ACT Assessment Sample Question
Key and Question Explanations
Set 1: Reading
1. The best answer is C. Lines 24–25 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 23–28). 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 16–17), 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 31–32). 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 91–93 do not show enthusiasm.
4. The best answer is F. There are indications provided by
lines 79 and 81–83 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
16–18. 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
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
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 51–56)
and Mrs. Sennett gives the narrator many presents (lines 59–60). 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 11–16, 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 67–68). Mrs.
Sennett had told the narrator of her intentions before Mr. Curley even
arrived (lines 61–63), 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.