The ACT Reading test contains 40 questions with a 35-minute time limit. The test consists of passages on four subjects, including social studies, natural sciences, prose fiction, and humanities. The test results in an overall score and two subscores. The two subscores are Social Studies/Sciences and Arts/Literature.
The test is made up of passages which the student must read. Each passage is followed by a group of multiple-choice questions relating to that passage. The test is divided equally among four areas. Social studies, natural sciences, prose, and humanities are each reflected in 25% of the questions. Descriptions of each of these areas can be found below.
Social Studies-anthropology; archaeology; biography; business; economics; educations; geography; history; political science; psychology; sociology.
Natural Sciences-anatomy; astronomy; biology; botany; chemistry; ecology; geology; medicine; meteorology; microbiology; natural history; physiology; physics; technology; zoology.
Prose Fiction-short stories; novel excerpts.
Humanities-memoirs; personal essays; architecture; art; dance; ethics; film; language; literary criticism; music; philosophy; radio; television; theater.