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ACT Assessment Sample Question
Answer Key and Question Explanations

Set 1: Reading

1. The best answer is C. Lines 2425 express the narrator's opinion that "Her hair must have been sadly thin," and other evidence in support of this view appears in the third paragraph (lines 2328). While the narrator thinks of literary figures (line 24), there is no indication that Mrs. Sennett wears a hat for this reason, so B is a choice not supported by the passage. She wears a hat all the time, "indoors and out," which rules out A. There is no evidence that she has unique taste in clothing, which blocks D as a good answer.

2. The best answer is H. It is clear from the passage that Mrs. Sennett has affection for the children; we know that while she needs to and would rather rest, she has returned with the children before, and will do so again now. While the children do hang onto her skirt, there is no indication that Mrs. Sennett is bothered by this (G). Because Mrs. Sennett is "almost stone-deaf" (lines 1617), she would not be disturbed by their noise, which rules out F. G and J are choices contradicted by Mrs. Sennett's apparent affection for the children, and by her generous personality; there is no evidence to suggest that the children are disobedient or that their behavior bothers her.

3. The best answer is C. We know that Mrs. Sennett is old, looked ill (line 28), and is tired (lines 3132). There is no indication that Mrs. Sennett feels annoyance (A) or anger (B); she has agreed to go, and must know that she is wanted. D is too strong; while she is willing, she probably is not "enthusiastic" about going. Her words in lines 9193 do not show enthusiasm.

4. The best answer is F. There are indications provided by lines 79 and 8183 that the Curleys cry on cue to get what they want. There is no evidence in the passage that Mrs. Sennett is aware of their manipulation, which rules out J. Neither is there any evidence available to support G or H.

5. The best answer is B. The key is clearly supported by lines 1618. All of the other foils are contradicted by the passage: C by line 22, and A and D by her personality as it is revealed over the course of the passage.

6. The best answer is J. The last 30+ lines of the passage focus on this issue. H is simply not true: the children are speaking to Mrs. Sennett, not the narrator. There is no indication that they are reluctant to leave, which rules out G. F can be eliminated because the children do not seem offended by Mrs. Sennett's words; it is more likely that they are merely continuing their manipulative behavior (see lines 79, 8183).

7. The best answer is A. This choice is consistent with Mrs. Sennett's generous personality, and Mrs. Sennett's action comes in direct reaction to the narrator's change of expression (line 11). There is no evidence anywhere in the passage in support of B; C is obviously not true (she has performed her duties to the Curleys' satisfaction); and there is never any evidence that Mrs. Sennett is bothered by the noise the children make--she is "almost stone-deaf," after all, which rules out D.

8. The best answer is H. Both characters are considerate and exchange favors: the narrator lends Mrs. Sennett the car (lines 5156) and Mrs. Sennett gives the narrator many presents (lines 5960). There is no indication that their relationship has been anything but a relatively short-term, neighborly friendship, which makes both F and J choices that are not supported by the passage. G is contradicted by examples of both characters' sensitivity to the other (lines 1116, 80).

9. The best answer is D. A, B, and C do not make sense in the context of the sentence.

10. The best answer is F. Mary tells the narrator of this earlier event as they sit watching the sunset (lines 6768). Mrs. Sennett had told the narrator of her intentions before Mr. Curley even arrived (lines 6163), so G cannot be correct. There is no evidence in the passage that supports H, which makes it implausible. The narrator learns of Mrs. Sennett's plans to return to Boston the next day, which rules out J.

 

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