts and Bolts 69

The Wonderful World of Numbers 69

Keeping it real: Types of numbers 70

Lining things up along the number line 71

Understanding absolute value 71

Getting familiar with prime numbers and factorization 71

Minor Surgery: Basic Math Operations 72

Adding and subtracting 72

Multiplying and dividing 72

Working with odds/evens and positives/negatives 73

Focusing on Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages 73

Converting fractions, decimals, and percentages 74

Working with fractions 74

Pondering percentages 76

Eyeing Ratios and Proportions 77

Ratios 77

Proportions 78

Covering Your Bases: Exponents 79

Smooth Operator: Order of Operations 80

Dealing with Average, Median, Mode, and More 80

Doing better than average on averages 80

Weighing in on weighted averages 81

Mastering medians 82

Managing modes 82

Getting ready for range 82

Abracadabra: Elementary Algebra 82

Variables 101 83

Solving simple equations 83

Adding and subtracting expressions 84

Multiplying and dividing expressions 85

Curses! FOILed again 85

Extracting by factoring 86

Solving a system of equations 88

Chapter 9: Getting into Shapes: Geometry and Trig Review 91

Toeing the Line 91

Analyzing Angles 92

Triangle Trauma 94

Classifying triangles 94

Sizing up triangles 95

Zeroing in on similar triangles 96

Figuring out area and perimeter 97

Taking the shortcut: Pythagorean triples and other common side ratios 97

Thanks 4 Nothing: A Quick Look at Quadrilaterals 100

Missing Parrots and Other Polly-Gones (Or Should We Say “Polygons”?) 102

Measuring up polygons 103

Solving for volume 103

Running Around in Circles 104

Trying Your Hand at Trigonometry 109

Introducing trigonometric functions 110

Circumventing the unit circle 112

Measuring in radians 113

Graphing trig functions on a coordinate plane 114

Applying the Law of Sines and Law of Cosines 116

Chapter 10: Algebra and Other Sleeping Aids 119

Suffering Inequalities 119

Using Your Imagination: Complex Numbers 120

Too Hip to Be Square: Roots and Radicals 121

Adding and subtracting radicals 122

Multiplying and dividing radicals 122

Working from the inside out 123

Thinking Exponentially: Logarithms 123

Log rules 124

Natural logarithms 124

Barely Functioning with Functions 124

Taking a Flight on the Coordinate Plane 125

Defining the coordinate plane 125

Knowing which formulas you need to guide your flight 126

Graphing more functions 128

Evaluating graphs of functions 132

Picking Your Way through Percent Increase, Probability, Permutations, and Combinations 134

Managing the ups and downs 134

Practicing probability 135

Calculating outcomes and orderings 137

Setting Up Sequences 140

Managing Matrices 140

Chapter 11: Numb and Number: Acing the Mathematics Test 143

What You See Is What You Get: The Format and Breakdown of the Math Test 143

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: What Isn’t on the Math Test 144

Getting into the Grind: The Approach 145

Translating English into Math 146

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun: Timing Tips 147

Skim for your favorite questions 147

Backsolve when the answers are actual values 148

Plug in values for variables 149

Kindly refrain from showing off everything you know 150

Put aside two minutes to fill in the remaining ovals 150

Do’s, Don’ts, and Darns: What to Do and Not Do on the Math Test 150

Do get the lead out 150

Don’t start working until you’ve read the entire problem 151

Do reread the problem with your answer inserted 151

Don’t strike out over a difficult question early on 151

Chapter 12: More Fun than a Root Canal: Mathematics Practice Questions 153

Part 4: Time to Read the Riot ACT: The Reading Test 161

Chapter 13: This, Too, Shall Pass(age): Sailing through the Reading Test 163

Facing 40 Questions: The Reading Test 163

Timing 164

Scoring 164

Getting Prepared: Reading Test Strategies 164

Approach passages efficiently 164

Skim the passage effectively 166

Skip a passage if necessary 167

Identifying Reading Question Types and Formats 168

Find key ideas and details 168

Determine craft and structure 170

Integrate knowledge and ideas 171

Approaching Comparative Passages 172

Chapter 14: Where Are SparkNotes When You Need Them? Reading Practice Questions 173

Part 5: Studying Brain Defects in Laboratory Rats: The Science Test 179

Chapter 15: From Frankenstein to Einstein: Excelling on the Science Test 181

Examining the Science Test’s Format 182

Classifying Passage Format 182

Data-representation passages 182

Research summaries 183

Conflicting viewpoints 185

Analyzing Tables, Graphs, and Diagrams 186

Tackling tables 187

Grappling with graphs 187

Dissecting diagrams 188

Examining Experimental Procedures 189

Independent and dependent variables 189

The control 190

Immersing Yourself in Answer Choices 191

Considering Question Types 192

Questions about results 193

Questions about procedure 196

Questions about viewpoints 200

Chapter 16: Faking Atomic Ache Won’t Get You out of This: Science Practice Questions 203

