ACT Questions Explained: Reading Question 1

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Episode 1 of my ACT Questions Explained series. In this ACT test prep video, I walk-through Reading Question 1 from Practice Test 1 of the ACT Red Book (the only book that has *real* ACT questions/tests).


*Answer choice A is correct because it accurately restates what the passage says in the first paragraph. Lines 2 – 9 talk about what Fran thinks regarding her relationship with Linda Rose. In short, she always expected Linda Rose to return – in other words, she believes their lives are still connected. The fact that Linda Rose sends Fran a letter is also obviously a connection between them, and Fran is obviously aware of it.

The passage also supports the separation of time and distance. It has been nearly 25 years since Fran gave up Linda Rose for adoption (lines 69 – 71), and Linda Rose lives in Texas. That’s clearly not where Fran lives – the passage says she doesn’t even know anyone there.

*Answer choice B is incorrect because it’s irrelevant – the passage doesn’t say anything about Fran and Linda Rose building up resentment.

*Answer choice C is also incorrect because it’s irrelevant – in the last paragraph, Fran’s mom assures Fran that Linda Rose won’t expect Fran to be perfect, but nowhere does the passage say that Fran has hoped Linda Rose would be perfect.

*Answer choice D is incorrect because it’s a case of mistaken identity – in the last paragraph, Fran’s *mom* reassures Fran that her flesh-and-blood connection to Linda Rose will be “enough.” However, the question asks what Fran thinks about her relationship to Linda Rose, not what Fran’s mom thinks.

Something else worth noting in this question is the phrase “most likely.” This makes it sound like the answer isn’t necessarily black-and-white. It suggests that the answer might be open to interpretation. Would you expect a math question to ask which answer choice is “most likely” to be the sum of 2 and 2? No – that would sound weird because there’s clearly 1 and only 1 correct answer (4) while any other answers will just as clearly be wrong. The same is true on ACT reading. If you understand the undisclosed rules of ACT reading, the correct answer is always just as absolute as a straightforward math problem.

If you have any questions, post them in the comments, and I’ll answer!

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