English

Note:

  • Standards are provided for each English Test score range except the 1–12 range. Students who score in the 1–12 range are most likely beginning to develop the knowledge and skills assessed in the other ranges.
  • Updates to the Standards in 2014 include:
    • edits for consistency, concision, and clarity
    • additions to include specific skills in multiple score ranges and to emphasize specific skills
    • new titles
  • Side-by-side comparisons of the 2014 ACT College and Career Readiness Standards and the 2005 ACT College Readiness Standards can be seen by selecting “View changes.” In the popup windows, each standard is identified by a strand abbreviation and number. For example, the first standard in Topic Development in Terms of Purpose and Focus (TOD) is TOD 201.

View or print the set of English Standards (PDF, 12 pages)

Production of Writing

  Score Range
13–15
Score Range
16–19
Score Range
20–23
Score Range
24–27
Score Range
28–32
Score Range
33–36
Topic Development
in Terms of Purpose and Focus (TOD)

TOD 201. Delete material because it is obviously irrelevant in terms of the topic of the essay

TOD 301. Delete material because it is obviously irrelevant in terms of the focus of the essay

TOD 302. Identify the purpose of a word or phrase when the purpose is simple (e.g., identifying a person, defining a basic term, using common descriptive adjectives)

TOD 303. Determine whether a simple essay has met a straightforward goal

TOD 401. Determine relevance of material in terms of the focus of the essay

TOD 402. Identify the purpose of a word or phrase when the purpose is straightforward (e.g., describing a person, giving examples)

TOD 403. Use a word, phrase, or sentence to accomplish a straightforward purpose (e.g., conveying a feeling or attitude)

TOD 501. Determine relevance of material in terms of the focus of the paragraph

TOD 502. Identify the purpose of a word, phrase, or sentence when the purpose is fairly straightforward (e.g., identifying traits, giving reasons, explaining motivations)

TOD 503. Determine whether an essay has met a specified goal

TOD 504. Use a word, phrase, or sentence to accomplish a fairly straightforward purpose (e.g., sharpening an essay’s focus, illustrating a given statement)

TOD 601. Determine relevance when considering material that is plausible but potentially irrelevant at a given point in the essay

TOD 602. Identify the purpose of a word, phrase, or sentence when the purpose is subtle (e.g., supporting a later point, establishing tone) or when the best decision is to delete the text in question

TOD 603. Use a word, phrase, or sentence to accomplish a subtle purpose (e.g., adding emphasis or supporting detail, expressing meaning through connotation)

TOD 701. Identify the purpose of a word, phrase, or sentence when the purpose is complex (e.g., anticipating a reader’s need for background information) or requires a thorough understanding of the paragraph and essay

TOD 702. Determine whether a complex essay has met a specified goal

TOD 703. Use a word, phrase, or sentence to accomplish a complex purpose, often in terms of the focus of the essay

Organization,
Unity, and Cohesion (ORG)

ORG 201. Determine the need for transition words or phrases to establish time relationships in simple narrative essays (e.g., then, this time)

ORG 301. Determine the most logical place for a sentence in a paragraph

ORG 302. Provide a simple conclusion to a paragraph or essay (e.g., expressing one of the essay’s main ideas)

ORG 401. Determine the need for transition words or phrases to establish straightforward logical relationships (e.g., first, afterward, in response)

ORG 402. Determine the most logical place for a sentence in a straightforward essay

ORG 403. Provide an introduction to a straightforward paragraph

ORG 404. Provide a straightforward conclusion to a paragraph or essay (e.g., summarizing an essay’s main idea or ideas)

ORG 405. Rearrange the sentences in a straightforward paragraph for the sake of logic

ORG 501. Determine the need for transition words or phrases to establish subtle logical relationships within and between sentences (e.g., therefore, however, in addition)

ORG 502. Provide a fairly straightforward introduction or conclusion to or transition within a paragraph or essay (e.g., supporting or emphasizing an essay’s main idea)

ORG 503. Rearrange the sentences in a fairly straightforward paragraph for the sake of logic

