Kaplan Act with CD-ROM

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For students who wish to prepare for the ACT exam on their own, no other reference beats Kaplan ACT 2001 with CD-ROM. With a portable guide book and a newly improved CD-ROM, students will rely on this comprehensive package for Kaplan's expert testing guidance. Features on the CD-ROM include:
  • 2 full-length practice tests, plus 2 additional practice tests for each of the Math,...
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Overview

For students who wish to prepare for the ACT exam on their own, no other reference beats Kaplan ACT 2001 with CD-ROM. With a portable guide book and a newly improved CD-ROM, students will rely on this comprehensive package for Kaplan's expert testing guidance. Features on the CD-ROM include:
  • 2 full-length practice tests, plus 2 additional practice tests for each of the Math, English, Reading, and Science sections
  • 4 question-type tutorials
  • Practice lessons, score analysis, and personalized strategies
  • A personalized Web site that provides students with a calendar, checklist, and news and information pertaining to the schools of their choice.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Make the grade with this ACT study guide and CD-ROM. This test prep contains four full-length exams and complete workouts for each of the subject areas -- English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743213929
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/3/2001
  • Edition description: 6TH BK&CDR
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 8.36 (w) x 10.84 (h) x 1.33 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Test-Taking Tips 7-10

7. Guess Intelligently

An unanswered question is always wrong, but even a wild guess may be right. On the ACT, a guess can't hurt you, but it can help. In fact, smart guessing can make a big difference in your score. Always guess on every ACT question you can't answer. Never leave a question blank.

Smart Guessing

Make sure you get the points you deserve on the questions you can answer. But don't worry about the ones you have to guess on. Odds are good that you'll guess some correctly. And those correct guesses will increase your score just as much as if you'd figured out the answers.

You'll be doing two different kinds of guessing during your two sweeps through any subject test:

* Blind guessing (which you do mostly on questions you deem too hard or time-consuming even to try).
* Considered guessing (which you do mostly on questions that you do some work on, but can't make headway with).

When you guess blindly, you just choose any letter you feel like choosing (Many students like to choose B for Bart; few choose H for Homer). When you guess in a considered way, on the other hand, you've usually done enough work on a question to eliminate at least one or two choices. If you can eliminate any choices, you'll up the odds that you'll guess correctly.

Here are some fun facts about guessing: If you were to work on only half of the questions on the ACT but get them all right, then guess blindly on the other half of the questions, you would probably earn a composite ACT score of around 23 (assuming you had a statistically reasonable success rate on your guesses). A 23 would put you in roughly the top quarter of all those who take the ACT. It's a good score. And all you had to do was answer half the questions correctly.

On the other hand, if you were to hurry and finish all the questions, but get only half of them right, you'd probably earn only a 19, which is below average.

How? Why are you better off answering half and getting them all right instead of answering all and getting only half right?

Here's the trick. The student who answers half the questions right and skips the others can still take guesses on the unanswered questions -- and odds are this student will have enough correct guesses to move up 4 points, from a 19 to a 23. But the student who answers all the questions and gets half wrong doesn't have the luxury of taking guesses.

In short: Guess if you can't figure out an answer for any question!

8. Be Careful with the Answer Grid

Your ACT score is based on the answers you select on your answer grid. Even if you work out every ACT question correctly, you'll get a low score if you misgrid your answers. So be careful!

Grid in Groups

You should, of course, circle the correct answers in your test booklet as you figure them out. But don't transfer those answers to the grid one by one. That takes too much time.

* In English, Reading, and Science Reasoning, grid at the end of each passage.
* In Math, grid at the end of every page (or every two-page spread).

Don't disdain the process of filling in those little "bubbles" on the grid. Sure, it's pretty mindless, but under time pressure it's easy to lose control and make mistakes.

It's important to develop a disciplined strategy for filling in the answer grid. We find that it's smart to grid the answers in groups rather than one question at a time. What this means is this: As you figure out each question in the test booklet, circle the answer choice you come up with. Then transfer those answers to the answer grid in groups of five or more (until you get close to the end of the section, when you start gridding answers one by one).

Gridding in groups like this cuts down on errors because you can focus on this one task and do it right. It also saves time you'd otherwise spend moving papers around, finding your place, and redirecting your mind. Answering ACT questions takes deep, hard thinking. Filling out answer grids is easy, but you have to be careful, especially if you do a lot of skipping around. Shifting between "hard thinking" and "careful bookkeeping" takes time and effort.

