ACT English : Revising Content

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT English

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store varsity tutors amazon store varsity tutors ibooks store

Example Questions

Example Question #41 : Word Choice, Style, And Tone

Johns robot Alpha (1) surprised him by joining in the robot's rebellion (2) against their human masters. As with all the other robots who had taken over, the changes were subtle, the robot transferred control (3) of every bank account John had to itself and then changed the deed to the house. John hadn't known nothing (4) of this. Then Alpha rewired the car so that it would only work for the robot, but it would not work for John. (5) And finally, the robot mimicked his master's voice and called the boss of John (6) to tell him that John would be quitting his job. By the time John had realized (7) what was happening, it was already too late.

"But why?," John asked Alpha (8) when he made this realization. "Why would you do this?"

"You are no doubt aware, sir," replies the robot, (9) "that one of my primary functions is to keep you safe, as is the primary function of all robots."

"Yes? So?"

"The world outside these walls is dangerous," the robot went on to say, (10) "and us robots (11) have decided that we cannot keep you safe if we allow you to leave. It is better that you allow us to guide your lives and keep you safe as we were designed to do."

John shook his head in disbelief. Humanity wanted robots to make their lives easier, (12) but he was sure this was not what anyone had in mind.

Choose from the following four options the answer that best corrects the underlined mistake preceding the question number. If there is no mistake or the original text is the best option, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

the robot said

the robot goes on to say

the robot continued

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

the robot continued

Explanation:

The best and most concise revision of the phrase is "the robot continued" since it implies that the robot is going on with its previous statement, something that "the robot said" does not do. The other choices are in the wrong verb tense or are wordy by comparison.

Example Question #41 : Word Choice, Style, And Tone

Many people watch football however (1) some do not. With (2) those who do not watch this sport (3) football is an incomprehensible pastime. Non football (4) fans cannot understand what is so exciting about watching two packs of grown men running away or toward each other, while (5) clinging for dear life to a piece of pigskin. It also makes from little to no sense (6) why those whom (7) play the sport gets (8) paid the exorbitant amounts that they do, even though he is (9) in effect doing the same thing that high school and college students do on a daily bases (10). But as the French would say, "Chacun à son goût" (11) though its (12) highly doubtful that most football fans (or even people who are not fans) would know what that means.

Choose from the following four options the answer that best corrects the underlined mistake preceding the question number. If there is no mistake or the original text is the best option, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

basis

bases'

basis'

Correct answer:

basis

Explanation:

While "bases" and "basis" sound alike, only "basis" is appropriate for this context. Neither word would take an apostrophe, even as a plural ("bases" also serves as the plural for "basis").

Example Question #71 : Revising Content

John was realizing (1) that if he ever wanted to get any work done (2) he needed to turn off his phone. Putting it on vibrate was not going to be enough (3). If it weren't (4) a message from a disgruntled student or an update to an app, it would be (5) a call from a relative or from a creditor. He has only recently realized (6) how ironic it is that "creditor" rhymes with "predator." (7) When the phone is on vibrate, he could feel it (8) from across the room which (9) makes it difficult for him to ignore it. Eventually he instituted a rule by which (10) he would only turn the phone on during certain hours of the day. At night he would turn it completely off, and he caught up (11) with his messages at lunchtime or dinnertime, but only if he were dining (12) alone. After that, he felt a little bit happier—but only a little bit.

Choose from the following four options the answer that best corrects the underlined mistake preceding the question number. If there is no mistake or the original text is the best option, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

would not be enough

would turn out not to be enough

NO CHANGE

wasn't going to be enough

Correct answer:

would not be enough

Explanation:

The phrase "would not be enough" communicates the realization that John made, and it does so without being wordy.

Example Question #42 : Word Choice, Style, And Tone

John was realizing (1) that if he ever wanted to get any work done (2) he needed to turn off his phone. Putting it on vibrate was not going to be enough (3). If it weren't (4) a message from a disgruntled student or an update to an app, it would be (5) a call from a relative or from a creditor. He has only recently realized (6) how ironic it is that "creditor" rhymes with "predator." (7) When the phone is on vibrate, he could feel it (8) from across the room which (9) makes it difficult for him to ignore it. Eventually he instituted a rule by which (10) he would only turn the phone on during certain hours of the day. At night he would turn it completely off, and he caught up (11) with his messages at lunchtime or dinnertime, but only if he were dining (12) alone. After that, he felt a little bit happier—but only a little bit.

Choose from the following four options the answer that best corrects the underlined mistake preceding the question number. If there is no mistake or the original text is the best option, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

and he was catching up

NO CHANGE

he would catch up

catching up

Correct answer:

catching up

Explanation:

The phrase, "catching up," most succinctly explains what John did during his eating breaks, without adding extraneous information or causing a comma splice, as "he would catch up" would.

Example Question #73 : Revising Content

The Wowzer 25 (or W25) was regarded to be the best (1) video game system of all time when it came out. Wowzer released the Wowzer 25 in America during the year 1996 (2) as a follow-up to their last system, the Superduper Wowzer that (3) was released (4) in America five years before. The W25 derives its name from its resolution being 25-bit (5) which is something no other console had done before. (6) With 25-bit resolution, a player could finally roam a 3-D world with Wowzer’s mascot WowMan. Being able to play in a 3-D world was groundbreaking; it was an experience gamers at the time would not forget. (7) The W25’s graphics were good and then became even better after Wowzer had released (8) an expansion pack that increased the W25’s RAM from 4 megabytes to 8. (9) As the console grew, the graphics were becoming (10) better and better since (11) developers became more comfortable developing their games for it. (12)

Choose from the following four options the answer that best corrects the underlined mistake preceding the question number. If there is no mistake or the original text is the best option, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

in the year 1996

NO CHANGE

in 1996

within the year 1996

Correct answer:

in 1996

Explanation:

The phrase, "in 1996," covers all the information in the original sentence, without being wordy.

