Exams Know-how

ACT English Syllabus 2024: How to Prepare for ACT English?


The ACT is a multiple-choice exam used in the United States for admission to graduate programs at colleges and universities. English is one of the sections on the ACT exam. College admissions committees utilize the ACT to assess a student's proficiency in a college-level curriculum. The ACT English section is intended to examine a wide variety of writing abilities, from basic grammar to competent communication skills when it comes to writing. The ACT English test has multiple-choice questions that cover the full spectrum of editorial skills without having students understand complex grammar jargon.

Of course, there are other prerequisites for enrollment, but in this blog, we have curated the complete guide to act english by focussing upon how to practice for ACT grammar and tips for english act.

Table of Contents

  1. What is ACT English?
  2. ACT English Syllabus
  3. ACT English: Question Type and Exam Pattern
  4. ACT Grammar
  5. How to Prepare for ACT English?
  6. ACT English Preparation Books
  7. Tips for English ACT

What is ACT English?

Before moving on to how to prepare for ACT English, let us familiarize ourselves with the ACT English section's framework:

  • The first section of the ACT exam is English.
  • It makes up a fourth of the entire score. This part, like the others, is 36 points.
  • The ACT English exam lasts 45 minutes.
  • The ACT English unit comprises 75 questions.
  • 75 questions in 45 minutes gives you about 36 seconds to answer each question.
  • Multiple-choice questions follow passages or multiple essays on the ACT English test.
  • Use/mechanics, sentence structuring, and rhetorical capabilities are all tested in ACT English questions.

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Now that we have gotten the general overview of the ACT English section, Let's take a closer look at what the ACT English syllabus is:

ACT English Syllabus

The English section of the ACT exam consists of various passages or essays. Every piece or essay includes MCQs on the subject of the passage. appearing students will be given four response options from which to pick the right option. A few questions on the ACT English exam curriculum allude to the underlined segment of a passage and provide choices based on it. Candidates must choose the most suitable option. Other questions focus on an underlined segment of the passage or the content overall. There may be a few problems where the answer option is 'No Change.' 

As per grading, the ACT English portion can be divided into 3 areas of calculating:

Writing Production (29–32 percent)

This area demands you to apply your grasp of a piece of writing's goal and emphasis.

  • Theme Generation: Exhibit an awareness and command of the text's rhetorical elements. Analyze if the piece or section of the piece has reached its ultimate purpose, and appraise the material's appropriateness in terms of the text's focus.
  • Organization, Integration, and Unification: To guarantee that a piece is logically ordered, flows smoothly, and has a good opening and finish, use a variety of tactics.

Language proficiency (13–19 percent)

These questions demand you to exhibit excellent language use by selecting words with accuracy and eloquence and keeping your style and tone intact.

Standard English conventions (51–56 percent)

To rewrite and modify content, you must use your knowledge of conventional English syntax, usage, and mechanics.

The English portion aims to put the student in the shoes of a writer who has to make modifications and proofreading decisions. Several rhetorical circumstances can be found in many genres of essays. These excerpts were chosen to examine students' experiences and ideas whilst being appropriate for measuring the writing and language skills of the candidate.

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ACT English: Question Type and Exam Pattern

The ACT English section has five passages with accompanying four-choice multiple-choice questions. There are a total of 75 questions, that are to be completed in 45 minutes time frame. That is roughly 15 questions per passage.

Questions in this section test certain skills of the candidate. The questions can be split into 2 categories:

The Usage/Mechanics Questions

There are a total of 40 questions under this question type, evaluating the following skills.

  • Sentence Structure and Formation: Apply your grasp of sentence structure and formation to a text and make changes to enhance your writing. There are 15-19 questions in this category.
  • Punctuation: Recognize and correct typical errors with standard English punctuation to improve your writing. There are 7-11 questions in this category.
  • Usage: Recognize frequent difficulties with acceptable English language in a text and make adjustments to improve the writing. There are 11-15 questions in this category.

Rhetorical Skills Questions 

There are a total of 35 questions under this question type, evaluating the following skills:

  • Strategy: Questions about strategy focus on your ability to construct a precise and comprehensive conclusion. You'll be questioned if the writer should add or eliminate certain elements, and you'll have to choose the response that best supports your decision. There are 11-15 questions in this category.
  • Organization: Organization questions assess your ability to construct acceptable paragraph opening and ending sentences, as well as the best progression. There are 7-11 questions in this category.
  • Style: You'll be asked to choose the finest words, statements, and concepts that reflect the tone of the passage in these problems. You'll also need to eliminate duplication and excessive wordiness from your phrases. There are 11-15 questions in this category.

