Writing is Optional

The writing section is optional, but it is the area of my personal expertise.  This is administered at the end of the exam so those math and science dorks can GTFO.  You’ll be given 40 minutes to write an essay about a prompt – usually about some broad social issue.  My advice here is to be as broad in your response as the question was, mostly to avoid any political disagreement with your test grader. You wouldn’t want a Trump-supporter to be grading your essay about reproductive rights, yaknowwhatImean?


To prepare for this section of the exam before finally deciding you need a test prep tutor and calling me, I’d suggest working on (funny enough) your HANDWRITING. At the very least, you want the grader to be able to read the words you took forty painful minutes to write down!

ACT’s Version of Science

The science reasoning test consists of 40 questions covering Data Representation, Research Summary, and Conflicting Viewpoints for which you’ll have 35 minutes. While they call this section Science Reasoning, it depends on your ability to read and synthesize information quickly as much as the reading section does.  If you need some cozy information, take comfort in knowing that you don’t need to actually know much about science to do well in this section!


While the reading section will require you to synthesize and interpret passages, the science reasoning section will require that you read critically by reading graphs, charts, and other visuals – some of which you’ve likely never seen before.  That’s the trick in this section – just because something looks new to you, doesn’t mean you’re unable to interpret it. Don’t overthink it.


You may also be presented with large chunks of information in this section with corresponding questions.  A free trick for doing well on such questions is to read the questions first and then SKIM the passage for corresponding information. It’s a waste of your time to read anything during this exam that doesn’t correlate exactly to a question.


More tricks will cost you money! Sorry, that’s America!

Reading on the ACT

The reading section of the ACTs is kind of a joke. Do you know how to read? Have you read important literature before? Do you know how to answer questions about the things you read and synthesize?


If you answered no to the first question, I do not think you’re ready to hire a test prep tutor. But if you answered no to the rest of the questions, I can help you! In the meantime, I would start practicing by doing simple things like reading short scholarly articles about literature, reading one article in the news every day, and practice reading faster and faster. You’ll do better on this exam if you have confidence in your ability to read and synthesize information quickly.

You Should Probably Hire Me To Prepare for the ACT

Here’s some more helpful (but lacking, for marketing purposes) information to help you decide to hire me to ensure you get a baller score on the ACTs.


You’ll have 60 minutes to complete a 60-question math test including pre-algebra, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, plane geometry, coordinate geometry, and elementary trigonometry.  Some varieties of calculators are allowed for different sections.


You’re probably thinking something along the lines of, “I never paid attention in my public school math classes because I was too busy worrying about getting bullied for my acne” or “My high school math teacher never advanced past elementary algebra but since my school is dreadfully under-funded, nobody ever noticed so I’m hella unprepared to answer questions about geometry and trigonometry.”  Do not worry. These things are learnable, especially if you have an expert test prep tutor to tell you exactly what formulas you’ll actually need to learn. Don’t waste your time learning math you won’t need to use on the exam. Here’s another free little secret: you’ll likely never use this kind of math again in your life, so why they are testing you on it to see if you’re fit for college where you may not even study math at all, is beyond me! But, you need to do well anyway, and I’m gonna make sure you do.

ACT: A Few More Details

Ok, let’s talk more about the ACTs you’re likely required to take to even begin a college application to some state school that will suck you dry of finances, leave you in decades worth of debt, and teach you little more than to never schedule Monday morning classes.


You’ll have 45 minutes on the 75-question English test covering grammar and rhetorical skills. The best way to prepare for this section is to study grammar, do practice questions, and know the tricks built into the exam. Lucky for you, I already know all the tricks and will prepare you to defeat them. While you work to brush up on grammar, I’ll ensure that you know how to apply what you’ve learned.


And look, it’s just about time for a random act of kindness via a disclaimer: for those of you thoroughly overwhelmed by the prospect of standardized exams and college applications, maybe college isn’t really for you? I know our parents and teachers have been telling us since kindergarten that you have to go to college if you want to make something of yourself, but I look around me and what I see are millions of young Americans doing jobs that have nothing to do whatsoever with their college degree while trying to dig out of tens of thousands of dollars of student debt.


