5 lb. Book of ACT Practice Problems (Manhattan Prep 5 lb Series)
You didn’t buy this book to read introductions. You bought this book for 5 pounds of problems that will help you get ready for the ACT.
So let’s keep this intro short and useful.
What the ACT Is
The ACT contains 4 multiple-choice sections containing 215 questions. You’ll be given just under 3 hours for those 4 sections. There is a fifth, optional section.
Section 1: English
You have 45 minutes for 75 questions, spread across 5 passages. Apply grammar rules, choose the best sentence to add at some point, etc.
Section 2: Math
You have 60 minutes for 60 questions. Solve short problems involving pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, even a little trigonometry. You can use an approved calculator here.
Section 3: Reading
You have 35 minutes for 40 questions, spread across 4 passages. Answer questions about details, big-picture themes, etc.
Section 4: Science
You have 35 minutes for 40 questions, spread across 7 passages. Interpret charts and tables, evaluate theories, etc.
Section 5: Writing (Optional)
Surprise: you write a half-hour essay. Some colleges require this section. Others do not.
Here’s an obvious point that’s worth remembering. The content of the ACT is at the high school level. The ACT is meant to measure skills you’ve gained over the years from your English classes, math classes, etc.
That said, before you encounter the real exam, you ought to exercise your skills on a lot of good ACT-style problems. That’s why this book exists.
Go to www.actstudent.org for more details and logistics. At the ACT’s official site, you can sign up for the test, get the latest information directly from the test makers, and find even more practice problems. The printed Real ACT Prep Guide is another great source of both information and practice.
What’s in This Book
This book contains over 1,800 problems that mirror the content and format of the ACT. The proportions of various problem types, topics, and difficulties reflect the proportions of the exam.
Chapter 2 contains a short diagnostic test with 49 problems in English, Math, Reading, and Science. With this test, you can figure out where to focus your efforts, if you’re not sure.
Chapters 3 and 4 contain 160 English problems grouped by topic. Most of these problems are tied to single sentences, so that you can efficiently practice a particular set of skills—say, correctly punctuating a sentence. Each chapter is followed by an answer key and a full set of explanations (this is the case throughout the book).
Chapters 5 through 10 contain 450 English problems in 25 passages. Each of these chapters contains 75 questions across 5 passages, the same as a standard English section. The English topics tested in these passages are mixed together, just as on the real ACT. However, answer keys will help you track how you’re doing on specific skills.
Chapters 11 through 16 contain 500 Math problems. These chapters are arranged by the broad areas of mathematics that the ACT defines: Pre-Algebra, Elementary & Intermediate Algebra, Coordinate & Plane Geometry, and Trigonometry. The number of problems in each chapter follows the percentage of problems in each broad area on the exam. You can track subtopics using the answer keys.
Chapters 17 through 20 contain 346 Reading problems. These chapters are arranged by the types of Reading passages you’ll face on the ACT: Literary Narrative, Humanities, Social Studies, and Natural Sciences. Question types (e.g., details, generalizations) are mixed together throughout the passages, but you can track your performance by question type using the answer keys.
Chapters 21 through 23 contain 343 Science problems. These chapters are arranged by the types of Science passages you’ll face on the ACT: Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Earth Sciences. In each chapter, you’ll find a mix of passage styles (e.g., data representation, research summaries) and corresponding question types.
Chapter 24 provides guidance for the optional Writing section.
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