ACT English, Reading, and Science Practice Exam (page 3)
This practice exam contains 50 questions that review the 50 Skills that can be found at ACT English, Reading, and Science Prep. Take the test, check your answers, read and reread the solutions, and review the skill sections for any that you need more help on.
One early August day last year, I up to the rapid flapping of wings and the agitated high-pitched cry of my cat Hissy. She, with no results, to catch a frightened bat. I yelped, scrambled out of my bed, grabbed little Hissy, and slammed my bedroom door shut. I barged into Jenna and Sapphire's room, and begged to get it out of my room. They got up and put towels at the bottom of my door so the sly bat could not escape into the house. , Jenna went outside and climbed up to my roof and opened my window a crack, unaware of where the bat was lurking.
My mother anxiously watching Jenna. We waited for a long time, and then Jenna finally decided to climb into the room to check the situation. Apparently the bat had flown out without any of us even noticing. The relief was overwhelming. We had no the shots to come.
- NO CHANGE
- had been waked
- NO CHANGE
- was trying
- NO CHANGE
- NO CHANGE
- NO CHANGE
- and, I sat
- and I sat,
- and I, sat,
- NO CHANGE
- idea; however, about
- idea, however about
- idea however about
The following day, we called the doctor's office and asked if there was anything we had to do since I had a bat in my room. Then, the news came. I needed rabies shots so that I wouldn't be foaming at the mouth or anything like that. news," my mom agreed.
I went to the Emergency Room to get my first round of shots. I went in and lay down in a bed and waited. The in and said that in that one day, I would four shots: two shots in my butt, two shots in my arms!
The pain was agonizing. Having trouble finding my three times. I ended up passing out right after the first shot. After waking up, I got more bad news. I would have to go get more rabies vaccines, nine total!
That month was dreadful. I would sit for hours in the Emergency Room, waiting for my name to be called. Once when I was there, the Emergency
- NO CHANGE
- woken up with
- woken up in
- woken up from
- NO CHANGE
- Its awful
- That being awful
- It being awful
- NO CHANGE
- nurse's came
- nurse's came
- nurses came
- NO CHANGE
- get to be having
- be having to be getting
- have to get
- NO CHANGE
- vein, I was injected
- injections were given to me
- vein, the nurse had to be injecting me
- NO CHANGE
Room was so crowded that the nurse giving me the shot simply put me on a rolling computer chair in the middle of the Emergency Room. The nurse started to give me the shot, but then I passed out
Every time I would go, they would say, "Hey, it's rabies girl." Even the kids in my high school picked up on it. It's not my favorite nickname, but I guess it has character.
When I had finished my rabies series, I felt invincible. I was a pro at getting shots and could go up to any animal I wanted without getting rabies. And, even though I haven't hugged any raccoons in the past fourteen months, today stronger and braver than ever.
- If the writer were to delete the underlined portion, the paragraph would lose
- a tie-in to the introduction
- a transition from one sentence to the next
- a comical anecdote
- nothing at all, since this sentence is out of place
- Which of the following true statements would best introduce the tone and focus of this paragraph?
- After that crazy day, I had a new nickname.
- I was invincible after surviving the shots.
- Boy, those shots hurt!
- I never passed out from the shots again.
- Suppose the author had intended for the final paragraph to serve as a conclusion for the essay. Would the paragraph fulfill this goal?
- Yes, because the paragraph provides many details about the rabies shots.
- Yes, because the paragraph wraps up the writer's rabies shots experience and describes her lesson from the experience.
- No, because the paragraph does not wrap up the essay as a whole.
- No, because the paragraph lacks sufficient details to back up its claim.
- NO CHANGE
- am felt
- been feeling
HUMANITIES: This passage is adapted from the article "The New British Art Culture: Come Together Right Now" by Michael Brooks.
In her important and original essay "Everyone Is Creative" (which focuses on the Blair government's approach to art and pop culture), British theorist Angela McRobbie argued that the Labour government has worked to put art at the "front and center" of the new British economy while at the same time pushing artists into the insecurity of the market.
McRobbie argues that artists who are thrown into a market-driven system of cultural production end up reflecting "mass culture" and do not provide an alternative view, thereby limiting an essential function of art. Artists are little more than cultural entrepreneurs in a system which places their focus on marketing goods. While there is undoubtedly positive development in many respects which allows for greater creative fulfillment and career choice for those with artistic livelihoods, it does dampen the ability of the artist to speak freely and act in community.
While artists are now acknowledged as integral parts of the "post industrial" marketplace, and as a result given a higher social currency particularly in the corporate sector, the artist has become dependent on a system of production that can stifle their own original voices. So how can artists survive in a competitive and individualist marketplace while still maintaining artistic freedom and success?
There is a burgeoning movement across this country to "reclaim the commons" and this movement is incredibly relevant to the artistic community. The commons exist outside of either private or government control. They are public in the fullest sense of the word. Examples of the commons include open academic research, open environmental resources, open source computer software like Linux as well as folk art and oral traditions. Artists who understand the creative commons recognize that while each individual work is new and distinct they each build of a shared creative lineage.
For instance, Bob Dylan is a genius who shaped American music, but his work was inspired by the American folk music tradition and biblical literature and poetry. Dylan's music does not stand separate from any of these currents. So while we acknowledge Dylan's unique and vital voice in the forming of American music, we also see that he built of other sources. Stanford Law professor and Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig notes the simple understanding of this collaborative process and shared innovation is seriously jeopardized by today's system of patents and intellectual property rights.
David Bollier, one of America's foremost proponents of the commons, illustrates such absurd examples of over the top intellectual property rights extremism by recounting the ASCAP's attempt to charge the Girl Scouts for singing songs around a campfire and the estate of J. R. R. Tolkien threatening legal action against a professional clown who called himself Gandalf.
Promoters of the commons are not attempting to separate artists from properly claiming their work, rather they are responding to these ridiculous attempts at control of common cultural artifacts. The commons creates an idea of community for artists in an era of free agents. Both through different legal and financial networks, but also through a strong and collaborative community the commons can help set arts in a new and free direction. This is nothing new. Artistic cultural movers from the Impressionists to the Harlem Renaissance artists have always flourished in shared community.
- The main theme of this passage concerns
- the controversy between artists and politicians
- the community movement in art
- the recent instability of art gallery sales
- absurd examples of property rights in art
- Which of the following best describes David Bollier's opinion about the "commons" system?
- Disregard and apathy
- Acknowledgment of the need for its reform
- Respect for the institution
- Suspicion of foul play
- As it is used in line 19, the word "dampen" most nearly means
- make wet
- make boring
- According to the passage, to "reclaim the commons" refers to
- freeing public culture from restrictive private ownership
- tighten intellectual property rights laws
- promote art through academic research
- increase government control of artistic property
- It can reasonably be inferred from the first paragraph that McRobbie
- agrees strongly with the Labour government's actions regarding art
- believes that art has little value in a time of economic crisis
- opposes the British "commons" system
- disagrees with the Labour government's actions regarding art
- According to the final paragraph, which of the following best describes the author's opinion of promoters of the commons?
- He believes that they are attempting to unjustly profit.
- He believes that they are trying to control common cultural artifacts.
- He believes that they are attempting to liberate art.
- He believes that they are attempting to copy Impressionist artistic styles.
- The main purpose of the passage can best be described as an effort to
- explain the appeal of public ownership of artistic heritage
- explore the need for a market-driven system of cultural production
- examine contributing causes to the complete loss of artistic freedom
- describe how the British government has come to the aid of struggling artists
- The passage opens by citing an essay to introduce a topic of concern that the rest of the passage
- The phrase "higher social currency," as it is used in line 24, might refer to all of the following EXCEPT
- elevated social status
- more artistic freedom
- increased participation in commerce
- added economic opportunity
- As it is used in line 51, the word "vital" means
- very important
- Which of the following best exemplifies the commons?
- A mural commissioned by the government
- A beautiful new sculpture purchased for the entryway of a corporate headquarters
- Collaboration between many artists to create a free website gallery of their work
- A national park
- According to the first two paragraphs, McRobbie opposes market-driven art because it
- loses its independent and unconventional vision
- is of no economic value
- loses touch with mainstream culture
- reduces marketing opportunities
- Which of the following statements would the author most likely make with regard to Bob Dylan?
- He is an imposter whose work is overrated.
- He drew upon diverse influences to create something new.
- His music is truly original.
- He would have benefited from stricter intellectual property laws.
When two male hexagon wasps encounter each other, there is a standoff until one of them backs away. The winner is referred to as "dominant." Students conducted experiments to examine the rankings of male wasps in a group. In the experiment described below, four adult male wasps were examined and then placed together in a large glass box. Their dominance interactions were observed and recorded.
A student placed four hexagon wasps, referred to as wasps A, B, C, or D, into four different examining containers. For each wasp, the student recorded wingspan, age, and number of abdominal marking. The results are shown in Table 1.
