1,296 ACT Practice Questions, 3rd Edition (2013)

ACT Practice Test 1


35 Minutes—40 Questions

DIRECTIONS: There are four passages in this test. Each passage is followed by several questions. After reading each passage, choose the best answer to each question and blacken the corresponding oval on your answer document. You may refer to the passages as often as necessary.

Passage I

PROSE FICTION: This passage is adapted from the short story “Ruby” by Tristan Ivory (©2007 by Tristan Ivory).

  1. The narrator’s point of view can most correctly be described as that of an adult:

     A. remembering the events that brought a particular place into existence.

     B. analyzing how different his current life is from how things were when he was younger.

     C. thinking about the qualities of his grandmother and her restaurant that made her well-respected in the community.

     D. curious as to how many people’s lives were positively impacted by his grandmother and her diner.

  2. One of the main purposes of the first part of the passage (lines 1−27) is to:

     F. explain how Ruby got the money to pay for the diner and her eventual success in paying off her debts.

     G. state that the diner had taken its name from the narrator’s grandmother although many of the locals called it by different names.

     H. explain how Ruby was able to become the most important person in Franklin and that her restaurant was the best place for visitors to the city.

     J. introduce the primary setting of the story and to describe a central character.

  3. Based on the narrator’s characterization, Ruby Sanders would best be described as:

     A. always at the diner, though she often preferred to be absent.

     B. the main force holding the diner and its employees together.

     C. carefree, particularly when it came to hearing humorous stories.

     D. the only woman the narrator had ever respected.

  4. Information in the last paragraph most strongly suggests that the narrator felt his last summer at the diner to be:

     F. disappointing because he didn’t know it would be his last.

     G. something he was forced to do when he would rather have been playing football.

     H. pleasant although he did not know it would be his last.

     J. exhausting because of all his new responsibilities.

  5. According to the narrator, working at Ruby’s Diner was:

     A. easy but tedious.

     B. difficult but enjoyable.

     C. hard and monotonous.

     D. unpredictable and overwhelming.

  6. According to the narrator, his grandmother was like the diner in that she had:

     F. a position of high standing within the community at large.

     G. a desire to make all people feel comfortable no matter who they were.

     H. an ability to make money within the community.

     J. a refusal to settle for anything but the best.

  7. The statement in lines 44−45 most strongly suggests that the Downhome Diner:

     A. served the community in ways beyond simple dining.

     B. was the most significant place within Robertson County.

     C. gave the people who worked there great importance in Robertson County.

     D. was a place where the waiting times were often unpredictable.

  8. The narrator describes Ruby’s Downhome Diner as providing all of the following EXCEPT:

     F. cooking classes.

     G. football leagues.

     H. wedding cakes.

     J. corn pone.

  9. The passage indicates that one of the ways in which the narrator was familiar with Ruby’s Downhome Diner was shown by his:

     A. ability to teach the cooking classes held on the premises.

     B. awareness of the habits of visitors to Robertson County.

     C. detailed memory of the layout of the kitchen and the restaurant.

     D. unwillingness to leave at the end of each summer before his return to school.

10. According to the narrator, which of the following most accurately represents the reason he was able to forget the summer activities outside while working at his grandmother’s restaurant?

     F. His tips and wages helped to contribute to his college tuition.

     G. His grandmother’s restaurant was chronically understaffed.

     H. It helped him to gain stature in and around the community.

     J. He admired his grandmother’s strength.

Passage II

SOCIAL SCIENCE: This passage is adapted from the entry “Happiness” from The Psychologist’s Scientific Encyclopedia (© 2004 by The Scientific Press of Illinois).

11. The passage’s focus is primarily on the:

     A. search for the specific genes known to cause hedonic adaptation.

     B. scientific studies investigating various influences on happiness.

     C. attempts by experimental psychologists to develop cures for depression.

     D. conflicting opinions of psychologists regarding the influence of genes on happiness.

12. Based on the passage, the subjects in the studies by Tellegen and Lykken and the subjects in studies by Lyubomirsky and Sheldon were similar in that both groups were:

     F. part of large groups studied over an extended time.

     G. intentionally engaged in acts of kindness.

     H. asked to describe their own subjective well-being.

     J. either identical or fraternal twins.

13. Which of the following questions is NOT answered by the passage?

     A. To what extent is a person’s level of happiness determined by his or her circumstances?

     B. According to Lyubomirsky and Sheldon’s studies, what are some specific things people can do to improve their subjective well-being?

