ACT Reading Test contains 40 questions to be answered in 35 minutes. The test is designed to measure your reading speed and comprehension. The passages on the reading test come from published materials, such as books and magazines, written at a level that a first-year college student can expect to read for a class.

Like many biologists, Andrew V. Suarez struggled for years

NATURAL SCIENCE: This passage is adapted from the article “The Next Wave: What Makes an Invasive Species Stick?” by Robert R. Dunn

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Once, in Texas, I gave a reading from my memoir Fierce Attachments

HUMANITIES: Passage A is adapted from the essay “Truth in Personal Narrative” by Vivian Gornick. Passage B is adapted from the article “Fact and Fiction in A Moveable Feast” by Jacqueline Tavernier-Courbin.

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In the summer of 1785 astronomer William Herschel embarked on his revolutionary

SOCIAL STUDIES: This passage is adapted from the book The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes.

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Joseph Emanuel Crown, owner of the Crown Brewery of Chicago, was a worried man

LITERARY NARRATIVE: This passage is adapted from the novel Homeland by John Jakes.

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ACT Reading Passage 04: It took humans thousands of years to explore our own planet

NATURAL SCIENCE: This passage is adapted from the article "Worlds Apart: Seeking New Earths" by Timothy Ferris (2009 by National Geographic Society).

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ACT Reading Passage 03: The images in the paintings of Winslow Homer

HUMANITIES: This passage is adapted from the article "Winslow Homer: His Melancholy Truth" by John A. Parks (2006 by VNU Business Media).

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ACT Reading Passage 02: The horseless carriage was just arriving

SOCIAL SCIENCE: Passage A is adapted from the book Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand (2001). Passage B is adapted from the article "The Flop Heard Round the World" by Peter Carlson (2007 by The Washington Post).

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ACT Reading Passage 01: I don’t remember how I came to know this story

LITERARY NARRATIVE: This passage is adapted from the novel - A Map of Home, by Randa Jarrar (2008).

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Content of ACT Reading Test

You have 35 minutes to read the reading test’s passages and answer the 40 multiple-choice questions. The reading test evaluates your ability to understand the passages that appear on the test. It does not test your ability to remember relevant facts from outside the passage. You don’t need to be knowledgeable about the subject area that a passage covers in order to do well on the questions, but you do need to read attentively and to think carefully about what you read.

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9 Tips to Improve ACT Reading Score

The keys to the ACT Reading test are strategy and pacing. You need to have a plan for how you will read each passage, tackle the questions, and finish in the allotted time; otherwise it will be hard to achieve your desired score.

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Test Taking Strategies for ACT Reading

The reading test is a 40-question, 35-minute test that measures your ability to read closely, reason logically about texts using evidence, and integrate information from multiple sources. The test questions focus on the mutually supportive skills that readers must bring to bear in studying written materials across a range of subject areas.

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Topics and Questions in ACT Reading Test

The reading test measures your reading comprehension in three general areas:

  1. Key ideas and details
  2. Craft and structure
  3. Integration of knowledge and ideas
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