ORG 504. Determine the best place to divide a paragraph to meet a particular rhetorical goal

ORG 505. Rearrange the paragraphs in an essay for the sake of logic

ORG 601. Determine the need for transition words or phrases to establish subtle logical relationships within and between paragraphs

ORG 602. Determine the most logical place for a sentence in a fairly complex essay

ORG 603. Provide a subtle introduction or conclusion to or transition within a paragraph or essay (e.g., echoing an essay’s theme or restating the main argument)

ORG 604. Rearrange the sentences in a fairly complex paragraph for the sake of logic and coherence

ORG 701. Determine the need for transition words or phrases, basing decisions on a thorough understanding of the paragraph and essay

ORG 702. Provide a sophisticated introduction or conclusion to or transition within a paragraph or essay, basing decisions on a thorough understanding of the paragraph and essay (e.g., linking the conclusion to one of the essay’s main images)

Knowledge of Language

  Score Range
13–15
Score Range
16–19
Score Range
20–23
Score Range
24–27
Score Range
28–32
Score Range
33–36
Knowledge of Language (KLA)

KLA 201. Revise vague, clumsy, and confusing writing that creates obvious logic problems

KLA 301. Delete obviously redundant and wordy material

KLA 302. Revise expressions that deviate markedly from the style and tone of the essay

KLA 401. Delete redundant and wordy material when the problem is contained within a single phrase (e.g., “alarmingly startled,” “started by reaching the point of beginning”)

KLA 402. Revise expressions that deviate from the style and tone of the essay

KLA 403. Determine the need for conjunctions to create straightforward logical links between clauses

KLA 404. Use the word or phrase most appropriate in terms of the content of the sentence when the vocabulary is relatively common

KLA 501. Revise vague, clumsy, and confusing writing

KLA 502. Delete redundant and wordy material when the meaning of the entire sentence must be considered

KLA 503. Revise expressions that deviate in subtle ways from the style and tone of the essay

KLA 504. Determine the need for conjunctions to create logical links between clauses

KLA 505. Use the word or phrase most appropriate in terms of the content of the sentence when the vocabulary is uncommon

KLA 601. Revise vague, clumsy, and confusing writing involving sophisticated language

KLA 602. Delete redundant and wordy material that involves fairly sophisticated language (e.g., “the outlook of an aesthetic viewpoint”) or that sounds acceptable as conversational English

KLA 603. Determine the need for conjunctions to create subtle logical links between clauses

KLA 604. Use the word or phrase most appropriate in terms of the content of the sentence when the vocabulary is fairly sophisticated

KLA 701. Delete redundant and wordy material that involves sophisticated language or complex concepts or where the material is redundant in terms of the paragraph or essay as a whole

KLA 702. Use the word or phrase most appropriate in terms of the content of the sentence when the vocabulary is sophisticated

Conventions of Standard English Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation

  Score Range
13–15
Score Range
16–19
Score Range
20–23
Score Range
24–27
Score Range
28–32
Score Range
33–36
Sentence Structure and Formation (SST)

SST 201. Determine the need for punctuation or conjunctions to join simple clauses

SST 202. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense between simple clauses in a sentence or between simple adjoining sentences

SST 301. Determine the need for punctuation or conjunctions to correct awkward-sounding fragments and fused sentences as well as obviously faulty subordination and coordination of clauses

SST 302. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense and voice when the meaning of the entire sentence must be considered

SST 401. Recognize and correct marked disturbances in sentence structure (e.g., faulty placement of adjectives, participial phrase fragments, missing or incorrect relative pronouns, dangling or misplaced modifiers, lack of parallelism within a simple series of verbs)

SST 501. Recognize and correct disturbances in sentence structure (e.g., faulty placement of phrases, faulty coordination and subordination of clauses, lack of parallelism within a simple series of phrases)

SST 502. Maintain consistent and logical verb tense and pronoun person on the basis of the preceding clause or sentence

SST 601. Recognize and correct subtle disturbances in sentence structure (e.g., danglers where the intended meaning is clear but the sentence is ungrammatical, faulty subordination and coordination of clauses in long or involved sentences)

