ACT Reading Test Tips

The ACT® Reading test consists of four sections, three of which contain one long passage and one that contains two shorter passages. Each section has a set of multiple-choice test questions that measure your ability to read closely, reason logically, and use information from multiple sources.   

Scores are based on specific knowledge and skills based on three reporting categories:  

  • Key Ideas and Details: The ability to determine central themes, accurately summarize information, and understand relationships. 
  • Craft and Structure: The ability to determine word and phrase meaning, analyze word choice and text structure, understand the author’s purpose and perspective, and interpret a character’s point of view. 
  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: The ability to understand the author’s claims, differentiate between facts and opinions, and use evidence to make connections between different texts that are related by topic.   

Test-Taking Tips:

  • Read each passage carefully. Before you begin answering a question, read the entire passage carefully. Be conscious of relationships between or among ideas. You may make notes in the test booklet about important ideas in the passages. 
  • Refer to the passages when answering the questions. Answers to some of the questions will be found by referring to what is plainly stated in the text of the passages. Other questions will require you to determine suggested meanings and draw conclusions, comparisons, and generalizations. Consider the text before you answer a question. 

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