The ACT Humanities Passage

What is it all about?

It's about the "human experience"


  • „ The passages tend to deal with the human experience.
  • „ The range of topics include art, language, literature, communication, religion, and philosophy, music, memoirs
  • „ Expect to read about people who have different opinions.
  • „ You will be asked to determine the strengths and weaknesses of those arguments.
  • „ How does the opinions of the author compare with the opinions of others referred to in the passages.

As you read . . .

  • „ Keep track of facts, dates, and key ideas.
  • Understanding of the different viewpoints from the passages.
  • „ Find the overall main idea
  • „ Determine how the author feels about the topic
  • „ Determine the relationships between the characters and the entities

Answering the questions . . .

  • „ You will be asked what is the main idea of the passage or of a certain paragraph
  • „ Identify or interpret a detail – these questions will often have question stems such as According to the passage ….. & The author states ……
  • „ Specific points in the passage may not always have line references mentioned in the question.
  • „ The answer is not necessarily word for word in the passage, but you still need to be able to justify the answer based on the passage.
  • „ Many of the questions will ask about your understanding of the different viewpoints found in the passage.
  • „ Questions may ask you how the author would respond to the concept mentioned in the passage.