ACT MathThe ACT may be your teen’s better test if . . .

The ACT is broken down into 4 sections and the optional essay at the end. The scoring is based on a 1-36 range for each section. A composite score of 27 or higher is considered above average.

The 60 minute Math section evaluates the student’s knowledge of mathematics – pre-algebra through basic trigonometry, leaning toward more geometry questions. The key, especially in this section, is timing and pacing. (The SAT allows an average of 45% more time in the two math sections.)

The 45 minute Science Reasoning section focuses on the student’s ability to read and interpret scientific information. Ironically, it is more of a reading test focused on interpreting charts and graphs than a science test in that a minimal level of science background is required. (The SAT has no science section; 2-4 graphs or charts are interspered among the reading and writing/language questions.)

The 35 minute Reading Section of the test consists of four (800-1000 word) passages each with 10 multiple choice questions. The readings are excerpts from the following areas: social science, fiction, natural science, and humanities. The reading level of the ACT is generally a bit easier than the SAT. As the student must spend less than 9 minutes per passage, knowing how to skim is essential especially since most of the questions are not in order of the reading! (The SAT allows 13 minutes per passage, 43% more time.)

The 45 minute English Section of the test consists of 5 passages with 75 multiple choice questions – 15 minutes per passage. The passages may range from personal anecdotes to essays about linguistics. The areas of grammar tested include punctuation, sentence structure, usage, idiomatic expressions, and agreement. The areas of written expression (rhetoric) tested are focused on writing, revision, organization, and style. (The SAT writing and language is almost identical in format but contains 11 questions per passage, 8.75 minutes each, about 33% more time.)

The optional 40 minute essay test that measures those writing skills emphasized in high school English classes and in entry-level college composition courses. The test describes an issue and provides three different perspectives on the issue. You are asked to “evaluate and analyze” the perspectives; to “state and develop” your own perspective; and to “explain the relationship” between your perspective and those given.

Why BreakThrough ACT Test Prep for YOUR Teen


BreakThrough Test Prep is one of the few companies in the area that has over 20 years experience helping students maximize their ACT scores. That said, we have access to practice exams going back to 1995. The ACT has only been gaining momentum in the northeast since 2007. (It’s market share began surpassing the SAT nationally in 2013, though since it’s inception in 1957, it was the exam students took in the Midwest and South.)

The program begins with teaching our students efficient reading skills – improving speed and comprehension based on finding the point of the passage. Teaching these skills is the foundation of our BreakThrough Test Prep SystemTM.

As as invaluable time-saver, the math begins with level troubleshooting. Our innovative strategies and techniques help students quickly realize that with practice and incorporating these proven techniques, this test becomes very doable.

Some of the proprietary ACT techniques developed by BreakThrough Test Prep are:

  • The ‘key word’ technique to answering the rhetoric question on the English section
  • Knowing when it’s necessary to spend time on the science passage introduction
  • Learning how to read in word groups to improve reading speed and comprehension
  • How to identify the thesis on a reading passage to improve pacing and accuracy
  • Maximizing time and and accuracy on the math depending on score potential
  • The 20 most common agreement mistakes on the English test
  • The 3 key mindset strategies for test-taking success
  • Knowing how many questions to get correct to achieve the desired score goal

How Many Tutorial Hours Will MY Teen Need?


Students typically require about 6-12 hours in the English/Reading as well as the same for the Math/Science. This is determined by the results of the 60 Second ACT vs. SAT Assessment, 90 Second ACT Skill Set Assessment, GPA, prior scores, and the responses on the Student Profile Questionnaire. Parents will find out the recommended optimum number of hours during the complimentary Breakthrough Test Prep Strategy Session and then be referred to Tuition Based on Score Potential page on the website.


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