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I am a 37 year old tutor who has been helping students prepare for the ACT for the last 15 years.

In December, I took the actual exam with high school students at a local high school. The experience was fascinating and gave me additional insight in to how to help students score higher on the ACT. (full article here)

In this article, I want to expose a key concept that will earn you easy points on the ACT English section:

So many of the questions revolved around the strategy of eliminating redundancy (i.e. - “the less wordy, the better.”)

Here is an example (on these questions, students have to choose the answer that makes the best sentence):

He was there when we got home from school- a tall, skinny, pale old man who was extremely thin and elderly.


B. whose extreme thinness attested to his age

C. who was thin because he was elderly

D. OMIT the underlined part

Here, the best answer is D. The underlined portion is redundant. This question may have seemed easy to you but the December ACT tested students on this concept over and over.

 In fact, every ACT will contain many questions just like the one above. Knowing this, and being on the lookout for it, gave me a huge advantage on the ACT and helped me achieve a score of 36 on the English part for two reasons. One, I was able to answer all of these questions correctly, and two, I was able to save time on these questions and this helped me finish this section with a few minutes to spare.