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ACT English practice questions and answers


In the passages that follow, certain words and phrases are underlined and numbered. In the right-hand column, you will find alternatives for the underlined part. In most cases, you are to choose the one that best expresses the idea, makes the statement appropriate for standard written English, or is worded most consistently with the style and tone of the passage as a whole. If you think the original version is best, choose “NO CHANGE.” In some cases, you will find in the right-hand column a question about the underlined part. You are to choose the best answer to the question.

You will also find questions about a section of the passage, or about the passage as a whole. These questions do not refer to an underlined portion of the passage, but rather are identified by a number or numbers in a box.

For each question, choose the alternative you consider best and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. Read each passage through once before you begin to answer the questions that accompany it. For many of the questions, you must read several sentences beyond the question to determine the answer. Be sure that you have read far enough ahead each time you choose an alternative.

Give a Snake a Break

Throughout much of history, snakes have had a reputation for being more deadly then31 they actually are. Negative associations abound: a "snake in the grass" is a seemingly innocent person intent on causing harm. A "snake charmer" uses flattery to distract you from his shady intent. Nearly every reference to a snake that is popular33 in modern society bears this negative connotation. Despite this perception, the snake, with its34 ugly, slimy appearance, is one of the most unjustly maligned creatures on the planet.

Snakes are only rarely dangerous to humans. Their fangs,35 so intimidating when the snakes are hissing, are designed not to attack people but to hold small prey;36 small rodents, birds, insects, etc. Only exceptionally large snakes, like pythons or anacondas, pose a real threat. Most of the time, the typical snake you encounter in your backyard is more afraid of you than you are of it and will gladly avoid any contact with you.

Poisonous snakes-such as rattlesnakes, vipers, and cobras-are most frightening to people, but they attack if they are only provoked.37 While certainly venomous, these snakes pose a threat mainly to smaller animals. Of the 5 million snake bites that occur each year to humans around the world, only about 2.5 percent prove fatal. Prompt treatment with one of the available antivenoms do much39 to ensure the victim's survival. Although you may get an infection at the wound site, you can be effectively treated, seeing as40 you are still shaken from the encounter, you will survive.

Why put up with snakes at all? Even if they don't normally kill humans, most people still considering them a nuisance and avoiding41 them like the plague. Individuals who dislike snakes for this reason do not appreciate the great service snakes do for humanity. The typical diet of a snake includes small rodents like rats, mice, gophers, and prairie dogs, as well as lizards, birds, fish, and insects. We may not like snakes, if they42 were mysteriously wiped out of existence, however, we would be virtually overrun with other vermin that would spread disease and filth.

So, next time you hear about someone putting down snakes, stand up for our legless friends. These snakes in the grass help us more than we might think.43

Snakes are only rarely dangerous to humans. Their fangs,35 so intimidating when the snakes are hissing, are designed not to attack people but to hold small prey;36 small rodents, birds, insects, etc.


(B) fangs being

(C) fangs, so they are

(D) fangs, they are

The Correct Answer

The ACT English Test is designed to measure your ability to understand and interpret Standard Written English. Each English test includes 5 passages with 15 questions each, for a total of 75 multiple-choice questions.