The most important ACT Technique to know | Tulsa Tutoring

By Dominick Cooper, Founder and Director of Launch Academy Tutoring Company, 2013 Nominee for Young Entrepreneur of the year for Tulsa Tutoring, and university guest speaker on education

If you are a parent, you know how big of a deal college admissions tests are.  While some colleges are moving away from using these tests, the vast majority still do.  What does this mean for students? Either one of two things – either they get in to college and live happily ever after or they don’t.

But there is also a third option.

They live happily ever after AND have loads of cash to pay off that college tuition.

It’s a no-brainer! Everybody would rather have the latter.  While there are several Tulsa tutoring companies that help with the ACT, our approach is a little different. We utilize the 80-20 Rule or Pareto’s rule.  Basically, while there are tons of concepts in high school, the ACT only tests over a fraction of them (about 20%) and that’s the percent that we focus on as a tutoring company.

So what are these concepts that the other tulsa tutoring companies are ignoring? Let me tell you.


  1. Comma Rules – These make up a generous chunk of the ACT and it’s best to know all of them.
  2. Subject-verb Agreement – Watch out! The ACT loves through in extraneous prepositional phrases to distract you from the real subject.
  3. Conjunctions and semi-colons: A conjunction only takes a comma IF it is followed by an independent clause. Same goes for semi-colon usage.
  4. Redundancy and Misplaced Modifiers – “At home, I use my expensive brother’s graphing calculator for math homework.” If you can see the mistake, you know what misplaced modifiers are.
  5. Apostrophes and Possessive pronouns – Its and It’s are just the tip of the iceberg. Make sure you know all the apostrophe rules before going in.


  1. Graph functions and linear equations – If you know how to use a graphing calcuator, this should be pretty easy for you.
  2. Solve single-variable equations – Can you find x? If so, you’re on your way to being a math genius.
  3. Systems of Equations – There will always be a systems problem. Make sure you know when there is one solution, no solution, or infinitely many.
  4. Circle Equation – Remember conic sections in Algebra 2? Thankfully, this is the only equation tested from that.
  5. Pythagorean Theorem – This formula comes up more on the ACT than any other one.
  6. Operations with percents, decimals, and fractions – know how to convert between them and use them.
  7. Geometry Properties – What is the sum of the angles in a triangle? What is an isoceles triangle? How do you find the area of the a circle? These are basic things you need to know, among others.


  1. Recognize facts and watch out for series – Is there a sentence with a series of items? There will probably be a question on that.
  2. Know how to use context – Learn how to use the facts and details from the passage to get a “feel” for the passage’s tone and setting.
  3. Summarize a passage – This will help in the “overall purpose” type of questions


  1. Interpolate and Extrapolate data – If you a child weighs 7 lbs at birth and 21 lbs at the age of 1, how much does he weigh at 6 months? What about at 18 months?
  2. Read charts and graphs – watch out for the legends on your graphs!
  3. Spot trends in tables – is the data going up or down? This will help you spot relationships between elements.
  4. Familiarize yourself with basic Physical Science facts – What is water made of? What is the order of the planets? What are the 3 forms of heat conduction? What poles attract with magnets? These are just a few.
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