What's the difference between a semicolon and a period? On the ACT, there is none! They work exactly the same. That means that if you see both a period and a semicolon appearing in the answer choices - and everything else about the answers is exactly the same - neither answer is correct. You can cross both out! Why? Because the ACT won't make you pick between two answers that are functionally equal.
The same goes for a set of transition words like "Furthermore," "Next," and "Consequently" or "However," "Nevertheless," and "Nonetheless."If you see more than one of those transitions appearing in the answer choices, cross them out!
2. Pick the wording that's most direct and to the point.
Ever wonder what the ACT is testing you on when you get four options like these?
1. The ACT test writers prefer concise language over wordy sentences.
A. NO CHANGE
B. concise language, which tends to be straight to the point,
C. language that is direct, to the point, and avoids unnecessary additions,
D. writing concisely, which is generally endorsed by writing experts,
Technically, all the answers COULD be correct. After all, none of them have punctuation or grammatical errors. If you find yourself in this situation, pick the most CONCISE answer. The correct answer is the one that makes its point in the fewest words possible!
So what's the correct answer here? A, because it gets straight to the point!
3. Don't insert words, phrases, or sentences unless they are absolutely necessary to make a passage grammatically correct or consistent in tone.
Sometimes, the test writers give you the option of inserting a word, phrase, or sentence into the text. Should you add it? Only if it is necessary to make the passage grammatically correct or to make it keep the right tone and flow. Otherwise, avoid inserting extra phrases or sentences, especially if they distract from the focus of the passage.