Tuesday, March 17, 2020
1-Month ACT Study Plan How to Raise Your Score Quickly SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips Only got amonth until the ACT? No worries! In this guide, we offer you our best tips and advice on how to study for the ACT in a month.First, weÃ¢â¬â¢ll discuss the feasibility of a one-month ACT prep planand the four critical steps you must take toget started. Then,weÃ¢â¬â¢ll provide you with our besthigh-impact tips to help you get the ACT score you need for college. NOTE: This article largely assumes youÃ¢â¬â¢ll be studying for the ACT on your own. For additional help, contactour expert ACT tutorsor get started withour customizable online ACT prep course! Can You Study for the ACT in a Month? In short, yes, you can study for the ACT in a month- but how you manage your time will play a big role in how high of a score you ultimately get.Additionally, the feasibility of your planwill depend on how big of a point improvement you want to make, based on your baseline and goal scores (I'll explain both of these in more detail shortly). Generally speaking, how long should you study for the ACT? Below are our estimates for totalpoint improvements on the ACT based on the number of study hours you put in: 0-1 point improvement: 10 hours 1-2 point improvement: 20 hours 2-4 point improvement: 40 hours 4-6 point improvement: 80 hours 6-9 point improvement: 150 hours+ As these numbers indicate, the bigger the point improvement you want to make on the ACT, the more hours youÃ¢â¬â¢ll need to dedicate to your studies- and thus the more difficult itÃ¢â¬â¢ll be to carry out your ACT study plan within a month. For the most part, though, you should be able to study for the ACT in a month, as long as your score goals are workable. In other words, you shouldn't bespending more than five hours a day cramming for the ACT! So what does all of this mean for you? Basically, you must be prepared to create and follow a reasonable study planif you truly wish tohit your ACT goal score on test day. How to Study for the ACT in a Month: The First 4 Steps Before we give youour expert tips for a successfulmonth-long ACT study plan, let's look atthe four essential steps you'll need to take to get your plan started. Step 1: Find Your Target Score Begin by downloading our free guide to setting an ACT target score. Your ACT target score, or goal score, is the score most likely to get you into at least one of the colleges youÃ¢â¬â¢re applying to (excluding anysafety schools). To find your goal score, look up the 25th and 75th percentile scores for allyour schools (or just your most selective school). You can either look at your schoolsÃ¢â¬â¢ official websites or search foryour schools' ACT scores in our database by Googling Ã¢â¬Å"[School Name] ACT PrepScholar.Ã¢â¬ Our pages offer updated ACT (and SAT) score info for tons of schools. HereÃ¢â¬â¢s an example of UNCÃ¢â¬â¢s ACT scores and GPA page. Next, take the average of the 75th percentiles for your schools.This average will be your target score and should give you the best shot at getting accepted into at least one of the schools on your list. You can alsoaim for your most selective schoolÃ¢â¬â¢s 75th percentile instead.Compared with the average for your schools, this score will be somewhat harder to get; however, reaching it ensures that youÃ¢â¬â¢ll have an excellent shot at getting into allyour schools (instead of just one or a few). Step 2: Get Your Baseline Score Your second step is to figure out your baseline ACT score. A baseline score is the score you start with before beginning any ACT prep,and itÃ¢â¬â¢s what youÃ¢â¬â¢ll use to calculate how many points youÃ¢â¬â¢ll need to improve by in order to hit your goal score from step 1. To find this score, take anofficial ACT practice test. Treat the test as you would the real exam: find a quiet place to take it, time yourself in accordance with the official time limits, and forego extra or longer breaks than those allowed on the actual ACT. Your overarching goal is to recreate the ACT testing environment as closely as possibleso you can get an accurate baseline score. Once you finish the practice test, use your testÃ¢â¬â¢s answer guide to calculate your scale ACT scores for each section and theACT as a whole.Your total score (out of 36) will be your baseline ACT score. Step 3: Choose a Study Plan Once youhave your baseline and target scores, take the difference of these two scores to get the total number ofpoints you'll need to hit your goal score. For example, if my target score is 32 and I scored 27 on mypractice test, I'd need to improve my baseline score by a total of 5 points. After, match the difference you get to its corresponding number of study hours: 0-1 point improvement: 10 hours 1-2 point improvement: 20 hours 2-4 point improvement: 40 hours 4-6 point improvement: 80 hours 6-9 point improvement: 150 hours+ You now know the