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How to prepare for ACT exam for international students

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How to prepare for ACT exam for international students

The standard test for admission to US colleges and universities, as well as for transfer from one institution to another is ACT (American College Testing). In many respects ACT is similar to the American SAT: it concerns the structure and possibilities for admission to American universities. But there are fundamental differences between them.

ACT exams are held today in all countries of the world (to come to the US only for delivery optional) several times a year: usually dates in June, September, October, December, April. In Russia, you can take the exam today in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok, you just need to clarify the exact dates and make an appointment for a more convenient one.

Registration for the exam is conducted online, registration fee is paid by bank card: for 4 sections the student pays a contribution of $ 79.5, for 5 sections (plus essay essay) - $ 96.5 (data for 2016 year ).

What is the essence of ACT?

ACT is aimed at a full-fledged examination of the general knowledge of a high school student in several fields: English, reading, mathematics, science, humanitarian and social subjects. Successful passing of the test indicates that the student is ready to perform assignments at the college level, has a high level of English and academic knowledge in basic subjects.

There is also a written test (writing an essay, the ability to write a written speech), but it is often optional, optional.

The ACT structur

Usually the exam consists of 4-5 parts (written block, as we recall, optional). In general, the structure of the exam is a list of questions, each with 4 answers. Each block is evaluated separately (1-36 points), for writing an essay you can get an additional 2-12 points.

1. English

  • Total time: 45 minutes
  • Volume: 75 questions.

The student is given 5 text passages with selected sentences in which to find and To correct the mistakes made. You need knowledge of the grammar, style and syntax of the English language (and the preparation of manuals for The New SAT will be much more effective).

2. Mathematics

  • Total time: 60 minutes
  • Extent: 60 questions.

The student is offered tasks on elementary trigonometry, arithmetic, algebra and geometry; It is forbidden to use a calculator.

3. Reading

  • Total time: 35 minutes
  • Volume: 40 questions.

Four excerpts from books or magazine articles are given: these can be as artistic texts , And non-fiction on a humanitarian topic or on natural, social sciences. Each text is accompanied by a block of questions: the student must demonstrate an understanding of academic English, be able to analyze the text, its structure, highlight the main idea and idea.

4. Scientific thinking

  • Total time: 35 minutes
  • Volume: 40 questions.

A special test that tests the student's ability to reflect, formulate judgmental judgments, analyze and solve various tasks. Usually it is 7 small texts-excerpts from various scientific works on physics, chemistry, geography and biology, often in texts giving opposing points of view on the same question or problem. Each text is offered 5-7 questions.

It is this unit that mainly distinguishes ACT from SAT - and at the same time this stage is, according to statistics, the most difficult for Russian students.

Differences between ACT and SAT

For a full understanding of the differences between the two exams, it is worth considering the newest version of SAT - The New SAT, because only in this case the comparison will be correct .

The ACT exam is most often taken by students in the Midwest, the southern United States, while SAT is more popular on the east and west coasts. At the same time, American universities for the most part do not make a fundamental choice between the two exams, considering applicants with both, and with another certificate.

It is generally accepted that the ACT questions are more accurate, "direct", there are fewer "traps" and ambiguities in them than in the SAT - but one must be ready to surrender the scientific part ("Meditation"), which in the SAT Just missing.

Here you can learn about the preparation and other tests:

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