In English, Reading, and Science Reasoning, the test is divided naturally into groups of questions -- the passages. For most students, it makes sense to circle your answers in your test booklet as you work them out. Then, when you're finished with each passage and its questions, grid the answers as a group.

In Math, the strategy has to be different because the Math test isn't broken up into natural groups. For most students, the best strategy is to mark your answers in the test booklet and then grid them when you reach the end of each page or two. Since there are usually about five math questions per page, you'll probably be gridding five or ten math answers at a time.

No matter what subject test you're working on, though, you should start gridding your answers one at a time near the end of the subject test. You don't want to be caught with ungridded answers when time is called.

During the ACT, the proctor should warn you when you have about five minutes left on each subject test. But don't depend on proctors! Yes, they're usually nice people, but they can mess up once in a while. Rely on your own watch. When there's five minutes left in a subject test, start gridding your answers one by one. With a minute or two left, start filling in everything you've left blank. Remember: Even one question left blank could cut your score.

9. Use the Letters of the Choices to Stay on Track

One oddity about the ACT is that even-numbered questions have F, G, H, J (and, in Math, K) as answer choices, rather than A, B, C, D (and, again, E in Math). This might be confusing at first, but you can make it work for you. A common mistake with the answer grid is to accidentally enter an answer one row up or down. On the ACT, that won't happen if you pay attention to the letter in the answer. If you're looking for an A and you see only F, G, H, J, and K, you'll know you're in the wrong row on the answer grid.

Another advantage of having answers F through K for even-numbered questions is that it makes you less nervous about patterns in the answers. It's common to start worrying if you've picked the same letter twice or three times in a row. Since the questions have different letters, this can't happen on the ACT. Of course, you could pick the first choice (A or F) for several questions in a row. This shouldn't worry you. It's common for the answers in the same position to be correct three times in a row, and even four times in a row isn't unheard of.

10. Keep Track of Time

During your two passes through each subject test, you really have to pace yourself. On average, English, Reading, and Science Reasoning questions should take about 30 seconds each. Math questions should average less than one minute each.

Set your watch to 12:00 at the beginning of each subject test, so it will be easy to check your time. Again, don't rely on proctors, even if they promise that they will dutifully call out the time every five, ten, or fifteen minutes. Proctors get distracted once in a while.

For English, Reading, and Science questions, it's useful to check your timing as you grid the answers for each passage. English and Reading passages should take about nine minutes each. Science passages should average about five minutes. (In the Strategic Summaries, we've written out suggested checkpoints for each subject test.)

More basic questions should take less time, and harder ones will probably take more. In Math, for instance, you need to go much faster than one per minute during your first sweep. But at the end, you may spend two or three minutes on each of the hardest problems you work out.

TAKE CONTROL

You are the master of the test-taking experience. A common thread in all ten strategies above is: Take control. That's Kaplan's ACT Mindset. Do the questions in the order you want and in the way you want. Don't get bogged down or agonize. Remember, you don't earn points for suffering, but you do earn points for moving on to the next question and getting it right.

Copyright © 2001 by Kaplan, Inc.

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Table of Contents

How to Use This Book ix
ACT Emergency Plan xi
Using the: CueCat Codes xiii
A Special Note for International Students xv
Section I ACT Basics
1. Introduction to the ACT 3
2. The Four Subject Tests: A Preview 13
3. Taking Control: The Top Ten Strategies 27
Section II Skill-Building Workouts
4. English Workout 1: When in Doubt, Take It Out 43
5. Math Workout 1: The End Justifies the Means 53
6. Reading Workout 1: Know Where You're Going 69
7. Science Workout 1: Look for Patterns 79
8. English Workout 2: Make It Make Sense 95
9. Math Workout 2: Shake It Up! 109
10. Reading Workout 2: Look It Up! 119
11. Science Workout 2: Always Know Your Direction 127
12. English Workout 3: Trust Your Ear 139
13. Math Workout 3: Figuring It Out 151
14. Reading Workout 3: Arts and Sciences 163
15. Science Workout 3: Keep Your Viewpoints Straight 175
Section III Ready, Set, Go
16. Strategic Summaries 189
17. Last-Minute Tips 199
18. Web Stops 203
Section IV Practice Tests and Explanations
Practice Test 1 213
Practice Test 1 Answers and Explanations 264
Practice Test 2 301
Practice Test 2 Answers and Explanations 354
Compute Your Score 389
Section V Appendixes
A. English Review for the ACT 393
B. Math Glossary 403
C. 100 Key Math Concepts for the ACT 417
Section VI CDROM User's Guide
Higher Score on the ACT 435
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