approximate number of hours you'll need to study for the ACT over the course of a month. But how should you spread out these hours each week? Each day? Below, we offer you different study plan optionsbased on the amount ofstudy time you'll need to commit to. But first, a brief reminder: always choose a study plan thatÃ¢â¬â¢ll work well for you.DonÃ¢â¬â¢t opt for a plan thatÃ¢â¬â¢ll require you to study excessively on weekdays if you know this type of plan will wear you out easily. Consider your commitments, and be realistic about when and how often youÃ¢â¬â¢ll actually be able to study. And now, here are our study plans! Light: You Want to Improve Your Score by 0-1 Points This easily manageable plan requires a total of 10 hours in a month, which comes out to about two and a half hours a week. Your best options for this plan are as follows: 2 hours and 30 minutes, once a week 1 hour and 15 minutes, twice a week 30 minutes, five times a week Medium: You Want to Improve Your Score by 1-2 Points This plan is slightly heavier than the Light Plan and requires 20 hours of prep over the course of a month, equalingfive hours a week on average. I recommend trying out the following plans: 2 hours and 30 minutes, twice a week 1 hours and 15 minutes, four times a week 1 hour, five times a week Heavy: You Want to Improve Your Score by 2-4 Points Moving on to the heavier plans now! For this plan, you'll need to study for a total of 40 hoursover the course of a month. Thiscomes out to approximately 10 hours a week, which you can divide as so: 3 hours and 20 minutes, three times a week 2 hours and 30 minutes, four times a week 2 hours, five times a week Heavier: You Want to Improve Your Score by 4-6 Points Not many students will be able to keep up withthis plan, but if youÃ¢â¬â¢re set on increasing your baseline score by 4-6 total points, youÃ¢â¬â¢ll need to prep for at least80 hours,or about 20 hours a week. Here are your options for prep schedules: 5 hours, four times a week 4 hours, five times a week 3 hours and 20 minutes, six times a week Impossible? You Want to Improve Your Score by 6-9 Points This plan requires 150+ study hours over the course of a month. That's a staggering 40 hours a week! Therefore, I strongly recommend againstundertaking this study plan. If youÃ¢â¬â¢re committed to improving your ACT score by as many points as possible, tryopting for the Heavier Plan and thenretake the test at a later date should you still want to improve your score. Step 4: Gather High-Quality Study Materials and Resources Finally, itÃ¢â¬â¢s time to gatheryour top choices forACT study materials and resources. Whether you already have a prep book picked out or are completely at a loss as to whatyou'll need for your study plan, let us help guide you with acompilation of our best ACT resources: Ultimate ACT Study Guides: Ourfree guides for the ACT English, Math, Reading, Science, andWritingsections,as well asthe test as a whole, offer a surefire combination ofcontent review and strategy. Complete Official ACT Practice Tests, Free Links:Here, we've collected all the official ACT practice tests available online. These tests are based on real ACTs and offer the most realistic practice questions you can get. Plus, they're completely free to download! Best ACT Prep Books 2018: I strongly recommend purchasing a highly reviewed ACT prep book to use as your primary guide throughout your studies. Our article offers in-depth reviews of the best ACT prep books currently available. Furthermore, all the books on ourlist have been personally reviewed by a perfect ACT scorer,so you can rest assured they'reworth theinvestment! The Best ACT Prep Websites You Should be Using: This handy compilation lists various websites you can use for all sorts of ACT help, including practice questions and strategy guides. The 4 Best ACT Apps (and How to Use Them in Your Prep): If youÃ¢â¬â¢re looking for on-the-go, supplementary learning materials, these four ACT apps are certain to lend a boost to your test prep! As a final tip, Isuggest browsingour SAT/ACT blog to learn more about the ACT in general, including how it works, what it tests, and what steps you can take to get the scores you need for college. Once you'vegot your study materials picked out, read onto learn about our top tips on how to study for the ACT in a month! Tjarko Busink/Flickr How to Study for the ACT in a Month: 5 Essential Tips At last, it's time for you to get your study plan off the ground! Here are five tips for making the most of your month-long ACT prep schedule. #1: Learn the ACT Format Inside and Out Before you take the ACT, it's important you know everything there is to know about the structure and content of the exam. This way there will be no surprises for you on test day! For a general overview of the ACT, read our articles on what the ACT tests and how itÃ¢â¬â¢s scored. For section-specific info, check outour