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Kristin Fracchia

ACT Challenge Question 11: Comparison Reading Passage – Explanation

Magoosh ACT Challenge Question
 

Earlier this week, we posted an ACT Reading Challenge question on an official comparison reading passage released by the ACT. If you didn’t catch it, here it is again (and you’ll find the answer and explanation below!).
 

ACT Challenge Question #11

Head on over here to read the passage and then check out the ACT Reading Challenge Question below:

The authors of Passage A and Passage B are most alike in their:

  1. sense of isolation within their own families.
  2. naivety about the future of space exploration.
  3. initial disbelief that they could be witnesses to the moon landing.
  4. excitement following Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.

 

Answer and Explanation

ANSWER: C, initial disbelief that they could be witnesses to the moon landing.

This is a question that is very characteristic of a hard ACT Reading question. The answer is right there on the page, but in order to correctly eliminate wrong answers, you need to pay very close attention to every word in the answer choice and make sure it is correct. You also need to make sure not to overthink it. If you find yourself rationalizing how an answer choice could be true — STOP! — you’ve gone too far. Once again, the answer must be on the page in front of you. Let’s take a look at each answer choice:

A. sense of isolation within their own families.
This applies only to the author of Passage A. You may think, “Oh, well the author of Passage B feels disillusioned at the end, as a ‘shortsighted prophet of the future,’ which might make him feel isolated.” But the passage doesn’t say he felt isolated, so this answer choice is wrong.

B. naivety about the future of space exploration.
This applies only to the author of Passage B. Passage A does not address the “future of space exploration” at all. You might think she feels naive, but if she does in fact feel naive about anything, it can’t be the future of space exploration because this isn’t in the passage.

C. initial disbelief that they could be witnesses to the moon landing.
This is in Passage A in line 16: “Somehow we are going to see it” and in Passage B in lines 52-54 (“And who ever imagined that we would watch the event as it happened, on television, in our homes?”). This may not seem like the most important connection between the authors of the two passages, but it is the only answer choice that can be justified based on the passage.

D. excitement following Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.
The author of Passage B is so excited he can’t sleep, but the Author of Passage A is conflicted (there is a reference to “maybe I was applauding” with the clanking of the fork, but her loneliness rings more true).

Answer choice C can be best supported by the details on the page, and so it is the answer. Once again, be careful not to overthink! This is where good readers and good critical thinkers get into trouble on the ACT Reading Test.

 

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About Kristin Fracchia

Kristin makes sure Magoosh's sites are full of awesome, free resources that can be found by students prepping for standardized tests. With a PhD from UC Irvine and degrees in Education and English, she’s been working in education since 2004 and has helped students prepare for standardized tests, as well as college and graduate school admissions, since 2007. She enjoys the agony and bliss of train running, backpacking, hot yoga, and esoteric knowledge.


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