Ch 37: ACT Reading: Understanding Reading Passages

About This Chapter

Practice essential reading comprehension skills for the ACT reading test. Get ready to demonstrate your readiness for college-level texts after completing these user-friendly video lessons and quizzes.

ACT Reading: Understanding Reading Passages - Chapter Summary

The ACT reading test contains passages pertaining to prose fiction, social studies, natural sciences and the humanities. Various reading strategies may apply more directly to specific types of content. This chapter presents the following handy comprehension topics through short videos and quick quizzes:

  • Use context to find meaning
  • How to infer intended meaning
  • Construct meaning with context clues
  • Understand tone and mood
  • Compare 'big picture' and 'close' reading strategies
  • Use text to guide interpretations of literary meaning
  • Compare connotation and denotation

ACT Reading Objectives

You'll find a systematic guide for analyzing a literary passage and learn how writing structure affects meaning in this chapter. The reading section of the ACT test measures your reading comprehension with 40 questions completed in 35 minutes. Our reading lessons address objectives from the ACT test:

  • Determine main ideas
  • Derive meaning from four types of passages
  • Use reasoning to discover implied meanings
  • Locate and interpret essential details
  • Form conclusions, comparisons and generalizations
  • Analyze the author's or narrator's voice

Multiple-choice questions follow the reading passages; there are ten questions per passage. Selections from each of the four types of reading make up 25% of the test. Your score will include sub-scores for combinations of social studies/natural sciences and prose fiction/humanities reading skills, in addition to an overall score based on the entire reading test.

14 Lessons in Chapter 37: ACT Reading: Understanding Reading Passages
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
How to Analyze a Literary Passage: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. How to Analyze a Literary Passage: A Step-by-Step Guide

In this lesson, we will examine the steps involved in the basic analysis of literature. Then, using a well-known fable, we will go through each step of analysis: comprehension, interpreting and drawing conclusions.

Finding & Interpreting the Main Idea in Literature

2. Finding & Interpreting the Main Idea in Literature

Identifying the main idea of a piece of literature is essential to understanding the selection. In this lesson, we will explore the process of finding and interpreting the main idea in a piece of literature.

Finding Specific Details in a Reading Selection

3. Finding Specific Details in a Reading Selection

Ever have trouble finding a specific detail in a reading selection? Often knowing the structure of the selection will help. This video lesson will give some strategies for finding specific details depending on selection structure.

Determining the Sequence of Events or Steps in a Reading Selection

4. Determining the Sequence of Events or Steps in a Reading Selection

News articles or other types of informational texts can be structured through a sequence of events or steps. In this lesson, we will examine how that is done and how to identify this structure.

How to Find Cause and Effect in a Reading Selection

5. How to Find Cause and Effect in a Reading Selection

Cause and effect structures can be used to describe how an action takes place. This lesson will discuss how to find this structure within a reading selection.

What is Inference? - How to Infer Intended Meaning

6. What is Inference? - How to Infer Intended Meaning

In this lesson, we will define the terms inference and intended meaning. We will then discuss what steps to take when making inferences in literature.

Author's Purpose: Definition & Examples

7. Author's Purpose: Definition & Examples

This lesson explains the purpose behind various types of writing. In addition, author's purpose is defined using examples to illustrate the explanations.

Point-of-View: Definition & Examples

8. Point-of-View: Definition & Examples

Find out what 'point of view' means and how it's used in literature. Learn about some points of view that are used less often, then test your knowledge with a brief quiz.

What is Structure in Writing and How Does it Affect Meaning?

9. What is Structure in Writing and How Does it Affect Meaning?

In this lesson, we will define the role of structure in literature. From there, we will look at the different ways to structure fiction and how it affects the meaning.

Interpreting Literary Meaning: How to Use Text to Guide Your Interpretation

10. Interpreting Literary Meaning: How to Use Text to Guide Your Interpretation

In this lesson, we will discuss how to find and interpret literary meaning in writings. The lesson will focus on using the text to find key elements to guide your interpretation.

Reading Strategies Using Visualization

11. Reading Strategies Using Visualization

In this lesson, we will define visualization. We will then discuss why this step is important, how we can visualize, and when you should visualize. Finally, we will look at a sample from a poem and practice visualizing.

Close Reading vs. Big Picture Reading Strategies

12. Close Reading vs. Big Picture Reading Strategies

In this lesson, learn about two different approaches to reading a work of literature: big picture strategies and close reading strategies. Discover how these two perspectives can be put into practice through examples from the play 'Romeo and Juliet.'

How to Paraphrase: Definition & Examples

13. How to Paraphrase: Definition & Examples

Find out what it means to paraphrase, what the benefits are, and how paraphrasing is different from other ways to cite sources. You will also see examples of the ways paraphrasing can be used.

What is a Summary? - Definition & Concept

14. What is a Summary? - Definition & Concept

In this lesson you'll learn what summaries are and how they differ from other forms of condensed writing. You'll also be shown an example of a summary, and what should and should not be included in a summary paragraph.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support