Proposed ACT Test Questions


Read the following passage and answer the question below:

DES MOINES — Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass’s pretest ritual, leading up to taking the ACT on Monday, consisted of a weekend of online study followed by a test-day microwave breakfast sandwich and “lots” of coffee.

For his efforts, Glass scored a 27 out of a possible 36, putting him in the 88th percentile of all test-takers. It’s a score that would get him a second look by all but the most selective colleges and universities, before criteria such as extracurricular activities were applied.

Then there’s University of Kentucky associate education professor Scott McLeod. He took the test with Glass and a group of students at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines.

McLeod earned a 34, placing him in the 99th percentile of all test-takers. College-bound juniors with that type of score can have even their “safety school” picks among the top five in the country.

Iowa’s average statewide composite score for students in the Class of 2011 was 22.3, according to the Iowa Department of Education. The national average was 21.1. Only 61 percent of the students who can take the test in Iowa do so.

It was McLeod who challenged Glass to take the test, back in February. The two were posting back and forth on Twitter about the value of standardized tests such as the ACT.

Glass has pushed for a mandatory ACT test for all juniors in the state as part of the state’s education reform package. McLeod wasn’t sold on the idea, so he offered his suggestion — along the lines of “if it’s so good, why don’t YOU take it?”

What can be reasonably inferred from the passage about the value of Glass' proposal to require juniors to take the ACT?

A. Students will get to enjoy the classic combination of a breakfast sandwich and steaming hot coffee.

B. Testing is an important tool, but competitions between bureaucrats and academics are lame.

C. Publicity stunts are a great way to gain the proposal's acceptance by a skeptical Iowa Legislature.

D. You got me.


Iowa's Department of Education Director makes $140,000 annually, or $2,692.30 for each of 52 weeks, or $67.30 for each of 40 hours in a typical American workweek. How much did he earn while taking the ACT for 3.5 hours?

A. $235.55

B. You can't put a price on good publicity

C. What a high school junior earning minimum wage would make for 32 hours of work, maybe hoping to buy a new iPhone, created by a company founded by a college dropout who may or may not have done so hot on the ACT. But really, in the big scheme of things, who cares?

D. It really depends on how much money Bravo pays Glass for the rights to broadcast the new standardized test showdown reality series he's developing: "Pencils Up!" or "Say Yes to the Test!"


During the course of its lifespan, Gov. Terry Branstad's education reform bill has shed many of its original traits in an effort to adapt to the demands of a harsh legislative habitat. This process is known as:

A. Evolution

B. The thoughtful, deliberative legislative process

C. Intelligent design

D. Sausage-making

E. Horse-trading


Pick the most correct way to edit the underlined passage.

The Legislature is moving swiftly toward adjournment, with a keen focus on the primary goal of transforming Iowa schools.

A. adjournment; with a keen focus on the primary goal of transforming Iowa schools.

B. adjournment. With a keen focus on the primary goal of transforming Iowa schools.


D. adjournment, with a keen focus on the primary goal of transforming Iowa schools

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.