Quick quiz: Do you know what a contraction is? Pronoun? Preposition? If your answers are no, no, and definitely not, you are in the same boat as many high school students. Most likely you learned some basic grammar in fourth grade and then quickly moved on to reading To Kill a Mockingbird and Hamlet, happily replacing grammar rules with plot summaries and themes. However, test takers need to know the rules of grammar if they want to succeed on test day.
The good news is that you don’t need doctorate-level, hard core grammar to do well on these tests! The key is to understand the question patterns – knowing what to look for and how to answer specific repeating types of questions.
The SAT and ACT place a heavy emphasis on the following:
- Subject-verb agreement
- Pronoun agreement
- Parallel Structure
If you are preparing for the ACT, you need to know not only all of the above but also all about punctuation. (Approximately 1/3 of all ACT grammar questions revolve around understanding the comma, semi-colon, colon, and dash.) So, if you study all of these grammar subjects you (pronoun) will (helping verb) do (verb) well (adverb) on (preposition) the (article) test (noun)!