Raise your ACT English – easy trick #2

Raise your ACT English – easy trick #2

September 16, 2015

The next easy trick to raise that English score: favor simple verb tenses over complex ones. I’m not going to get into all the grammatical details regarding verb tenses for two simple reasons:

1. You don’t need to know this to score well, and

2. I’m not an expert on grammar.

Here’s the deal: On the ACT, a simple verb is almost always better than a complex verb phrase. What exactly do I mean by this. I mean always choose a one word verb over a verb phrase. So for example, “He walks to school” or “He walked to school” beats “He [is walking, has walked, had walked, etc] to school” almost every time.

Does that make it sound too simple? Well there is one exception. I have seen a “perfect” verb tense (i.e. a verb phrase starting with has, had, or have) beat out a simple verb tense. But the only time i have seen this happen is when the simple tense had a subject-verb agreement problem. So, bottom line, easy trick #2 is subordinate to easy trick #1. Always make sure your SVA is in order first, then use easy trick #2.