The 6 Different Types of Reading Questions on the ACT/SAT

Books for the ACT and SAT English and reading test

Flickr user Christa Lohman

Knowing what the different types of Reading questions asked on the ACT and SAT really helps while you study.

The Reading questions on the ACT / SAT break into 6 broad categories:

Big picture questions

Answering these questions requires you to read through the whole passage and get the gist of the subject matter and the writer’s point of view.

Detail-oriented questions

This is the most straightforward section. The questions are very specific. You just have to find the relevant information in the passage to answer the question.

Development and function questions

In this section, you may be asked to discuss how the passage is developed or structured and why you think the author chose that particular structure. These questions aim to assess your understanding of how to organize thoughts in writing.

Inference questions

These questions gauge your ability to make inferences based on the information provided in a passage or sentence. You won’t find the answers to these questions directly in the paragraph. Instead, you have to infer the meaning of the given passage or sentence.

Vocabulary in context questions

In this section, you will be asked to explain the meaning of a word as it is used in the context of the given paragraph.

Find the mistake

Some questions will ask you to isolate the grammatical mistakes, select the answer with the best sentence structure, or something along those lines. The technicality of English is highlighted here.

Spending your time practicing these question types will help you be better prepared for your upcoming ACT/SAT.

Interested to see how your ACT/SAT score affects your acceptance odds? Check out College Raptor’s free match tool.