All wasps were removed from their individual containers and then introduced into a large glass box. The student recorded their interactions in the box. In an interaction between two wasps, a wasp was labeled dominant when the other backed away. Table 2 shows the results from the interactions in the box.
Based on the results of their interactions, Table 3 ranks the wasps in order of dominance.
- According to the results of Experiment 1, which of the following factors is (are) related to the number of abdominal markings on an adult male wasp?
- Wingspan only
- Age only
- Wingspan and age
- Neither wingspan nor age
- One can conclude from the results of Experiment 2 that wasp B was dominant
- 0 times
- 1 time
- 2 time
- 3 time
- Which of the following generalizations about the relationship between wasp age and number of abdominal markings is consistent with the experimental results?
- The youngest wasp will have the most markings.
- The oldest wasp will have the most markings.
- The oldest wasp will have the least number of abdominal markings.
- Age has no effect on number of abdominal markings.
- A fifth wasp, whose wingspan was 13 mm, was added to the experimental box. Based on the results of Table 1 and Table 3, the wasp would likely be
- most dominant
- most dominant
- neither most nor least dominant
- There is no relationship between wingspan and dominance
- One can conclude from the results of Experiment 2 that wasp A backed away
- 0 times
- 1 time
- 2 time
- 3 time
- It was suggested that the number of abdominal markings predict a wasp's level of dominance. Do the results of the passage support this hypothesis?
- Yes, because the number of abdominal markings and dominance consistently correlate.
- Yes, because the most dominant male hexagon wasp had the most markings.
- No, because the least dominant wasp had the most markings.
- No, because the number of abdominal markings and dominance do not consistently correlate.
- Experiments 1 and 2 differ primarily in that
- Experiment 1 measures size and age of the wasps and Experiment 2 measures flight speed of the wasps
- Experiment 1 records characteristics of the wasps and Experiment 2 records results of their interactions
- Experiment 1 tests a hypothesis and Experiment 2 retests it
- Experiments 1 and 2 test two related hypotheses
- The graph below reflects the relationship between wasp age and which of the following characteristics?
- Number of abdominal markings
Time: 30 minutes
This is a test of your writing skills. You have 30 minutes to write an essay in English. Before you begin planning and writing your essay, read the writing prompt carefully to understand exactly what you are being asked to do. Your essay will be evaluated on the evidence it provides of your ability to express judgments by taking a position on the issue in the writing prompt; to maintain a focus on the topic throughout the essay; to develop a position by using logical reasoning and by supporting your ideas; to organize ideas in a logical way; and to use language clearly and effectively according to the conventions of standard written English.
You must write your essay in pencil on the lined pages. You may not need all the lined pages, but to ensure you have enough room to finish, do NOT skip lines. You may write corrections or additions neatly between the lines of your essay, but do NOT write in the margins of the lined pages.
If you finish before time is called, you may review your work. Lay your pencil down immediately when time is called.
- C When a verb is underlined, trust your ear. "I have been walking" sounds weird after "one day last year." That's because "last year" is done and tells us that "have been waking" should be "woke."
- J When a verb is underlined, identify the subject and cross out any prepositional phrases; a prepositional phrase NEVER counts as the subject of the verb. "With no results" is a prepositional phrase. So "she" is the subject of the underlined verb, and "she were trying" should be "she was trying."
- B When a pronoun is underlined, we must be totally sure what noun it is referring to. If it is unclear in any way, it is incorrect. The underlined pronoun must also match (singular or plural) the noun that it refers to. We can't tell if the underlined "she" refers to Jenna or Sapphire. Use the process of elimination. The only answer that corrects the problem is choice B.
- G If a transition word (such as "although," "since," "but," "therefore," or "however") is underlined, see if it works in the flow of the paragraph. "Therefore" implies cause and effect and does not fit into the flow. The sentences are not cause and effect, but in chronological order, so the answer is choice G, "Then." You can also use process of elimination and see which choice sounds best in the flow of the sentences. Your ear will know!
- C We never need a comma right between a subject "I" and a verb "sat." The comma after "sat" works because "anxiously watching Jenna" is a side note. You can hear the pause when you read it. Also, without the comma it would seem that "anxiously" describes how they sat.
- F "About the shots to come" could not stand alone, so we separate the clauses with commas, not a semicolon. Also, in this case, "however" is a side note and is separated with commas.