individual guides: WhatÃ¢â¬â¢s Actually Tested on the ACT English Section? WhatÃ¢â¬â¢s Actually Tested on the ACT Math Section? Concepts, Subjects, and Skills WhatÃ¢â¬â¢s Actually Tested on the ACT Reading Section? Skills You Need WhatÃ¢â¬â¢s Actually Tested on the ACT Science Section? Skills and Topics The New Enhanced ACT Writing Test (2016): Complete Guide #2: Track Your Progress With Official Practice Tests While you study, it's imperative to track your progress using official ACT practice tests. Once again, these tests are the closest you can get to the real exam and will let you see whether youÃ¢â¬â¢re on track to hitting your target score. Because you'll only have a month to study for the ACT, try to taketwo to three tests in total.It's best to take oneat the beginning of your study plan (to get your baseline score) and a second one closer to the middle of your study plan, or aroundthe two-week mark. Just make sure you're spacing out your practice tests.Don't takemore than threein a month, and definitely don't take one right before test day- you'll justburn yourself out! #3: Review Basic English, Math, and Science Topics To do well on the ACT, you must familiarize yourself with all of the basic English, math, and science topics most likely to appear on the test. Here, we cover the specific concepts you'll need to have down before test day. For English First, check out our guides to the 14 most important ACT grammar rulesand basicparts of speech. Then, move on toour guides on the following critical concepts: Rhetorical skills (40-55%) Transitions Redundancy and wordiness Word choice/diction Add/delete questions Author technique/intent Organization Main idea Relevance Sentence structure (20-25%) Run-on sentences and fragments Parallel structure Faulty modifiers Punctuation(10-15%) Commas Other punctuation Grammar and usage (10-15%) Subject-verb agreement Verb tenses and forms Pronoun agreement Idioms Relative pronouns For Math WeÃ¢â¬â¢ve got tons of topic-specific guides for ACT Math, which you can access through our ultimate ACT Math prep guide. Before you delve into higher-level math concepts, though, make sure you read all aboutintegers (weÃ¢â¬â¢ve also got an advanced guide to integers). Below is the breakdown of the math topics you'll need to know. I suggest beginningwith the most important sections (pre-algebra and plane geometry) before proceeding to the others. Pre-algebra (20-25%) Fractions, ratios, and proportions Statistics (mean, median, mode, etc.) Probability Sequences Plane geometry (20-25%) Lines and angles Circles Triangles Polygons Elementary algebra (15-20%) Single-variable equations Intermediate algebra (15-20%) Systems of equations Functions Word problems Coordinate geometry (15-20%) Lines and slopes Reflections, rotations, and translations Trigonometry (5-10%) For Science Luckily, youÃ¢â¬â¢re not expected to have a ton of background knowledge in biology or chemistry for this section!That said, there will be a handful of scientific concepts youÃ¢â¬â¢ll need to be familiar with in order to do well on the test. Read our guide for more info about what these fundamental topicsare and how you should study them. #4: Learn the Most Helpful Math Strategies ACT Math may or may not be your cup of tea, but with these handy strategies, youÃ¢â¬â¢ll be getting the Math score you want in no time! First off, always try to re-solve any ACT Math questions you answer incorrectly.This strategy is important because it lets youthink deeply about where you mightÃ¢â¬â¢ve made a mistake with your calculations and what different steps you can take to try to get the right answer. As you re-solve the question, use thecorrect answer to guide you- but donÃ¢â¬â¢t look at the answer explanation before attemptingtofigure it out on your own! On test day, your two best math strategies are plugging in answers and plugging in numbers. With these strategies, even if youÃ¢â¬â¢re unsure how to solve a problem, you can still attempt to work it out, ultimately increasing your chances of choosing the right answer. Both of these strategies work particularly well for algebraic problems that ask you to manipulate or solve variables. #5: Pick a Strategy for Reading Passages ItÃ¢â¬â¢s passages galore on the ACT English, Reading, and Science sections! But before we dive into possible reading strategies, let's look at thedifferent skillseach section tests: English tests your understanding of grammar, style, and flow. Reading tests your overall reading comprehension and vocab knowledge. Science tests your ability to correctly interpret data and understand scientific concepts and hypotheses. Because these three sections test such unique content, itÃ¢â¬â¢ll be best for you to develop separate passage-reading strategies for each section. Here are the best strategies to try out: For English There's only one highly recommended passage-reading method for English, and that's