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Dallas ACT Tutoring

We Can Take You to the Next Level

The Waterton Group offers a customized ACT tutoring experience reserved for the most ambitious students within the Dallas area. Our students typically go on to study at top universities after studying with Waterton. We believe every student in Dallas should strive to achieve the best ACT score possible and target the highest ranking university in his or her range. Unfortunately, many students’ ACT scores fall short of the minimum requirements because of insufficient, non-specialized instruction. In fact, most of our students have washed out of some of the less focused ACT programs in Dallas. For those and other students, The Waterton Group is the answer to Dallas ACT prep.

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Know the Test

The ACT is a standardized test used to measure a high school student's general academic progress and determine their ability to complete college-level work. It differs from the SAT in that it is an achievement test, measuring what a student has already learned, rather than an aptitude test. The questions on the ACT test the core curriculum of a typical high school career (English, reading, mathematics, and science).



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ACT Landscape

The ACT is comprised of four distinct multiple-choice tests:

  • English (45 minutes, 75 total questions)
  • Mathematics (60 minutes, 60 total questions)
  • Reading (35 minutes, 40 total questions)
  • Science (35 minutes, 40 total questions)

English

The English Test of the ACT evaluates your written English and rhetorical skills. It is composed of five 15-question prose passages of different types to be completed within 45 minutes, and multiple choices are provided for each question. Some questions refer to the entire passage, while others corresponds to an underlined segment or to a box located in the passage. Test-takers will receive two subscores on the English Test: one for Usage and Mechanics, and another for Rhetorical Skills; spelling, vocabulary, and grammar are not tested. Each subscore is broken down into three elements, outlined below:

Usage & Mechanics

  • Sentence Structure (24%) These questions test your understanding of how the individual components within a sentence (such as clauses, placement of modifiers, and shifts in construction) correlate with one another.
  • Grammar and Usage (16%) These questions test your understanding of how varying elements of speech correlate with one another and your ability to work with those different parts. Idiomatic usage is also tested.
  • Punctuation (13%) These questions test your knowledge of the proper uses of punctuation, with an emphasis on the relationship between punctuation and meaning.

Rhetorical Skills

  • Organization (15%) These questions test your ability to organize thoughts and ideas into effective sentences.
  • Strategy (16%) These questions test your ability to develop a given topic by selecting the appropriate words or phrases that match its intended audience or purpose, your ability to effectively edit the supporting material, and your ability to evaluate the relevance of statements within context.
  • Style (16%) These questions test your ability to maintain the given style and tone of an essay, select appropriate words and imagery, and avoid anything that may detract from consistency, such as ambiguity, wordiness, and redunancy.

Math

The Mathematics Test covers reasoning skills used to solve a range of practical math problems, and students will have 60 minutes to answer 60 multiple-choice questions. A working knowledge of basic formulas and computational skills is required, but detailed knowledge of complex formulas and the ability to perform extensive computation are not.

Though all of the problems on the Mathematics Test can be solved without use of a calculator, a student may use one provided that it has no prohibited features (ACT Calculator Guidelines). Test-takers who use a prohibited calculator will be dismissed from the ACT and their test will not be scored.

Test-takers will receive three subscores on the Mathematics Test: one for Pre-Algebra/Elementary Algebra, another for Intermediate Algebra/Coordinate Geometry, and the last for Plane Geometry/Trigonometry. Each subscore is broken down into two elements, outlined below:

Pre-Algebra and Elementary Algebra

  • Pre-Algebra (23%) These questions test your ability to perform basic mathematical operations using whole numbers, decimals, fractions, integers, factors, prime numbers, percentages, ratios, probability, absolute value, exponents, and series.
  • Elementary Algebra (17%) These questions test your ability to work with introductory algebraic concepts, such as writing and simplifying algebraic expressions, solving linear equations, multiplying binomials, and solving inequalities.

Intermediate Algebra and Coordinate Geometry

  • Intermediate Algebra (15%) These questions test your understanding of more advanced algebraic equations based on using the quadratic formula. Concepts such as functions, matrices, and logarithms will be tested.
  • Coordinate Geometry (15%) These questions test your ability to work with line graphs and the coordinate plane.

Plane Geometry and Trigonometry

  • Plane Geometry (23%) These questions test your understanding of the properties of and relationships between plane figures, such as angles, lines, polygons, and three-dimensional shapes.
  • Trigonometry (7%) These questions test your understanding of the relationships between the sides and angles of triangles as well as your ability to express them within graphs.

Reading

The Reading Test measures your reading comprehension by having you read four full-page passages. Ten multiple-choice questions follow each passage, evaluating your ability to understand the information presented and draw reasonable conclusions from it within the allotted 35 minutes. Specifically, you will be prompted to:

  • establish the author’s main idea
  • find and interpret supporting evidence
  • deduce the order of events
  • make comparisons
  • recognize cause-and-effect relationships
  • infer the meanings of words or phrases in context
  • draw generalizations
  • analyze the author’s voice or tone

Test-takers will receive two subscores on the Reading Test: one for Social Studies/Sciences and another for Arts/Literature. Each subscore is broken down into two elements, outlined below:

Social Studies and Sciences

  • Social Studies (25%) These passages cover a variety of subjects within the study of human society, such as anthropology, archaeology, business, economics, education, geography, history, political science, psychology, and sociology.
  • Natural Sciences (25%) These passages include content from an assortment of sciences dealing with the physical world, such as anatomy, astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, ecology, geology, medicine, meteorology, microbiology, natural history, physiology, physics, technology, and zoology.

Arts and Literature

  • Literary Narrative or Prose Fiction (25%) These passages may be drawn from short stories, excerpts from novels, or passages from memoirs.
  • Humanities (25%) These passages are comprised of cultural topics in such areas as architecture, art, dance, ethics, film, language, literary criticism, music, philosophy, radio, television, and theater.

Science

The Science Test presents seven sets of scientific information drawn from biology, earth/space sciences, chemistry, and physics. Each set is followed by a number of multiple-choice questions, and you will have 35 minutes to answer a total of 40 questions. These questions require you to:

  • understand the content provided and recognize related concepts
  • examine the relationship between the given data and either the conclusions drawn or hypotheses presented
  • draw conclusions or make predictions based on the stated information

The Science Test emphasizes scientific reasoning skills over scientific content itself, and although an introductory understanding of science is needed to successfully complete the Science Test, an advanced scientific knowledge is not required.

The Science Test is divided into three different areas:

  • Data Representation (38%) This area tests your ability to interpret and apply data presented in such formats as graphs, tables, diagrams, and figures.
  • Research Summaries (45%) These passages present scientific findings or results and ask you to apply reading comprehension skills to interpret them correctly.
  • Conflicting Viewpoints (17%) This area presents contrasting hypotheses and asks you to understand and explain the differences and similarities between both views.

Test-takers are not permitted to use a calculator on the Science Test.

Writing

The Writing Test is an optional 30-minute essay that prompts an issue and then presents opposing views on that topic. You are then asked to take a stance on the issue, and your writing style is measured by how effectively you support it and provide clear arguments. You may adopt one of the opinions presented or provide your own, and your score will not be affected by the position you take on the issue.