There’s plenty of work to be found that doesn’t require a degree – whether that be administrative work at a hospital (www.nyp.org), cleaning peoples’ carpets in Alabama (www.carpetcleaningmobile.com), web development (www.codechicago.com), or lots and lots of different kinds of civic work. Don’t be discouraged by the idea of college. If you’re not into it, skip it, but make sure you have an alternate plan and roadmap!


This is not your only option for success! I promise! But for those of you committed to taking these exams, applying for undergraduate studies, and choosing that path to success, stick with me. I’ve got the roadmap for this plan.

ACT Introduction

Let’s talk about the ACTs, the “American College Testing” to see if you’re ready for the rigorous world of COLLEGE. Now, as most of us know, standardized testing to get into college is a farce. Going to college is necessary, and it doesn’t mean you learned anything or are ready for the real world (especially if mom and dad paid for college, you were on a meal plan, and you lived in the dorms with a babysitter).  For this reason, most of you will probably graduate college, have a meltdown, and then apply for graduate school because by that point, school is all you know how to do.  Isn’t THAT hilarious!


But, another fact most of us already know is that the baby boomers who will likely peruse your resume to decide if you deserve an interview DON’T know how ridiculous this is, so until they all retire (something we’ll never have the opportunity to do!) in ten to fifteen years, you gotta still go to college! You’re the least lucky generation in American history! So, let’s talk about the ACTs.


This exam tests your knowledge in the following areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, Science and if you so choose, Writing. These are all things you should have learned in your school career to this point but probably didn’t because public school in America are reflections of the baby boomers administering them – which is to say, sub-par and decades behind where they should be.


For the next few days, I’ll give tips and tricks for the different sections in this exam but, since I want you to hire me to help you prepare, I’ll likely leave out the important stuff. That’s how the real world works – there’s your first lesson, for free!

Standardized Test Tips and Tricks!

People always ask me, first and foremost, what are my best “tips and tricks” for passing standardized tests. My answer, duh, is to fucking study and know the material. Yes, getting a good night sleep, understanding the expectations and scoring process for the exam and staying calm are great tips but if you don’t know the shit, you’re not going to score well on an exam designed to ensure you know the shit.  So before you even call me, start studying and start learning the shit.


Once we start working together, we’ll work hard to ensure that you not only know the shit, but you know how to apply it in different test formats. We’ll also ensure you know how to be smarter than questions designed to trick you, how to write essays that MOSTLY answer the question you’re being asked, and how to see what the test writer was actually getting at in cases lacking clarity. All that said, you’re still going to have to do the bulk of the work by, GUESS WHAT, learning the shit.


They say you can lead a horse to water but you can’t teach him to drink – I’m going to teach you to drink but for the most part, you need to lead yourself to the water. I’m also not going to help you apply to colleges, know which exams you need to take, and learn to submit them with your application. These are all things that you should know how to do if you even plan on going to college at all.  The real world does not come with a test proctor. In fact, the real world tests you but seriously fucks you up if you don’t know something instead of just giving you a poor mark. 


That said, in order to get you into the real world at all, America suddenly (well not suddenly, but in the last few decades) requires you have at least a Bachelor’s Degree if you want to do anything at all in the world.  I’m going to get you into a position to be accepted into programs granting Bachelor’s Degrees.


I graduated at the top of my class from a small private high school outside of Memphis and did so well on all of my standardized exams that colleges were literally courting me.  I felt like the star quarterback of the football team. My high school did not have a football team and I’m not entirely sure what a quarterback does. But if you’re a quarterback and you’re not being courted for universities, I guess you’re gonna have to ace those ACTs and SATs.


I’ll help you do that without being a burden and without belittling the shit you’ve already learned.  Rather than teach you the information, I’m going to teach you to apply the information – and if one begets the other, it’s a win-win!