thegraf-by-graf method.With this strategy, you'llread passagesparagraph by paragraph,andanswer questions for one paragraph at a time. This method is ideal for ACT English since it lets you digest the content of the passage while also taking note of anyglaring technical errors. For Reading There are three possible passage-reading strategiesfor the Reading section of the ACT: Read the questions and then skim the passage (highly recommended) Skim the passage and then read the questions Read the passage closely (not recommended) ForScience In this section, yourpassage-reading options are as follows: Skip straight to the questions, answering as many as you can using only the visuals (i.e., graphs, tables, etc.) Skim the passage and then read the questions Read the whole passage first (not recommended) To figure out which reading strategies work best for you, take an official ACT practice test and time yourself on the English, Reading, and Science sections using official time limits. (You donÃ¢â¬â¢t need to take these sections back to back- separately is fine!) If possible, take multiple tests so that you can try out a different passage-reading strategy each time. Once you finish, check your answers and score your test. Thepassage-reading method that gives you the highest score on a section should be the one you practice with and use on test day! Rosmarie Voegtli/Flickr 6 Additional ACT Prep Tips for High Achievers If you want to increase your ACT baseline score by a fairly large margin- anywhere in the 4-9 point range- youÃ¢â¬â¢ll need to spend as much time as you can mastering allmajor ACT concepts. Our six additional tips below teach you both how to study for the ACT in a month andhow to get a super high ACT score. #6: Closely Analyze Real Questions To truly do well on the ACT, you need to know not onlythe basics of how itÃ¢â¬â¢s structured but also what kinds of questions it'll give you on test day and theapproaches you can use tosuccessfully tackle these problems head-on. Official ACT practice tests are your best bets for realistic questions.What you'll want to do is tear apart these questions to ensure that you can identify the ACT question types and readily understand what theyÃ¢â¬â¢re asking you to do. For example, can you distinguish the Reading section'sinference questions fromfunction and development questions? Can you tell apart the different types of math on ACT Math? Do you understand how to read graphs and tablesso that you're capable of answering questions about scientific data? In the end, youÃ¢â¬â¢ll save yourself both time and brainpower if you know ahead of time what kinds of questions youÃ¢â¬â¢ll be asked and when theyÃ¢â¬â¢ll appear on the test. #7: Study ALL Critical Math and English Topics In addition to studying the basics of ACT Math and English, high achievers shouldspend extra time mastering some of the less common (but still important) concepts likely to come up on the test. For Math, this means focusing on mastering trigonometry, the least prominent math topic on the ACT (albeitone that's certain to appear!). Trig accounts for 5-10% of your Math score,orfour to six questions. Although six questions doesn't sound like much, it might very well be the difference between getting a 36 and getting a 32 on Math! You should also spend time memorizing allcritical math formulas. Because the ACT doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t give you any formulas on test day like the SAT does, you mustspend time memorizing the ones that are most likely to appear on the exam. As for English, take a look atour complete ACT grammar guide to learn every single ACT grammar rule. You might also want to read up on the less-commonly tested topics of adjectives vs adverbs and formality. #8: Become an Expert at Critical Reading Though ACT Reading questions can be confusing and difficult, thereÃ¢â¬â¢s a pretty easy trick you should definitely try tomaster. Here it is:there is always one definitively correct answer- meaning all other answer choices mustcontain a clear indication that they are incorrect. You can hone this crucial skill by studyingwithhigh-quality ACT Reading questions. As you practice, pay close attention to answer choices that donÃ¢â¬â¢t perfectly answer the question youÃ¢â¬â¢re being asked. A wrong answer choice is usually one that has one or more of the following qualities: Irrelevant The opposite of whatÃ¢â¬â¢s written An inaccurateconflation of information from the passage Plausible but ultimately not supported directly by the passage On Reading, all correct answers will be supported by clearevidence in the passage. So if you come across an answer choice that sounds sort of right but isnÃ¢â¬â¢t actually written down or directly supported by the passage, chances are it's wrong! #9: Improve Your Vocab Fortunately, vocab doesn't make up a particularly large part of the ACT English or Reading sections. But