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Upward Bound ACT Prep ACT Reading Test

Copyright 2000 mjt

Reading Statistics What type? Prose/Fiction What is it? Novel, short story Number of questions Percentage of test 10 25% Humanities Art, music, dance, architecture, theatre, philosophy 10 25% Social Science Natural Science Sociology, psychology, economics, political science, anthropology Biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, space science 10 10 25% 25% Each passage contains about 750 words...

Of the 40 questions, 14 are


and 26 are

reasoning questions.

The Key to ACT Reading

Read quickly, but actively...

Think ahead...

Look for a general outline...

Don’t worry about details...

Look for key words...

Know Where You Are Going...

For example: 1.

I can’t believe my good luck! The one time I buy a lottery ticket, I _______________.


As their habitat is destroyed, wild animals _____________.

Look for structural clues: • Indicating a contrast:

but, however, on the other hand, neverthless.

• Indicating a contribution with a similar or complementary thought:

moreover, furthermore, ; (semicolon).

• Indicating a conclusion:

therefore, thus.

• Indicating


for a conclusion:

since, because of, due to.

• Indicating an example of illustration:

for instance, for example.

Three Step Reading Approach

1. Preread the passage

: • Quickly work through the passage.

• Anticipate how the parts of the passage will fit together.

• Understand the main idea.

• Underline key points, jot down note, or label each paragraph.



2. Consider the question stem.

♦ Don’t let the answer choices direct your thinking.

♦Think about the question stem without looking at the choices.

3. Refer to the passage.

♦ Don’t trust your memory ♦ Don’t confine yourself to the EXACT words used in the passage.

♦ Your answer should match the passage - not exact vocabulary.

Types of ACT Passages 1. Prose Fiction: ♦ Not a well-structured essay.

♦ Won’t break down into an orderly outline.

♦ Pay attention to the story and characters.

♦ Answer these questions: ♦ Who are these people? (What are they like?) ♦ What is their state of mind?

♦ What is going on?

2. Nonfiction: Social Science - Natural Science - Humanities ♦ Illustrations, graphs, tables may be included.

♦ Read to understand the ideas rather than analyzing experiments and data.

♦ Don’t panic with unfamiliar vocabulary.

♦ Don’t get lost in complex details - read for the main idea.

Types of Questions

1. Specific detail questions.

♦ When given a specific line, ALWAYS read the few lines before and after it.

2 . Inference Questions.

♦ Something that’s not stated explicitly in the passage, but is definitely said implicitly.

♦ Key words:

suggest, infer, inference, imply.

♦ “Read between the lines”.

3. Big Picture Questions:

♦ Main points ♦ Author’s attitude or tone ♦ Logic underlying the author’s argument ♦ How ideas in different parts of the passage relate to each other ♦ Difference between fact and opinion.

Running Out of Time?

♦ Don’t spend time re-reading the passage… ♦ Scan the questions without reading the passage and look first for the ones that mention line numbers or specific paragraphs. Do these first, then the others.