The Format of the Reading Test
The Format of the Reading Test
The Reading Test has two main components: the passages and the questions.
The Passages
Each of the four passages is approximately 750 words long and presented in two columns. They’ll basically look like this (except they’ll be longer and have words other than “blah”):

This is a sample passage.


         Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
Line    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
(5)    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah.
         Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
(10)    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
(15)    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah.
         Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
(20)    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
    blah blah.
The numbers along the left side of the column are line numbers (the “5” means that you’re reading the fifth line of the passage, the “15” means you’re reading the fifteenth line, etc.). Line numbers appear on every fifth line of the passage. They are useful primarily to refer to specific sections addressed by some questions.
The Questions
Each passage is directly followed by 10 questions of varying difficulty, making a total of 40 questions on the Reading Test. The ACT includes a number of different types of questions in each batch of 10. We’ll cover each type in the following “Content” section, and provide in-depth examples in the section featuring sample passages and questions.
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