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Barron's ACT 36: Aiming for the Perfect Score

4.4 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 858-0001262369
ISBN-10: 0764140221
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ann Summers, M.A., has taught high school math in California and Colorado since 1994. She is currently Secondary Math Resource Specialist for Littleton Public Schools, Littleton, CO.

Krista L. McDaniel, M.A., is Literacy Coordinator and Language Arts teacher at Littleton High School, Littleton, CO

Alexander Spare, M.A., is a English Language Arts teacher at Littleton High School, Littleton, CO, as well as Educational Director of an in-home tutoring operation.

Jonathan Pazol, M.S., M.Ed., has been a science teacher for 20 years at West Leyden High School, Northlake, IL. Over the years he has taught biology, AP Biology, and chemistry.

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Product Details

  • Series: Barron's ACT 36: Aiming for the Perfect Score
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764140221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764140228
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a parent of a son who attempted to improve the score and he acheived it. The reason for my review, I went through the pain of finding out what is the best book to coach. So we purchased different(used) books, each one has its own strength and weakness. His score improved from 28 to 33. So I asked him to rank the books which he would recommend for others -

1) Real ACT
2) Barron's ACT 36 and the other ACT books of Barron's
3) Princeton
4) For practice he used Mcgraw-Hill - 10 exams
5) Used online websites in local library to try the practice exam. My local town lib provided two real exams. He felt it was a good one.

Bottom line, I coached him and didnt send to any other coaching centers. I asked him to review the concepts in each book then practice. The drill was each weekend for last 3 months. One full test over the weekend including writing. We tracked the practice test score consistently and observed the pattern. Except for Math and Science his exam score was same as practice(35). So the Math and Science questions in these books could be easier than the real exam; he scored lower than the practice test. Few days before the exam, we went through all his mistakes on all subjects. For Math, I reviewed the concepts along with him as mistakes were reviwed. We both spent time to review Geometry, Trignomentry and math formulas/concept. A day before the exam I asked him to review ACT 36 book tips and quick bite of the information. He felt it was a good recap. He is junior in high school and I asked him to try one more time to improve 1 or 2 points or shoot for perfect score as he got the grip of it. Let us see. Practice, Practice...then review the mistakes slowly to strengthen the skills. That's all.
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Format: Paperback
This book was...OK.
The practice sections are the highlights of this book. The practices they offer are a lot harder than most others, and if you do well with the practices in this book, the other prep books will seem really easy. However, there is something about this book that should be noticed: this book does NOT actually teach anything. For example, in the Math-Geometry section, it says: "...you will use properties of isosceles triangles to find area and perimeter of regular polygons...triangle sum and the reflexive property are key to keep in mind when solving these problems." But nowhere do they tell you what the properties of isosceles triangles are, or what the triangle sums are, or what the reflexive property is...
In general, buy this book to only practice the hard ACT questions. You will not gain very much if you do not already know the material tested.
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I am currently and senior in high school and made the terrible mistake of not planning my standardized test schedule earlier. But no regrets, I took the ACT in once at the end of my junior year and got a 31. I'll admit it, I'm and over achiever and 95% percentile doesn't quite cut it for me. So I decided to prep for my standardized tests during the summer. I bought many books, Barron's ACT, The real prep guide, the princeton review guide, barron's act reading and english, barron's math and science, Kaplan reading, writing, english, and Kaplan ACT Math, yeah I know i'm crazy, and read them all, I also bought this book at the same time. Now it is less than a month before my ACT and I have finally opened this book and have gotten 34 pages into it and I have already regretted buying the other books. This is the ONLY book you need for the ACT, well this and the McGraw Hill's 10 ACT practice tests, and the Real Prep guide for the real tests, but this book is awesome!!! It gives you easy strategies that you can remember and none of the pace yourself and be careful stuff. It's straight to the point, I got a 30 the English section, and after just going thru half of the grammar stuff and taking a practice tests I have already raised the score to a 33-34 range, granted the fact that I still have to take the test, but if you are hesitating about this book, DON'T! Just buy it! It will be the best decision you will ever make!
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First, we did a full practice test of both SATs and ACTs. She did so much better on the ACTs that we put the SAT books aside and focused solely on the ACTs. My understanding is that virtually all colleges now accept both.

Second, I bought three books and explored them intensively. Because my daughter is on the autism spectrum, I chose to do this initial work for her. I also guided her through practice sessions in the sense that I told her exactly what to do each day and then checked her practice tests. We then reviewed what she got wrong and, most importantly, why.

I consider Barrons ACT 36 and "The Red Book" put out by the ACT people both absolutely indispensable.

Use The Red Book for practice because it contains five real past tests to practice on. (We ended up using almost every section of all five exams.) But The Red Book offers no real tips. For that, use the ACT 36 book and pay careful attention to what they say. It's very good advice, particularly the section about Reading and how to attack reading passages. My daughter went from missing 1 or 2 problems per reading passage to missing 0 or 1 problem for all four reading passages! In fact, she got a 34 on both the Reading and the English sections, which indicates she missed almost no problems. (If you are wondering why her overall score was "only" 32, it is entirely my fault. I had her take this test when she had taken only 5 of the 8 math semesters which are tested. Still, a 32 is 98th percentile. No regrets.)

The third book I read was ACT Prep Black Book: The Most Effective ACT Strategies Ever Published. This book was almost entirely useless. I took from it a grand total of one tip: only practice with real ACT questions. That seemed like a good piece of advice to me, so I took it.
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