if youÃ¢â¬â¢re aiming for a high score on test day, I recommend dedicating a little prep time to improving your vocab. Most vocab words on the ACT are of medium difficulty. This meansyou'll predominantly need to studyidioms and lesser-known secondary meanings of common words. To learn ACT vocab words, check outour list of 150 ACT words you should knowandScholasticÃ¢â¬â¢s 100-word ACT/SAT vocab list. Want to cover all your bases? You can learn even more wordswithour extensive SAT vocab list of 250+ words. (The vocab on the SAT is extremely similar to that on the ACT.) #10: Strengthen Your Weak Spots During your studies, youÃ¢â¬â¢ll likely notice some concepts or areas you struggle with more than you do with others. The best way to strengthen your weak spots is to concentrate more oncontent review andpractice questions. I suggest working with a combination of high-quality prep books, strategy guides, and official ACT questions. As you work on improving your ACT skills, keep track of any question types youÃ¢â¬â¢re continually missing.Try to identify why you're missing these questions, and start to think about how you can ultimatelytransform yourmistakes into successes. #: Pace Yourself Our last tipis to learn how to pace yourself. Knowing how to answer ACT questions wonÃ¢â¬â¢t help you in the end if youÃ¢â¬â¢ve got 10 blank questions left because you ran out of time! So always be on your guard and pay attention to how long it takes you to answer specific question types. Here are the average amounts of timeyou should spend per question on each ACT section: English: 36 seconds per question Math: 60 seconds per question Reading: 53 seconds per question Science: 53 seconds per question For more detailed advice on how to pace yourself, check out ourindividual time-management guides for Math, Reading, and Science. Key Takeaways: How to Study for the ACT in a Month Although one month of ACT prep isn'tenough for everyone, it can sufficeif your goal is toimprove your score by no more than 4-6 total points.Students who want to improve their scores by 6-9 points will be better offaiming for a smaller score improvement and then retaking the ACT at a later date. When embarking onyour month-long ACT study plan, you must first set a targetscore, find your baseline score, decide ona study plan, and gather high-quality prep materials. Once youÃ¢â¬â¢re ready to begin studying, you can use our high-impact tips above to help you get the most out of your ACT prep. So what's my final tip? Always have the confidence that you can do this. Studying for the ACT in a month is difficult, but itÃ¢â¬â¢s certainly not impossible. As long as you know exactly what you'll need to do in order to make your goals a reality, you willbe successful! WhatÃ¢â¬â¢s Next? Need more advice on gearing up for theACT? Then read our in-depth and easy-to-follow guides onhow to prepare for the ACTand when you should start studying. Not a lot of time left before test day? Ourlast-minute ACT strategieswill teach you everything you need to know about strategic guessing, time management, and what you'll need to bring on test day. Only got a month left before your SAT test?Read my other guide on how to study for the SAT in a month to get step-by-step tips and advice. Want to improve your ACT score by 4 points? Check out our best-in-class online ACT prep classes. We guarantee your money back if you don't improve your ACT score by 4 points or more. Our classes are entirely online, and they're taught by ACT experts. If you liked this article, you'll love our classes. Along with expert-led classes, you'll get personalized homework with thousands of practice problems organized by individual skills so you learn most effectively. We'll also give you a step-by-step, custom program to follow so you'll never be confused about what to study next. Try it risk-free today:
Sunday, March 1, 2020
Understanding Irregular -ER French Verbs There are a lot of French verbs that end in -ER and there are a lot of irregular French verbs, but there is only one irregular -ER verb. However, there are three groups of -ER verbs that have some irregularities. One True Irregular -ER Verb Aller (to go) is the only truly irregular -er verb in French - its conjugations are unique and, according to some, very odd. Spelling Change Verbs Spelling change verbsÃ are verbs that end in -cer or -ger. Their stem formation and verb endings are the same as for regular -er verbs, but there is a slight spelling change for pronunciation purposes in certain conjugations. Stem-Changing Verbs Stem-changing verbsÃ are -er verbs that take the regular endings but have two different radicals. There are five categories of French stem-changing verbs: -yer, -eler, -eter, -e_er, and -Ã ©_er. -IER Verbs There is nothing actually irregular about the conjugation of -ier verbs - they are conjugated like regular -er verbs, but some of their forms look strange.