- B When a preposition is underlined, ask yourself if it is the right preposition to use. "Woken up about a bat" sounds weird. Literally, she "woke up with a bat in her room." She did not literally "wake up from a bat in her room." That's too slangy.
- F "It's" means "it is," and "its" is possessive, like "that tree is nice; I like its colorful leaves." So "It's" is correct in this sentence. "It's" does not sound terrific in this sentence, but using the process of elimination, it's the best choice.
- D The nurses are not possessing anything, so we do not need the apostrophe s ('s). If one nurse had possessed, we'd use "nurse's," and if more than one had possessed, we'd use "nurses'."
- J The ACT likes crisp and clear; we always want the answer that is most clear, concise, direct, and nonredundant. "Have to be getting" is very wordy. Choice J is most clear and direct.
- A A descriptive phrase on the ACT must be clearly associated with (and usually placed right next to) the noun described. Choice A is correct because the phrase "having trouble finding my vein" is correctly associated with (and next to) "the nurse" whom—it describes. It was not "I" (choice B) or "were" (choice C) that was "having trouble finding my vein," and choice D is wordy and passive.
- H Make sure that the underlined word fits in the context of the sentence. She was not waiting "greatly," "deeply," or "intensely (powerfully)." She was waiting "anxiously."
- C For "flow" questions, use the process of elimination. The underlined portion is hilarious! If it were cut, the passage would lose "a comical anecdote (a funny story)." The underlined portion is not a tie-in to the introduction or a transition.
- F For "goal" questions, choose the one answer choice that achieves the very specific GOAL stated in the question. The very specific goal for this question is to "best introduce the tone and focus of the paragraph." The focus of the paragraph is her nickname, "rabies girl." So choice F is best. All of the other choices are relevant to the passage, but only choice F is relevant to that paragraph.
- B A conclusion wraps up an essay. The final paragraph of this passage is a successful conclusion. It wraps up her rabies experience and even offers a lesson that she learned.
- H Use your ear to test the underlined verb. "Today I was felt" sounds strange. Use the process of elimination. Only choice H sounds better, and the underlined verb "was felt" should be "feel." Choice J almost works, but is too slangy; it should be "have been feeling."
- B The main theme is the importance of communal ownership in art, also called the commons. This is expressed in the title, "The New British Art Culture: Come Together Right Now," as well as in the first and last sentences of many of the paragraphs. The passage is not about controversy between artists and politicians or about art sales. And while choice D, "absurd examples of property rights," is mentioned, it is certainly not the main theme. So you can get this question through the process of elimination. Just make sure to eliminate only answers that are definitely wrong.
- H Scan the passage and your circled key words for "David Bollier." Find evidence. In the sixth paragraph he is described as "one of America's foremost proponents of the commons." He is a proponent, so clearly he approves of and respects it. Don't be fooled by choice G. He does not think there needs to be reform of the commons, but of property rights.
- B Cross out the italicized word and decide what word would make sense in its place. "It does dampen the ability of the artist to speak freely…" "It" refers to the system that makes artists into business people, which was earlier said to reduce or diminish their creative freedom.
- F Scan the passage for the phrase. It's the main idea of the fourth paragraph, so you might have even circled it. Use the process of elimination. The paragraph states that the commons is public ownership, so it is not choice G, tightening private ownership laws, or choice J, increasing government control. Also, while choice H has words used in the paragraph, it is definitely not the meaning of the phrase. Make sure to choose an answer supported by evidence in the passage, and not just because several words match.
- D The first paragraph suggests that McRobbie disagrees with the government's actions by stating that the new system is pushing artists into "insecurity." This is further supported in the second paragraph where McRobbie believes that the new system limits artists' freedom.
- H In the final paragraph, the author states that the promoters are NOT trying to separate the artists from property, meaning they are not trying to steal. He states that they are trying to prevent people's attempts of controlling what should belong to everyone. If that seemed confusing, just keep reading the passage. He goes on to state, "the commons can help set arts in a new and free direction." Remember that difficult lines in a passage are always explained nearby!
- A The main purpose is to explore the concept of the commons and its appeal. This is supported by the title and the first and last lines of most paragraphs. You can also scan the key words that you circled to get a sense of the main idea. Don't be confused by answers that contain words from the passage, but are not the main idea. For example, the words "marketdriven" appear in the second paragraph; you may have even circled them. But they describe what the author is against and are not the main idea.
- J McRobbie's essay introduces the "topic of concern" that mainstreaming art limits artistic freedom. In the rest of the passage, this issue is not consistently paraphrased (restated), debunked (discredited), or refuted. It is explored and taken further.
