ACT Reading Test Description
The Reading Test is a 40-question, 35-minute test that measures your reading comprehension. You're asked to read four passages and answer questions that show your understanding of:
· what is directly stated
· statements with implied meanings
Specifically, questions will ask you to use referring and reasoning skills to:
· determine main ideas
· locate and interpret significant details
· understand sequences of events
· make comparisons
· comprehend cause-effect relationships
· determine the meaning of context-dependent words, phrases, and statements
· draw generalizations
· analyze the author's or narrator's voice and method
The test comprises four prose passages that are representative of the level and kind of reading required in first-year college courses; passages on topics in social studies, natural sciences, prose fiction, and the humanities are included.
Each passage is accompanied by a set of multiple-choice test questions. These questions do not test the rote recall of facts from outside the passage, isolated vocabulary items, or rules of formal logic. Instead, the test focuses on the complementary and supportive skills that readers must use in studying written materials across a range of subject areas.
Content Covered by the ACT Reading Test
The Reading Test is based on four types of reading selections: social studies, natural sciences, prose fiction, and humanities. The Social Studies/Sciences subscore is based on the questions on the social studies and natural sciences passages, and the Arts/Literature subscore is based on the questions on the prose fiction and humanities passages.
· Social Studies (25%). Questions in this category are based on passages in the content areas of anthropology, archaeology, biography, business, economics, education, geography, history, political science, psychology, and sociology.
· Natural Sciences (25%). Questions in this category are based on passages in the content areas of anatomy, astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, ecology, geology, medicine, meteorology, microbiology, natural history, physiology, physics, technology, and zoology.
· Prose Fiction (25%). Questions in this category are based on intact short stories or excerpts from short stories or novels.
· Humanities (25%). Questions in this category are based on passages from memoirs and personal essays and in the content areas of architecture, art, dance, ethics, film, language, literary criticism, music, philosophy, radio, television, and theater.