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Although there are many things you will learn in your academic career that you may never use again, there are just as many that you will use on a regular basis or will come in handy when you least expect it. The basics of any subject will never let you down. You DO need to know how to add, subtract, multiply and divide in YOUR HEAD. Why? Because people make mistakes when inputting data into calculators and computers. The answer that comes out of those devices is only as good as the data that went in. If you are shopping and something is advertised as 25% percent off, you should be able to do the mental math to determine if it really is a good deal or not. When applying for a job and writing a cover letter or resume, you better be using grammatically correct sentence structure or the person who is reading either one will decide that if you can't write a simple cover letter, you aren't worth the time to interview. Learning about cultures other than your own will be invaluable... read more

The number one complaint I hear from students about the Reading section of the ACT is that they can't finish in the time allowed. The best strategy to improve your timing is to READ EVERY DAY!!!! The more you read, the faster you read with greater comprehension. Reading on a daily basis also exposes you to STANDARD WRITTEN ENGLISH. This is the type of writing you are tested on in the English portion of the test, so reading daily benefits you in two ways. I recommend magazines such as Time, Newsweek and Reader's Digest. Why? Because they contain articles that mirror the type of content in the essays on the Reading portion of the ACT: humanities, social science, natural science, and in the case of prose fiction, you will find short stories in Reader's Digest. Exposure to this type of content material will help you understand what to "read for" on the test.

Over and over I hear from students that their teachers don't require them to use their textbooks; instead the teacher uses power point presentations and has students take notes. Here is the problem with that way of thinking. MOST students don't take really good notes which makes it difficult to complete homework or to study for tests. THINK OF YOUR TEXTBOOK AS YOUR BEST FRIEND. It is the go to guy for those questions you need help answering. Your textbook includes the curriculum that your teacher is required to cover, hence it has the answers within its pages. Your teachers tend to follow the flow of the textbook for the order of their lessons, so if you take the time to read the chapter that comes after what you are currently studying, you will already have some knowledge about the material your teacher will be presenting next. This makes note taking so much easier and gives you a heads up on material you may find confusing which, in turn, allows you the opportunity to ask... read more

It really is not as hard as it seems. One of the key skills needed to be successful on the science portion of the ACT is the ability to read and interpret graphs and tables. Graphs always represent the relationship between sets of data, ususally two sets of data, but sometimes it can be more than two. For example, the graph may show a trend in a population over a time period such as the amount of electricity used over a period of years. It's your job to note trends over the time period. Tables usually contain both quantitative and qualitative information, so understanding why both sets of data are important will help you to answer the questions on the test that require you to analyze that data. Take the time to look over the graphs and tables BEFORE you jump to the questions. This makes answering the questions so much easier since you have an understanding of the data and hence know where to go to find the answer.

After 10 years of teaching ACT prep, I can attest to the fact that most students struggle with pronoun use. Those with which students have the most difficult time are the indefinite pronouns: someone, anyone, anybody, everyone, etc. The majority of the indefinite pronouns are considered singular. For example, the following sentence is incorrect. "Everyone put their coats on the bed." The correct sentence should read, "Everyone put his or her coat on the bed." Find a list of these pronouns and memorize them so you recognize when they are use incorrectly in a sentence.

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