English

ACT English is the first section on the ACT. It has variety of short passages, approximately 4 to 5 paragraphs long. Within these paragraphs, sentences are underlined and numbered corresponding to the questions. You read the sentences and evaluate them based on the conventions of standard written English, everything from usage and mechanics (grammar, punctuation, and structure) to rhetorical skills (strategy, organization, and style).

When the question reads "Choose the best answer", three of the answer choices provide variations of the underlined portion. The first answer choice of the four options provided for each these questions is always "No Change". It means that the sentence is correct as written.

You have 45 minutes to read five passages, or essays, and answer 75 multiple-choice questions about them - an average of 15 questions per essay.

ACT English Passage 05: James Forten, Revolutionary Sailmaker

[1] "I have been taken prisoner for the liberties of my country, and never will prove a traitor to her interests." [A] Before entering a British-run prison during the American Revolution prisoner of war, James Forten, (61) said these words as a patriotic rejection of his British captor's offer to free him and educate him in England.

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ACT English Passage 04: The Walls of Rome

[1] Rome, founded on the banks of the Tiber River, boasts two ancient walls that, when they were built, surrounded the city. [A] Although both were built as walls intended to defend the city protectively (46) and stood ten meters tall they (47) were erected under different historical circumstances.

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ACT English Passage 03: Blue Holes of the Bahamas

[1] The Bahamas, a series of semitropical islands off the southeast coast of the United States, which are (31) home to some of the most unusual geological formations in the world: underwater caves known as blue holes. [A] These vertical caves were formed over thousands of years, and their cold depths provide abundant clues to the islands’ past.

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ACT English Passage 02: Ghost Signs

[1] Seeing remnants (16) of outdoor advertisements from a bygone era (17), they are called “ghost signs.” I search for them on city streets, in town squares, and along country roads. Some are weather-beaten billboards; others are faded murals painted years ago on the sides of old buildings. Whatever words remain (18) Fruiterer . . . Apothecary . . . Gramophones . . . Pan-Handle Coffee — are often barely legible, pale fragments of yesterday’s consumer culture should (19) strike me as silly or sad. After all, there they are: advertising products and businesses (20) that no longer exist.

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ACT English Passage Question 01: What Elephants Learn

Cynthia Moss has been studying elephants, since 1972 (1) when she started the now-famous (2) Amboseli Elephant Research Project in Amboseli National Park in Kenya. An author, lecturer, filmmaker, and a fierce advocate for elephants - which face a daunting array of threats to their survival, from droughts to human encroachment (3) Moss is widely considered an expert on the social behavior of these creatures. (4)

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Commonly Misused Words

There are certain words and phrases in the English language that are often misused and that often show up on the ACT English Test. This is a list of commonly misused words here, along with definitions and examples of the proper use of the words.

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Sentence Structure Rules

Sentence structure is the grammatical arrangement of words and phrases in sentences. It is important that a sentence be arranged so that the idea is expressed completely and clearly.

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Grammar Rules in English

Grammar is the study and application of combining words to form sentences. A well-formed sentence contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought. The ACT English Test includes questions that will test your ability to identify and correct poorly written sentences.

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English Punctuation Rules

Punctuation means standard marks and signs in writing and printing to separate words into sentences, clauses, and phrases in order to clarify meaning. A properly punctuated sentence will help the reader understand the organization of the writer’s ideas.

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Types of Questions on ACT English Test

The ACT English test is designed to measure your ability to accomplish the wide variety of decisions involved in revising and editing a given piece of writing. An important part of revision and editing decisions is a good understanding of the conventions of standard written English.

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Idioms on the ACT English Test

An idiom is an expression, which consists of at least two words that naturally seem to go together. It is something that native speakers of a language can usually quickly recognize, but is often challenging for those learning English as a secondary language, or for those who grew up speaking an English dialect that frequently breaks conventional idiom rules.

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Test Taking Strategies for ACT English

The English test is a 75-question, 45-minute test that consists of five essays, or passages, each followed by a set of multiple choice test questions. Some questions refer to underlined portions of the passage and offer several alternatives to the underlined portion. You decide which choice is most appropriate in the context of the passage.

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How to Find the Correct Conjunction

The ACT English Test consists of several short essays with underlined sections.You have to determine whether there is a grammatical error in each underlined portion, and select the best answer choice.

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