ACT English Test – Breakdown

You will need to practice all of the English language skills that are covered on the ACT English Test, including:

  • Punctuation – these questions test your knowledge of punctuation usage at the end of sentences, as well as within sentences. They also cover how punctuation affects the expression of specific ideas within a sentence or of the general meaning of a sentence.
  • Sentence Structure – these questions cover your understanding of where to place clauses and phrases within sentences.
  • Grammar and Usage – these questions assess subject/verb agreement, placement of modifiers, verb formation, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns. You won’t need to do things like memorize and identify verb tense or conjugate verbs. Rather, the grammatical questions are practical in nature.
  • Rhetorical Skills – these questions assess development of a topic, organization of ideas, and whether the style and tone of an essay are appropriate for its academic purpose.

ACT English Test – Format

This portion of the ACT exam will contain five texts.

The passages will be from a variety of subjects and academic disciplines.

So, you may see passages from the humanities, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and business studies or journalistic texts.

There will be multiple-choice questions at the end of each one of the passages.

In the texts, parts of each passage will be underlined, and you will be asked questions about the correctness or appropriateness of those parts.

Remember that you will need to choose the best answer from the multiple-choice responses based on the information provided in each question.

Spelling and vocabulary are not covered on the English test.

If you would like further advice on the format of the exam as a whole, please visit our ACT Study Help section.

You might also wish to visit our Test Tips Page and our Math Sample Test.