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 ( 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!


By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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