Analyze Your ACT: Second Edition

Analyze Your ACT: Second Edition

by Winni van Gessel

Paperback(This Second Is Adjusted to the New Standards and Categories of the Act. ed.)

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This book revolutionizes the way students take the ACT. Before, they would study hundreds of pages with information about the ACT content and then take numerous tests. Neither approach gave them feedback about their mistakes and too often students would sigh, “I have a 29 …. again!”

With Analyze Your ACT, students FIRST get detailed feedback about exactly where they make mistakes. THEN, they study areas that hold back their score. All the needed material is presented in 1-page handouts, which are followed by practice drills and quizzes to gain mastery.

Motivation is key! Students do not want to waste an hour on punctuation rules, but they gladly study commas and semicolons if they know it will make a three-point difference in their ACT score. Most students need a quick review of geometry, but they do not need the theorems and postulates. Many students know they have forgotten the distance formula and the midpoint formula, and the only thing they need is a quick reminder about the fundamentals. The 1-page approach of this book helps to break the ACT down into bite-size chunks.

What does the ACT measure? Most parents do not know the answer, the majority of teachers have only a vague notion, and the average high school student has no idea. Yet, the ACT is a test that can determine the college admission process and possible scholarships. The trendsheets in this book give an immediate overview of what the ACT is all about. And because the ACT is a standardized test, this pattern will repeat for every test in the past and the future. With this book, for the first time, students know what to study and how to improve, parents are able to provide guidance, and teachers can identify what materials to integrate into their curriculum.

Analyze your ACT explains math and English principles in simple language, yet goes into more depth than any other book in this field. The book combines facts and formulas with study skills and insights into complex questions. More than 200 tips are scattered throughout the book and each one can make a difference in one or more ACT questions. The book even provides insights into particular ACT traps that have stopped top students from getting a perfect score.

The author, Winni van Gessel, studied Instructional Design at the University of Kentucky, and this background becomes apparent in the way the book approaches the test. The test itself is not the central part of this self-study book; the skills to ace the test are the driving force in each of its chapters. Mastering these skills will not only help students with the ACT, but also in other academic areas. Students would do well to heed the advice about these test-taking skills as they are the key in the reading and the science parts of the ACT. Just like the composite score of the test is a combination of the four test, so is the approach to master this test a combination between knowledge and test-taking skills.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780692892220
Publisher: van Gessel, Inc
Publication date: 05/11/2017
Edition description: This Second Is Adjusted to the New Standards and Categories of the Act. ed.
Pages: 516
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

"Dad, what is the difference between who and whom?" I had answered these types of questions since my daughters learned to talk, but this time it was different. A lot of money was at stake, and the answer might even determine if they got into a top college or not. The question above appears in every ACT test and most students do not know the answer. (Here is a hint: If you answer a question with HIM, you should have used WHOM.)

Born in the Netherlands, I was at first unfamiliar with the concepts of the ACT, and I was sure that my daughters' activities, volunteer hours, and leadership positions would give them a great scholarship. Little did I know how much emphasis colleges put on the numbers of the American College Test, the ACT; In Kentucky a one-point difference (just 6 questions) can automatically increase your scholarship by $4500.00 or more.

I decided to analyze every question that my oldest daughter missed, and I found my first pattern: she missed four out of five circle questions. "I know. I hate cylinder problems," she said. That day, we drove to Cincinnati, and before we were even halfway I had taught her every circle formula, forwards and backwards. "Give me a HARD problem, Dad," she would say. Back home, she flew over her previously-missed circle questions and nailed every one of them.

Having just started the Montessori High School in town, I then analyzed each of the missed questions of my students in their PLAN and EXPLORE tests. Every student received a report with the top categories in which they had made the most mistakes, and they integrated exercises and missed questions into their homework assignments. As I had studied Instructional Design at the University of Kentucky, I wanted to find out how I could best teach the necessary skills for the ACT.

By the time my youngest daughter was a junior, I had built up an extensive set of skills pertaining to the ACT, and I took every test that she took as well. I made 1-page handouts and mini quizzes for every area in which she and her friends needed help. "Can you make me a page that contains every math formula that I will need on the ACT?" she asked innocently. Soon this handout was known as "The Beast" and made its way to Morehead State University and even India.

