English, Reading, and Writing


The English portion of the ACT consists of 75 questions to be completed in 45 minutes. This section is not to see how well a student can write, but instead, how well a student can edit. The students will be asked to read several passages and focus on underlined sentences for correction and response.

There are a few key grammar areas that students will want to focus on for this section:

It is also okay to select the "no change" option. Train your students to trust their "ear". Students will want to eliminate the wrong answers first. There are more questions than minutes in this section, so students should not spend too long on any one question. When guessing in the latter half of the test, students should choose either "A" or "D".

A great resource for English/Writing is The Nature of Writing

Lesson Library

ACT.org English page

Example question:

One college class chose Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao as (3) their favorite book of the semester.


B. it’s favorite book

C. they’re favorite book

D. its favorite book


The Reading portion consists of 40 questions to be completed in 35 minutes. The students will read through five passages and answer vocabulary, comprehension, and sequencing questions.

Studies show daily reading will increase test scores, comprehension, and reading speed. A great daily reading site is: Read Theory. This is an adaptive website that has students reading and responding to passages. The teacher is able to track grade level and key concepts, vocabulary, and comprehension knowledge from the teacher dashboard.

Vocabulary Quizlet

ACT.org Reading page

Example question:

The point of view from which the passage is told can best be described as that of:

A. a man looking back on the best years of his life as director of a community center in a strife-ridden neighborhood.

B. a narrator describing his experiences as they happen, starting with childhood and continuing through his adult years as an advocate for troubled children.

C. an unidentified narrator describing a man who devoted his life to neighborhood children years after his own difficult childhood.

D. an admiring relative of a man whose generosity with children was widely respected in the neighborhood where he turned around a declining community center.


The Writing portion will ask students to write a "unified, coherent" essay in 40 minutes based on the prompt provided.

Below are videos to help you teach both strategy and content for this portion. Here is the calendar of how to use each video and the prompts:

    • Video #1: September- Strategy and how to read the sample prompt
    • Video #2: October- Thesis and Introduction
    • Video #3: November- Body paragraphs
    • Video #4: December- Conclusion and finished essay
    • January- full ACT essay, not timed
    • February- 2 timed full ACT essays
    • March- 2 timed full ACT essays
    • April- ACT state test

The score for the Writing portion is out of 12. The score of 8 is a good score, a highly skilled writer will score between a 10 and 12.

ACT.org Writing page

#1: Strategy

#2: Thesis/Intro

#3: Body

#4: Conclusion

Additional Writing Prompts