Information on the ACT® Reading Test

The ACT® Reading test is made up of 40 questions with a 35-minute time limit.  You’ll need to answer each question in a little less than a minute in order to complete the test in time.  Actually, since the reading test is made up of four reading passages, accompanied by multiple choice questions, you’ll need to answer each multiple choice question much more quickly to allow appropriate time for reading.

There are two main types of questions on the ACT Reading Test.  The first type tests your ability to understand what is written without any further interpretation.  You’ll second type of question asks you to interpret what was said to find what was meant.

Each passage is written at a 1st-year college level, which means that if you don’t have a college-level vocabulary, you are going to have trouble doing well on the ACT Reading Test.

While the ACT Math, Science, and Grammar tests ask questions drawing from what you should have learned by the end of 11th grade in high school, the ACT Reading test draws on passages written at a 1st year college level.  It’s highly likely that if your reading level isn’t up to this point, you will run across sections of a passage that are difficult to muddle through.

About 10 questions will be concerning a Social Studies passage.

About 10 questions will be concerning a natural science passage.

Approximately 10 questions will be based on a prose fiction passage.

Approximately 10 questions will be based on a humanities passage (for example, literary criticism, music, etc.)

The key to the ACT Reading test is having the correct reading level (1st year college) plus having a full grasp of what sort of questions the test will be asking about the reading material.

Our ACT Reading Mastery program helps you by boosting your vocabulary as well as providing you with the info and practice that you need to feel comfortable reading in a testing environment.  Learn more about how we can help you with the ACT Reading Test.

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