The ACT reading test: 2 key tips for test day

The ACT reading test is one of four multiple-choice tests (along with the optional writing test) students will take on ACT test day. The reading test measures their ability to read closely, reason logically about text using evidence, and integrate information from multiple sources.

The reading test contains 40 questions, to be answered over 35 minutes. There are four sections to the test, three of which contain one long prose passage and one that contains two shorter prose passages. The passages represent the levels and kinds of text commonly encountered in first-year college curricula.

Here are two tips students should keep in mind while taking the ACT reading test:

1. Read each passage carefully.

Before students begin answering a question, they should read the entire passage (or two shorter passages) carefully. Be conscious of relationships between or among ideas.

2. Refer to the passages when answering the questions.

Answers to some of the questions will be found by referring to what is explicitly stated in the text of the passages. Other questions will require students to determine implicit meanings and to draw conclusions, comparisons, and generalizations. Consider the text before you answer any question.

Click here to take a free practice ACT reading test!

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