One must know fundamental grammatical rules thoroughly to get a high ACT English score. Well over 50% of the problems in the ACT English portion, designated as "Conventions of Standard English" questions on the ACT, assess your knowledge of English grammar. Up next, we’ll go through the most basic grammar rules, based on which students are tested.

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ACT Grammar 

To help you get started with your ACT grammar preparation, we'll go over the most typically tested ACT grammar rules. You'll be ideally equipped to tackle the ACT English questions if you master the following grammatical principles.

  • A subject and a predicate are required for a complete sentence.
  • One or more distinct clauses should not be improperly combined using a Comma Separator.
  • For present tense and "to be" verbs, look for subject-verb agreement.
  • Use auxiliary verbs that let regular verbs define their mood.
  • Use the six basic tenses in English properly.
  • Proper use of Six Progressive Tenses.
  • Keep an eye out for subjects that follow the verb. On the ACT, questions about subject-verb agreement try to perplex you by using phrases wherein the subject comes after the verb.
  • A passage's verb tenses should be consistent.
  • A pronoun should always agree with its predicate.
  • Be Wary of Ambiguous Pronouns.
  • Use conjunctions to Coordinate and Combine clauses of equal importance.
  • Use proper conjunctions of Subordination Combine clauses in which one is the most crucial.
  • Ensure you're comparing the right things in a sentence.
  • To ensure symmetry, segregate each sentence into prepositional phrases.
  • Misplaced description wording describes the sentence's incorrect part.
  • Description words that jumble nothing in the sentence should be changed.
  • The Appositives are typically separated by commas.

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Even though this list is a fine place to begin when studying for ACT English, it mainly covers ACT syntax that will help you do well on test day. Many other ACT Grammar rules need to be followed:

How to Prepare for ACT English?

Preparation is crucial in excelling in any exam. An individual becomes flawless by practice. Test methods and knowledge of effective ACT English suggestions will help you confront the test with more conviction and achieve a higher score. There are many ways to prepare for the ACT English exam.

  • There are several books available to help you prepare for this part.
  • Use the official booklet provided to prepare for the exam. It gives you a quick rundown of what to expect throughout the exam.
  • Review questions from prior years' English sections. This shows the types of questions that are asked on the official exam and how the question patterns have changed over time.
  • Improve your comprehension skills when reading.
  • The internet has benefitted everyone nowadays. You may get a wide variety of study materials on the internet.
  • There are numerous offline and online classes available to assist with ACT exam preparation.
  • Private instructors can be hired to assist with exam preparation.
  • Many websites offer timed practice exams; some even divide them into sections based on distinct concepts, while others divide them into groups based on subjects.
  • Before the exam, take as many full-length practice exams as you can.
  • The ACT organization also offers official practice examinations, which can assist in better understanding the pattern and question kinds.

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ACT English Preparation Books

The following ACT English books will help you prepare yourself better to face the ACT English section:

  • The Official ACT Prep Guide 
  • Barron's ACT Premium Study Guide 
  • The ACT Black Book
  • ACT English Practice Book
  • The College Panda’s ACT English
  • Barron’s ACT 36

As important, as it is to be prepared in advance it is equally important to have a few tricks to help you with any surprises in the exam. When studying for the exam, it is critical to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Let’s discuss a few ACT English section tips:

Tips for English ACT

With 75 questions and only 45 minutes to answer them, candidates may find it challenging to answer various types of passages in the ACT syllabus, pertaining from personal accounts to historical events. Candidates should acquire ACT grammar rules. Here are some ACT English tips and tricks to help you succeed.

  • Pay attention to grammar rules.
  • Try and make complete sentences to make up a strong writing article.
  • The responses must be consistent and constant throughout.
  • The meaning must be distinct and unambiguous.
  • Read the entire sentence rather than just the underlined portion. Frequently, the non-underlined sections provide the information needed to address the question.
  • Always check your responses twice.
  • The most concise response will always be devoid of errors.
  • Choose the best answer to the question.
  • The more concise your writing, the better. This does not always imply that the shortest answer is the best; occasionally a sentence needs more words to be grammatically accurate. In general, avoid lengthy answer options. Simple replies are straightforward and brief.

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So, that was everything about the ACT English syllabus and related topics. To do well on any section of the ACT test, you must start studying early and maintain consistency in your preparation. Do get in touch with our Yocket counselors for any advice or support!


Frequently Asked Questions: ACT English Section

How do I check if my grammar is correct while practising?

What is the average ACT score for the English section?

What does ACT English section examine in the student?

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