     C. Does the choice of specific life goals affect happiness over a lifetime?

     D. According to Tellegen and Lykken, were twins who were raised together happier than twins who were raised apart?

14. The passage most strongly suggests that the primary goal of Lyubomirsky and Sheldon’s research is to:

     F. discover the specific mechanisms that may help people overcome the level of happiness determined by their genetic set point.

     G. contradict Tellegen and Lykken’s findings that genes are the primary determinant in a person’s overall level of happiness.

     H. find out whether keeping a gratitude journal or engaging in kind acts is more effective at improving happiness.

     J. determine which behaviors most completely eliminate hedonic adaptation.

15. Which of the following statements best summarizes the findings of the University of Chicago surveys on happiness?

     A. Earlier psychologists were mistaken to believe people are generally depressed and experience low levels of happiness.

     B. Depression and other destructive mood disorders are uncommon in America.

     C. People are happier if they do not try to improve their subjective well-being by writing in a gratitude journal.

     D. Most people report a level of happiness higher than was traditionally expected by psychologists and researchers.

16. According to the passage, all of the following are true of the Lykken and Tellegen study EXCEPT:

     F. The subjects were paired groups of twins.

     G. Subjects rated their happiness.

     H. The twins studied were all raised together.

     J. The study found happiness is genetic.

17. According to the passage, “hedonic adaptation” (lines 24−25) is a useful trait because it can help people to:

     A. restore levels of happiness that have been interrupted or altered by tragic events.

     B. forget that they have suffered a permanent disability or loss of income.

     C. adjust quickly to positive circumstances like winning the lottery and become happier.

     D. identify with immediate family members who share their genes and choose those who are more inclined to be happy.

18. If the author were to delete the first paragraph, the passage would primarily lose:

     F. the idea that events people experience are not the least important factor influencing their subjective well-being.

     G. a useful illustration of the idea that there may be little relationship between a person’s circumstances and his or her level of happiness.

     H. a clear and complete articulation of the essay’s main point regarding hedonic adaptation.

     J. all examples of adverse conditions people may overcome because of their genetic predisposition to happiness.

19. The main purpose of the final paragraph is to:

     A. conclude that psychological researchers make many errors and tend to focus on the negative.

     B. disprove the idea suggested by Ross’s anecdote by showing that Americans are also happy.

     C. cite a specific study that gives a positive view of people’s overall levels of happiness.

     D. undermine Lyubomirsky and Sheldon’s studies indicating that people need to apply effort in order to become happier.

20. According to the passage, which of the following researchers have an ongoing collaboration?

     F. Tellegen and Lykken

     G. Sheldon and Schkade

     H. Sheldon and Lyubomirsky

     J. Schkade and Lykken

Passage III

HUMANITIES: This passage is adapted from the memoir Literary Tourism by Krista Prouty (© 2002 by Krista Prouty).

21. The author of the passage indicates that she has learned that the personal details of an author’s life:

     A. get in the way of the literary work.

     B. are always discussed in the author’s works.

     C. contribute to a reader’s appreciation of the author’s works.

     D. help a reader understand his or her own familial tragedies and childhood traumas.

22. As it is used in line 22, the word scouring most nearly means:

     F. purifying.

     G. obliterating.

     H. scrutinizing.

     J. cleansing.

23. It can reasonably be inferred that the author of the passage visited the House of the Seven Gables because she wanted to:

     A. explore in person a location she had read about in a novel.

     B. take advantage of all the tourist attractions in Salem.

     C. gain a deeper understanding of how the details of Hawthorne’s past influenced his writing.

     D. learn what Hawthorne endured during the Salem Witch Trials.

24. According to the author of the passage, the college professors referred to in line 21 most likely believe that:

     F. the interactions between an author’s life and work provide the reader with a more complete understanding than does the text alone.

