ACT English Test Tips

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Get a taste of the ACT test with practice questions (and answers) found in this free study guide.

Familiarize yourself with the instructions and format, then review, analyze, and answer the questions to see if you’re correct—and why.

Here's what you'll get:
  • An overview of the ACT test and what to expect on test day
  • A full-length practice ACT test (including writing prompt)
  • Answers and a scoring key for each test section
  • A breakdown of the content covered in each test section
  • General test-taking strategies
  • Ways to approach each section of the ACT

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Planning to Prepare for the ACT

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).  

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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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Finding the Best Fit