By now, I had become a full-time college planner as one of the owners of "Class 101" in Lexington. I took every ACT that I could find and discovered more and more patterns that I organized in my own system, called trendsheets. Currently, if a student takes a test, my trendsheets reveal within minutes of completion where they made their mistakes. As the ACT is a standardized test, each version is very similar and therefore very predictable. Most of my students are able to improve their scores three points or more by mastering areas that previously cost them points. My trendsheets help them to set short-term goals to improve instead of looking at the daunting task to work on EVERYTHING.

Now that both my girls are in college, I have put all the handouts, quizzes and trendsheets in a book, that is appropriately called Analyze your ACT. It took me two years to complete an overview that covers every aspect of the test: how to be a better reader, how to avoid mistakes in graphs and tables, and even how to get the area of an equilateral triangle ( 1/2 S*1/2 S*√3).

Now all parents can work along their child on test-taking skills, grammar rules, and formulas and analyze a student's ACT. Most importantly, each student can increase his or her score by focusing on one area at a time with 1-page handouts and 1-page quizzes.

I wish the best of luck to those for WHOM this book is written.

Winni lives in Lexington, KY, with his wife Ania.

Table of Contents


How To Use This Book 1




Sentence Structure 18

Comma Usage - One Comma 22

Comma Usage - Two Commas 26

Punctuation - Semicolons & Colons 32

Hyphens, Dashes and Apostrophes 37

The Apostrophe 39

Conjunctive Adverbs 43

Modifiers 48


Pronouns - Types 64

Pronouns - Tips 65

Redundancy in Sentences 72

Verb-Subject Agreement 76

Verb Tense 80

Irregular Verbs List 83

The Conditional 86

Parallel Structure 87

Word Choices 92

Grammar Quizzes 95

English Grammar Overview 101


Clarity 104

Conjunctions 108

Transitions 110

Redundancy in Paragraphs 115

Purpose Questions - Main Idea 119

English Test 1 122

English Test 2 142

MATH 161


Fractions 164

Percentages 170

Averages 174

Ratios 182


Factoring 186

Sequences 190

Exponents and Roots 194

Irrational/Imaginary Numbers 198


Simple Equations 202

Absolute Value 206

Quadratic Equations 210

Translations (Word Problems) 218


Basic Shapes 222

Angles and Triangles 228

Special Triangles 231

The Coordinate Plane 238

Pythagorean Theorem 240

Circles 242

Polygons 250


Linear Equations 258

Trigonometry Review 262

Logic 274

The Matrix 278


Probability 282

Graphs 286

Logarithms 290


Math Test 1 300

Math Test 2 320


The Three Parts of the Reading Test 338


One-Minute Speed Reading Test 340

Top 10 Reading Strategies 341

Reading Precisely 342


Clarity 351

Inference Questions 353

Word Choice - Vocab in Context 358

Tone of Voice 361

How to Find the Main Idea 363


The Fake 366

The Switch 368

The Extreme 370

The General 372

Reading Tips - What To Do 374

Reading Test 1 377

Reading Test 2 393



Tables - Quiz 1 Football 413

Tables - Quiz 2 Solubility 415

Tables - Quiz 3 Air conditioning 417

Tables - Quiz 3 Soda and Candy 419

Tables - Quiz 3 Approval Rates 421

Tables - Quiz 3 Bouncy Balls 423

Tables - Quiz 3 Treadmill 425

Tables - Quiz 3 Crop rotation 427


Graphs - Test-taking Skills 431

Graphs - Quiz 1 Elephant Tusks 433

Graphs - Quiz 2 Immigration 1 435

Graphs - Quiz 3 Pitching Speed 437

Graphs - Quiz 4 Weather 439

Graphs - Quiz 5 Immigration 2 441

Graphs - Quiz 6 Invasive Species 443


Experiment 1 Bouncing Balls 447

Experiment 2 Tire Pressure 449

Experiment 3 Acidity 451


Viewpoints 1 Screeching Noises 455

Viewpoints 2 Vegetarian Diets 457

Viewpoints 3 Dementia 459

Viewpoints 4 Mpemba Effect 461

Science Test 1 463

Science Test 2 483

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