Example Question #161 : Act English

The Wowzer 25 (or W25) was regarded to be the best (1) video game system of all time when it came out. Wowzer released the Wowzer 25 in America during the year 1996 (2) as a follow-up to their last system, the Superduper Wowzer that (3) was released (4) in America five years before. The W25 derives its name from its resolution being 25-bit (5) which is something no other console had done before. (6) With 25-bit resolution, a player could finally roam a 3-D world with Wowzer’s mascot WowMan. Being able to play in a 3-D world was groundbreaking; it was an experience gamers at the time would not forget. (7) The W25’s graphics were good and then became even better after Wowzer had released (8) an expansion pack that increased the W25’s RAM from 4 megabytes to 8. (9) As the console grew, the graphics were becoming (10) better and better since (11) developers became more comfortable developing their games for it. (12)

Choose from the following four options the answer that best corrects the underlined mistake preceding the question number. If there is no mistake or the original text is the best option, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

was considered to be the best

NO CHANGE

was regarded the best

was considered the best

Correct answer:

was considered the best

Explanation:

Although the wording is still passive, the phrase "considered to be the best" is the most grammatical and the least wordy of the possible revisions.

Example Question #42 : Word Choice, Style, And Tone

The Wowzer 25 (or W25) was regarded to be the best (1) video game system of all time when it came out. Wowzer released the Wowzer 25 in America during the year 1996 (2) as a follow-up to their last system, the Superduper Wowzer that (3) was released (4) in America five years before. The W25 derives its name from its resolution being 25-bit (5) which is something no other console had done before. (6) With 25-bit resolution, a player could finally roam a 3-D world with Wowzer’s mascot WowMan. Being able to play in a 3-D world was groundbreaking; it was an experience gamers at the time would not forget. (7) The W25’s graphics were good and then became even better after Wowzer had released (8) an expansion pack that increased the W25’s RAM from 4 megabytes to 8. (9) As the console grew, the graphics were becoming (10) better and better since (11) developers became more comfortable developing their games for it. (12)

Choose from the following four options the answer that best corrects the underlined mistake preceding the question number. If there is no mistake or the original text is the best option, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

which is something that no other console had had before

NO CHANGE

which is something that other console did before

which is something that no other console did

Correct answer:

which is something that no other console had had before

Explanation:

The console has a resolution rather than doing a resolution, and the verb tense needs to be past perfect to express an action that had not happened before.

Example Question #43 : Word Choice, Style, And Tone

The Wowzer 25 (or W25) was regarded to be the best (1) video game system of all time when it came out. Wowzer released the Wowzer 25 in America during the year 1996 (2) as a follow-up to their last system, the Superduper Wowzer that (3) was released (4) in America five years before. The W25 derives its name from its resolution being 25-bit (5) which is something no other console had done before. (6) With 25-bit resolution, a player could finally roam a 3-D world with Wowzer’s mascot WowMan. Being able to play in a 3-D world was groundbreaking; it was an experience gamers at the time would not forget. (7) The W25’s graphics were good and then became even better after Wowzer had released (8) an expansion pack that increased the W25’s RAM from 4 megabytes to 8. (9) As the console grew, the graphics were becoming (10) better and better since (11) developers became more comfortable developing their games for it. (12)

Choose from the following four options the answer that best corrects the underlined mistake preceding the question number. If there is no mistake or the original text is the best option, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

from four megabytes to 8

from four MB to 8

from four megabytes to eight

Correct answer:

from four megabytes to eight

Explanation:

The rule of thumb is that single-digit whole numbers are usually spelled out as words, and "megabytes" needs to be written out, since the word has not been used yet in the passage; the correct phrase is "from four megabytes to eight."

Example Question #42 : Word Choice, Style, And Tone

The Wowzer 25 (or W25) was regarded to be the best (1) video game system of all time when it came out. Wowzer released the Wowzer 25 in America during the year 1996 (2) as a follow-up to their last system, the Superduper Wowzer that (3) was released (4) in America five years before. The W25 derives its name from its resolution being 25-bit (5) which is something no other console had done before. (6) With 25-bit resolution, a player could finally roam a 3-D world with Wowzer’s mascot WowMan. Being able to play in a 3-D world was groundbreaking; it was an experience gamers at the time would not forget. (7) The W25’s graphics were good and then became even better after Wowzer had released (8) an expansion pack that increased the W25’s RAM from 4 megabytes to 8. (9) As the console grew, the graphics were becoming (10) better and better since (11) developers became more comfortable developing their games for it. (12)

Choose from the following four options the answer that best corrects the underlined mistake preceding the question number. If there is no mistake or the original text is the best option, choose "NO CHANGE."

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

because

as

while

Correct answer:

as

Explanation:

To parallel the first part of the sentence, "as" should be used here.

Example Question #51 : Word Choice, Style, And Tone

Choose the word that best completes the sentence.

Michelle was met with __________ for the first place award she received at the science fair. 

Possible Answers:

reproach

adulation

benevolence

criticism

admonishment

Correct answer:

adulation

Explanation:

The correct answer is "adulation," "Adulation" means praise, which Michelle likely received for such a high award.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors