Tip #16 to Get a Top ACT English Reading Science Score (page 2)

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Sep 10, 2011

Example Problems

In a in the movie Jerry Maguire, one character tells another that he loves her and that she completes him. These concepts of love, completing someone, and even marriage have meant different things at different times . Only recently have people married for love alone. Originally, people married for survival—they on each other for safety, food, and shelter.

In the last 100 years, as the industrial revolution has made life for some the idea of marriage for love has come about. now frowned upon in some cultures to marry for financial and social gain. People hope to marry the person completes them, cares for them, likes them, and them; the person that makes them feel at ease. Before people married for need, and now they marry for need of love.

    1. NO CHANGE
    2. famous, well known scene,
    3. famous scene
    4. famous and well known scene
    1. NO CHANGE
    2. to history
    3. in history
    1. historically speaking
    1. NO CHANGE
    2. were living and depending in tribes
    3. live in tribes and are depending
    4. lived in tribes and depended
    1. NO CHANGE
    2. easier,
    3. easier;
    1. easier, and
    1. NO CHANGE
    2. It's
    3. It was
    4. Presently, it is
    1. NO CHANGE
    2. whom
    3. whose
    1. which
    1. NO CHANGE
    2. stands by them. The person
    3. stands by them—the person
    4. stands by them the person


  1. C   "Well known" defines "famous," so "famous well known" is redundant. Choice C, deleting "well known," is the best correction.
  2. H   "Different times of history" sounds weird. Try each choice and trust your ear. "Different times in history" sounds great. The "times" are literally in, not of, history. Choice J is to slangy.
  3. D   The word "originally" and the verb "married" tell us that the sentence relates to the past, so the underlined verbs should also be past tense "lived

    Neither … nor

    and depended." The other choices are not past tense.
  4. G   Try this one with and without the pause. No pause sounds strange, jumbled, and rushed. We need a comma after "easier." We use a comma, not a semicolon, since the first part of the sentence is dependent.
  5. B   The "its" used here means "it is" and should be "it's." Remember that "its" is possessive, like "a bear defends its cubs."
  6. F   No change. Most people find it very hard to hear when "who" or "whom" is correct, so we make it easy, and use "I" versus "me" instead. "I" corresponds to "who" and "me" corresponds to "whom." In this sentence, "I complete them" sounds fine, and "me complete them" sounds weird. So "I" is correct, which means "who" is correct. Notice that choice J is not correct, since "which" is used with things, and "who" or "whom" is used with people.
  7. C   The clause "the person that makes them feel at ease" is dependent—it could not stand alone. It leaves you waiting for the action. Choice C is correct. Choices A and B are incorrect because a period or semicolon is used to separate two independent clauses that could stand alone. Choice D is incorrect because, without a pause, the sentence sounds jumbled.


In the next 12 Skills I will show you the four types of reading passages and seven types of questions that the ACT uses in the Reading section.

Many students believe that reading comprehension questions are tricky, with several answers that work. But in the next 12 Skills, I'll show you that they're not tricky and that, in fact, they're totally predictable. In English class you might discuss for 30 minutes what Walt Whitman meant when he wrote something, but on the ACT there can be only one right answer, no tricks, no debate. The reading passage will always provide clear proof for the correct answer. Your goal is to be a detective or a lawyer and find the proof. After learning these 12 Skills, you'll find the reading section easy and predictable. Read, learn, and drill these Skills, and you'll raise your score, guaranteed!

Go to: Tip #17

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