ACT English Test Tips

The ACT® English test consists of five passages, each followed by a set of multiple-choice test questions. This test puts you in the position of the writer who makes decisions to revise and edit a passage. You will be asked questions regarding selected sections of the passage. Sometimes the question will be focused on a specific selection that will be underlined. Other questions will refer to the entire passage.  

Scores are based on specific knowledge and skills including: production of writing (the ability to apply your understanding of the purpose and focus of a piece of writing); knowledge and language (ability to demonstrate effective language use); and conventions of Standard English (ability to use correct grammar, usage, and mechanics to revise and edit text).  

Test-Taking Tips:  

  • Be aware of the writing style used in each passage. When responding to a question, be sure to understand the context of the question. Consider how the sentence containing an underlined portion fits in with the surrounding sentences and into the passage. 
  • Examine the underlined portions of the passage. Consider the elements of writing included in each underlined portion.  
  • Note the questions with no underlined portions. Some questions will refer to the whole passage, so make sure you are paying attention to the overall message and writing style. 
  • Reread the sentence, using the answer you selected. Does the answer you selected make the most sense within the context of the passage? 

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