     G. learning about an author’s life is more important than reading his books.

     H. knowledge of the background of an author interferes with enjoyment of the text.

     J. reading for pleasure is less useful than is reading for cultural analysis.

25. According to the second paragraph (lines 9−31), the author of the passage chose to study literature in college in order to:

     A. scour personal letters for an author’s secret vices.

     B. read a great number of literary works.

     C. demonstrate the falsity of the scholars’ approach.

     D. better grasp the connection between an author and his work.

26. According to the author of the passage, the likely result of following her professors’ assignments was:

     F. “to explore other realities” (lines 14−15).

     G. grasping “the personal truth the author was trying to convey” (line 29).

     H. “losing sight of the books in the forest of biographical details” (lines 30−31).

     J. “to see the interactions between text and author” (lines 76−77).

27. It can reasonably be inferred from the passage that “the building that had inspired one of his greatest works” (lines 6−7) refers to:

     A. the home inhabited by relatives of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

     B. a popular attraction for tourists in Salem.

     C. the site of historically important events.

     D. a site that has fallen into a state of disrepair.

28. As it is used in line 75, the word frame most nearly means the:

     F. isolated goal.

     G. ultimate purpose.

     H. auxiliary data.

     J. focal point.

29. Following her visit to Salem, the author’s attitude toward studying the lives of writers could best be described as:

     A. incredulous disdain.

     B. healthy timidity.

     C. keen acceptance.

     D. resigned frustration.

30. If the third paragraph (lines 32−40) were omitted from the passage, how would the structure of the passage be affected?

     F. The transition from the author’s past to the present would be less explicit.

     G. The reasons for the author’s trip would not be clear.

     H. The introduction to the discussion of literature in the final paragraph would be lost.

     J. There would no longer be definite evidence supporting the author’s conclusion.

Passage IV

NATURAL SCIENCE: This passage is adapted from the article “A Tree Frog Grows Up in Hawaii” by Ashley C. Tulliver (© 2005 by Ashley Tulliver).

31. Which of the following questions is NOT answered by this passage?

     A. On an annual basis, how often do coqui frogs mate and produce offspring?

     B. Which predators native to Puerto Rico are absent in the Hawaiian islands?

     C. What behavorial factors influence the volume of the coqui’s calls?

     D. How could the coqui potentially disrupt the food chain on the islands it inhabits?

32. It is most reasonable to infer from the passage that the lack of amphibian life in Hawaii:

     F. benefits coquis, which don’t have to compete for food and space.

     G. provides little opportunity for coquis to form symbiotic relationships.

     H. forces coquis to build their own nests in order to mate and breed.

     J. is a result of invasive species’ attacks on the biodiversity of the islands.

33. Which of the following statements about the noise levels produced by the coqui is supported by the passage?

     A. The coqui males have lower, guttural croaks than do females of the species.

     B. Calls are louder when coquis are defending their territory than when they are mating.

     C. The calls of coqui sound particularly loud because there are no gaps of silence.

     D. Coqui are noisier at dawn and dusk than at other times of day.

34. The primary purpose of the third paragraph (lines 19−28) is to:

     F. describe wet weather conditions in Hawaii necessary for the coqui to breed.

     G. provide a physical description of the coqui’s habitat in Hawaii compared to that in Puerto Rico.

     H. explain the ecological and behavioral advantages that permit the coqui to thrive in Hawaii.

     J. give an overview of the amphibian life cycle, from the tadpole to frog stage.

35. Compared to the language of the first paragraph, the language of the sixth paragraph (lines 58−66) is more:

     A. opinionated.

     B. scientific.

     C. optimistic.

     D. casual.

36. As it is used in line 53, the word extirpation most nearly means:

     F. competition.

     G. extinction.

     H. overpopulation.

     J. pursuit.

37. Which of the following ideas is presented in the passage as theory and not fact?

     A. Coqui frogs cluster together in high concentrations, amplifying the sound they make.

     B. Store-bought poisons, in permissible doses, are not strong enough to kill the frogs.

     C. The exoskeleton of insects is a better defense against caffeine citrate than the skin of amphibians.

     D. A decrease in Hawaii’s insect population causes a decrease in bird populations.

38. The passage states that coquis often carry parasites called:

     F. nematodes.

     G. arthropods.

     H. scorpions.

     J. arachnids.

39. Which of the following statements best reflects the information provided in the passage about the relevance of the greenhouse frog to the discussion of the coqui?

     A. The greenhouse frog lives primarily indoors, whereas the coqui lives primarily in island rain forests.

     B. The greenhouse frog is less prominent than the coqui but can be equally damaging to the Hawaiian ecosystem.

     C. The greenhouse frog does not pose as dangerous a threat to the Hawaiian ecosystem as the coqui does.

     D. It is easier to locate and eliminate the coqui because the greenhouse frog does not produce loud mating calls.

40. The phrase “1,000 acres” (line 85) refers to which type of land in Hawaii?

     F. Caribbean ecosystem

     G. Bird sanctuary

     H. Rain forest

     J. Coqui habitat