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ACT English

The ACT English Test assesses your knowledge of the conventions of standard written English. This means your understanding of usage/mechanics issues such as grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure and also your comprehension of rhetorical skills, such effective writing strategy, organization, and style.


What to Know:

    • It’s the first section of the ACT
    • You have a 45-minute time limit
    • You will see 75 multiple choice questions (yeah, that is a lot!)


What to Study:

  • Punctuation (including commas, apostrophes, colons, semicolons, and dashes)
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Verb forms and verb agreement
  • Pronoun forms and pronoun agreement
  • Adjectives and adverbs
  • Comparative and superlative modifiers (such as “Magoosh is more fun than my most entertaining friend.”)
  • Idioms (common English phrases or two-part phrases that always go together like “Not only did Magoosh help me improve my grammar, but also it helped me learn math.”)
  • Sentence structure (such as independent and dependent clauses, misplaced modifiers, run-on sentences and comma splices)
  • Effective essay and paragraph organization and clear, concise writing style

*For even more detail on what to study for ACT English, check out this nifty guide!

What Not to Study:

  • Spelling
  • Vocabulary
  • Rote memorization of grammar rules (you will be asked to correct grammar, but not asked to explain why)
  • Slang (urbandictionary.com is not going to help you here)


Where to Start:

This page. You’re in luck! Here we are compiling all the essential grammar rules, writing know-how, and test-specific strategies you need to become an ACT English rockstar. Check out our ACT English posts, listed below!

ACT English Test