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The ACT reading comprehension test contains 40 multiple-choice questions measuring your critical and analytic reading skills. You are given 35 minutes to complete this section.
The test quotes four passages from four separate categories:
Each passage comprises 25% of the final score.
In general, the ACT reading comprehension section evaluates two things: your understanding of what a passage states directly and your understanding of what it implies. More specifically, the reading comprehension section assesses how well you analyze a text, including:
You will not be tested on spelling, vocabulary, or grammar, although this knowledge is useful and can aid in understanding difficult texts. Nor will you be asked about specific “facts” in a text. Only your analytic and interpretive abilities are examined in the ACT reading comprehension section.
The ACT reading comprehension portion is scored similarly to the ACT and most of its other section. The number of questions you answered correctly is added to determine a raw score. This is then converted to a score between 1 and 36, with 1 being poor and 36 being excellent.
The reading comprehension section also receives two sub-scores: one for the Social Studies/Sciences passages, and another for the Arts/Literature passages. These scores are between 1 and 18, with 1 being poor and 18 being excellent. These scores are provided more for your information than for consideration by college admission boards.
The national average score is 21.4.