- B Find evidence. All of the answers seem reasonable, but the passage specifically states "as a result… a higher social currency… can stifle (limit) their own original voices." So it might give them more status and opportunity, but not more artistic freedom.
- J Cross out the italicized word and decide what word would make sense in its place: "while we acknowledge Dylan's unique and vital voice we also see that he built of other sources." Also, always read before and after the line referenced. The sentences before stated that "Bob Dylan is a genius who shaped American music." So the point of the lines is that Dylan had a "voice" that was very important in shaping American music. You can also the use process of elimination. You may think that Dylan was lively, vigorous, or brisk, but there is no evidence in the passage for those words.
- C Scan the passage and your circled key words for a definition of the commons or where it was introduced. The fourth paragraph describes it: "The commons exist outside of either private or government control. They are public.… " Use the process of elimination. It is not owned by the government or corporations, so it must be choice C, a free collaboration.
- F The first two paragraphs state that McRobbie disagrees with the government's actions and that the new system is pushing artists into "insecurity" and limiting artists' freedom: "it does dampen the ability of the artist to speak freely…."
- B Scan the passage and your circled key words for "Bob Dylan." Find evidence. The fifth paragraph states that "Bob Dylan is a genius who shaped American music, but his work was inspired by the American folk music tradition and biblical literature and poetry. Dylan's music does not stand separate from any of these currents.… he built of other sources." So he is not an imposter or truly original, but drew from sources to create something new. Also, there is no evidence at all for choice D, regarding Dylan and property laws.
- J The numbers of abdominal markings for the four wasps, in order of number of markings, are A: 2, D: 2, B: 3, and C: 4. But the ordering of wasps according to wingspan or age is not in the same order, so there is no correlation.
- A Look at Experiment 2. Table 2 tells us that wasp B was never dominant. If you scan the table, you never see "B dominant." It backed away from all its interactions.
- J Compare the order of wasps according to age (B, C, D, A from youngest to oldest) to the order of wasps according to number of abdominal spots (A/D, B, C from least to most). The orderings are completely different, so there is no pattern, and age does not relate to or have an effect on number of markings.
- A The order of wingspans from least to greatest is B, D, A, C. This matches the order of dominance, or the order of number of dominant interactions for the wasps. So the larger the wingspan, the more dominant. And since 13 mm would make the fifth wasp the largest, the data imply that that wasp would be most dominant.
- G The A column in Experiment 2 shows that wasp A was dominant two times, against wasp B and wasp D, and that it backed away one time, against wasp C.
- D As stated in the solution to question #30, the order of wasps according to number of abdominal markings does not match the order according to dominance, so number of markings and dominance do not consistently correlate.
- G Experiment 1 records wingspan, age, and number of markings, whereas Experiment 2 records the dominance results of interactions.
- A Just choose a point on the graph and see which characteristic it matches. For example, at age 2 on the graph, the y axis (the vertical axis) shows approximately 12. According to the table, an age of 2 has a wingspan of 12 and 4 abdominal markings. So the vertical axis must be wingspan, not abdominal markings. Nondominance and weight are never mentioned.
30–49. Did you use the Skills?
Check your essay, item by item, with this checklist. If you don't feel confident checking your own essay, ask a parent or teacher to use the list. Check off items that you mastered, and circle items that need improvement.
- Brainstorm for specific details, not generalizations.
- If something else brilliant occurs to you, of course use that; but if not, just turn the general viewpoints from the question into specific examples.
- Jot down or circle the best details from your brainstorm. These details form the outline for the body paragraphs of the essay.
- Your intro paragraph should be 2 to 4 sentences: an opener, a link, and a thesis.
- Use transition sentences to begin each paragraph, link it to the previous paragraph, and remind the reader of your thesis.
- Each "body" paragraph begins with a link to the previous paragraph and is written around a single main idea.
- The last body paragraph paraphrases the opposite view and then disproves it.
- Structure your conclusion by restating your thesis, linking, and ending with a bang.
- Get deep, write at least two pages, use some impressive vocab, vary your sentences, write readably, and avoid basic grammar and spelling errors.
- Leave a few minutes to proofread your essay for omitted words, misspellings, and punctuation errors, and to make sure that you indented, started new paragraphs when you meant to, and wrote details accurately.
Generally, an organized essay will earn at least an 8.
Length, details, depth of analysis (including disproving the opposite view), and cool vocab will earn you a 9 to 12. The more details, depth of analysis, and cool vocab, the higher your score will be.
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