SST 602. Maintain consistent and logical verb tense and voice and pronoun person on the basis of the paragraph or essay as a whole

SST 701. Recognize and correct very subtle disturbances in sentence structure (e.g., weak conjunctions between independent clauses, run-ons that would be acceptable in conversational English, lack of parallelism within a complex series of phrases or clauses)

Usage Conventions (USG)

USG 201. Form the past tense and past participle of irregular but commonly used verbs

USG 202. Form comparative and superlative adjectives

USG 301. Determine whether an adjective form or an adverb form is called for in a given situation

USG 302. Ensure straightforward subject-verb agreement

USG 303. Ensure straightforward pronoun-antecedent agreement

USG 304. Use idiomatically appropriate prepositions in simple contexts

USG 305. Use the appropriate word in frequently confused pairs (e.g., there and their, past and passed, led and lead)

USG 401. Use the correct comparative or superlative adjective or adverb form depending on context (e.g., “He is the oldest of my three brothers”)

USG 402. Ensure subject-verb agreement when there is some text between the subject and verb

USG 403. Use idiomatically appropriate prepositions, especially in combination with verbs (e.g., long for, appeal to)

USG 404. Recognize and correct expressions that deviate from idiomatic English

USG 501. Form simple and compound verb tenses, both regular and irregular, including forming verbs by using have rather than of (e.g., would have gone, not would of gone)

USG 502. Ensure pronoun-antecedent agreement when the pronoun and antecedent occur in separate clauses or sentences

USG 503. Recognize and correct vague and ambiguous pronouns

USG 601. Ensure subject-verb agreement in some challenging situations (e.g., when the subject-verb order is inverted or when the subject is an indefinite pronoun)

USG 602. Correctly use reflexive pronouns, the possessive pronouns its and your, and the relative pronouns who and whom

USG 603. Use the appropriate word in less-common confused pairs (e.g., allude and elude)

USG 701. Ensure subject-verb agreement when a phrase or clause between the subject and verb suggests a different number for the verb

USG 702. Use idiomatically and contextually appropriate prepositions in combination with verbs in situations involving sophisticated language or complex concepts

Punctuation Conventions (PUN)

PUN 201. Delete commas that create basic sense problems (e.g., between verb and direct object)

PUN 301. Delete commas that markedly disturb sentence flow (e.g., between modifier and modified element)

PUN 302. Use appropriate punctuation in straightforward situations (e.g., simple items in a series)

PUN 401. Delete commas when an incorrect understanding of the sentence suggests a pause that should be punctuated (e.g., between verb and direct object clause)

PUN 402. Delete apostrophes used incorrectly to form plural nouns

PUN 403. Use commas to avoid obvious ambiguity (e.g., to set off a long introductory element from the rest of the sentence when a misreading is possible)

PUN 404. Use commas to set off simple parenthetical elements

PUN 501. Delete commas in long or involved sentences when an incorrect understanding of the sentence suggests a pause that should be punctuated (e.g., between the elements of a compound subject or compound verb joined by and)

PUN 502. Recognize and correct inappropriate uses of colons and semicolons

PUN 503. Use punctuation to set off complex parenthetical elements

PUN 504. Use apostrophes to form simple possessive nouns

PUN 601. Use commas to avoid ambiguity when the syntax or language is sophisticated (e.g., to set off a complex series of items)

PUN 602. Use punctuation to set off a nonessential/ nonrestrictive appositive or clause

PUN 603. Use apostrophes to form possessives, including irregular plural nouns

PUN 604. Use a semicolon to link closely related independent clauses

PUN 701. Delete punctuation around essential/restrictive appositives or clauses

PUN 702. Use a colon to introduce an example or an elaboration

Ideas for Progress
Score Range 1–12
Ideas for Progress
Score Range 13–15
Ideas for Progress
Score Range 16–19
Ideas for Progress
Score Range 20–23
Ideas for Progress
Score Range 24–27
Ideas for Progress
Score Range 28–32
 

20131001