The ACT Exam’s two English sections, labeled “English” and “Reading” respectively, measure students’ college readiness by testing their ability to engage in close reading of detailed passages, to apply editing criteria, and to demonstrate knowledge of grammar and punctuation rules. The ACT tests students’ critical thinking through questions and passages that demand careful attention and logical reasoning at a quick pace. While designed to reflect high school standards, the ACT is not a measure of students’ academic achievement, innate ability, or IQ. Like other standardized tests, the ACT has a learning curve. As students gain an understanding of the test’s design and criteria, their scores rise.


It’s true that the ACT is no longer required by most colleges. However, the “Test Optional” policy adopted by most colleges and universities allows them to continue using the ACT as a factor in admission, if students choose to share their score. In other words, colleges continue to be selective about their students, and the ACT continues to be a useful measure of college-readiness to them. As a result, for students applying to selective colleges, a strong ACT score can significantly boost their chances of admission.

In addition, some merit-based scholarships continue to require an SAT or ACT score. To qualify for these scholarships, students will have to submit a strong ACT (or SAT) score.


To help students achieve their goals on the ACT English sections, Dr. Kevin Cooney has designed an intensive ACT prep program. A 4-week ACT Group Class (running for 8 hours total) reviews the test design, strategies for reading analytically, grammar and editing criteria, as well as question/passage identification and tips on pacing. Individual Test Prep is also available to students. Through one-on-one online sessions with Dr. Cooney, students practice unique strategies designed to maximize their score.

The group class is designed to serve as an intensive introduction to the ACT English sections and key content-based strategies. Following the group class, students will have a comprehensive knowledge of the ACT English and Reading sections: they will know the basic test design, the types of questions they will face, and a range of content-based strategies. Following the group class, students may choose individual test prep to develop higher-level skills and unique strategies for the exam.

Of course, everyone has a different learning style and methodology. Some students learn better in one-on-one interactions; others feel more relaxed in a group with their fellow classmates. And that’s why students have the flexibility to choose the best option for them. Whether the group class, individual prep, or a combination of both works best for you, we look forward to getting to know you and helping you develop strategies to maximize your score.


Write Start Prep and Dr. Kevin Cooney have an excellent record of success with students at all levels of performance on the ACT.  While student scores can plateau and drop slightly between one test and the next, more than 90% of our students increase their scores.  On average, our students see their scores on the SAT English rise by 2-3 points.


The 3 key factors in making a decision are the student’s ACT score, learning style, and amount of preparation time. If it is 3 months or more before your test date, it may be best to begin with the group class and then pursue individual tutoring. For these ACT scores, we often recommend the following programs:

ACT English/Reading Below 21The Group Class. It is a quick and cost-effective way to learn the key concepts and best strategies.
ACT English/Reading 21-27The Group Class (if time) or Individual Test Prep
ACT English/Reading Above 27Individual Test Prep. This will help students to identify areas for improvement and learn customized strategies to maximize their score.

ACT GROUP CLASSES are the most cost-effective way of studying for the exam. The classes focus on the English and Reading sections and consist of 8 hours of instruction over the course of 4 weeks.  Classes include 6 to 10 students per group.

  • Analytical Reading Strategies
  • Grammar and Editing Criteria
  • Question/Passage Identification Tips

ACT INDIVIDUAL PREP is the most direct method of improving student scores on each exam.  Creating strategies uniquely suited to each student, Dr. Cooney guides students one-on-one to reach their full potential.

  • Analytical Reading Strategies
  • Grammar and Editing Criteria
  • Question/Passage Identification Tips
  • Individual Strategies and Progress Reports
  • Package Deals Available

Call 818-259-1820 To Discuss Your ACT Goals

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