Passage 204

Initial Analysis 206

Questions 206

Part 6: Writing Rightly: The Optional Writing Test 213

Chapter 17: Excelling on Your Essay: The Writing Test Review 215

What to Expect From the ACT Writing Test 215

Making the Grade: How the ACT Folks Score Your Essay 216

Examining the Prompt and Creating a Thesis 216

Putting Up Your Dukes: Defending Your Perspective 218

Throwing a Good First Punch: The Hook 218

The Proof Is in the Pudding: Defending Yourself 219

Using specific examples 219

Mixing things up with a variety of examples 220

Forming logical arguments 220

Hamburger Writing: Organizing Your Essay 222

The top bun: Introduction 222

The three meats: Example paragraphs 222

The lettuce, tomato, and special sauce: Transitions 223

The bottom bun: Conclusion 224

Wielding the Red Pen: Editing and Proofing 224

Using the touch method to look for spelling mistakes and ghost words 224

Calling all action verbs: Be descriptive 224

Avoiding problems with punk-tu-a-tion: Punctuate properly 225

Handwriting check: Write legibly 225

Writing Don’ts 225

Writing before you think 225

Panicking about time 225

Referring to the perspectives by number 226

Sticking to the status quo 226

Using words you don’t know 226

Being overly critical of yourself 227

Writing like you speak 227

Repeating yourself over and over again 227

Failing to edit your essay 227

Reviewing Some Example Essays and Their Scores 227

1 — 1 is the loneliest number: How not to be a 1 228

2 — 2 little 2 late: Steering clear of coming in second 228

3 — Still finding yourself on the wrong side of the tracks 228

4 — Reaching 4 a better score 229

5 — Shining brightly: A 5-star winner 230

6 — Unlocking the code to a perfect score 231

Chapter 18: Practicing Promptly with Practice Prompts: Essay Practice Questions 233

Writing Prompt 1 233

Writing Prompt 2 235

Part 7: Putting It All Together with Three Full-Length Practice ACTs 237

Chapter 19: Practice Exam 1 239

Answer Sheet 240

English Test 242

Mathematics Test 253

Reading Test 263

Science Test 273

Writing Test 285

Chapter 20: Practice Exam 1: Answers and Explanations 287

English Test 287

Mathematics Test 297

Reading Test 310

Science Test 317

Writing Test 323

Sample response 323

Score One for Your Side: The Scoring Guide 324

Answer Key for Practice Exam 1 326

Chapter 21: Practice Exam 2 329

Answer Sheet 330

English Test 332

Mathematics Test 343

Reading Test 352

Science Test 360

Writing Test 370

Chapter 22: Practice Exam 2: Answers and Explanations 371

English Test 371

Mathematics Test 382

Reading Test 395

Science Test 402

Writing Test 411

Sample response 411

Answer Key for Practice Exam 2 413

Chapter 23: Practice Exam 3 415

Answer Sheet 416

English Test 418

Mathematics Test 429

Reading Test 439

Science Test 449

Writing Test 459

Chapter 24: Practice Exam 3: Answers and Explanations 461

English Test 461

Mathematics Test 471

Reading Test 490

Science Test 497

Writing Test 504

Sample response 504

Answer Key for Practice Exam 3 505

Part 8: The Part of Tens 507

Chapter 25: Ten Wrong Rumors about the ACT 509

You Can’t Study for the ACT 509

Different States Have Different ACTs 509

The ACT Has a Passing Score 510

The ACT Tests IQ 510

You Can’t Use a Calculator on the ACT 510

You Should Never Guess on the ACT 510

The ACT Is Easier Than the SAT 511

Selective Colleges Prefer the SAT to the ACT 511

You Have to Write an Essay 511

You Shouldn’t Take Both the SAT and the ACT 511

Chapter 26: Attention, Parents! Ten Ways You Can Help Your Child Succeed on the ACT 513

Give Awesome Test-Prep Materials 513

Encourage Studying 513

Supply a Good Study Environment 514

Take Practice Tests Together 514

Model Good Grammar 514

Help Memorize Math Formulas 514

Encourage Reading 514

Explore Colleges Together 514

Arrive at the Test Site on Time 515

Help Keep a Proper Perspective 515

Index 517

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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