# Tips To Approach Function and Development Questions on the ACT® Reading Exam

The ACT® Reading exam has questions that test your understanding of the function of words and phrases and the development of ideas in a passage. Learn more here!

Throughout the ACT® Reading exam, you will read five passages and answer 40 questions. About half of these questions fall under the category of Craft and Structure. These questions test your understanding of the meaning of various words and phrases, judge an author’s word choice, and analyze sentence and paragraph structure to determine how it affects the flow of ideas through the passage. You will also be asked to analyze characters mentioned in the passage as well as their opinions and points of view.

In this article we’ll take a close look at Craft and Structure questions particularly function and development questions in ACT Reading. These questions will test your understanding of the function of a word, phrase, or paragraph as well as your understanding of the development of ideas through the passage.

Let’s first take a look at ACT function questions.

## What Is a Function Question?

Function questions are those that inquire about the function of a given point in the text. These questions will ask you to refer back to a given word, line, or paragraph and assess how it operates in context of the passage.

Some of these questions are implicit, and you will have to make inferences about the purpose of a given line or paragraph. Other questions are explicit, and the purpose of the given point in the passage can be found in the passage itself.

Consider these examples:

1. It may reasonably be inferred from line 4 ____ that:
1. ___
2. ___
3. ___
4. ___

To answer this question, you will have to use information from the passage to make an inference about the function of the given lines.

1. When the author refers to “____” (lines 5-7), she is most likely suggesting that:
1. ___
2. ___
3. ___
4. ___

To answer this question, you can assume that the given lines function to suggest something that may not be directly stated in the text.

1. Based on the passage, the information about [something] in lines 13-18 is most likely meant to represent the:
1. ___
2. ___
3. ___
4. ___

To answer this question, you can assume that the information about [something] in the given lines, functions to represent something else. You may use information found in the passage to pinpoint the function.

1. The ___ paragraph (lines ____) establishes all of the following EXCEPT:
1. ___
2. ___
3. ___
4. ___

To answer this question, assume that the given paragraph functions to establish something. Use information in the passage to eliminate answer choices that don’t accurately reflect the function of the lines.

Now that we have understood what ACT function questions are, let’s take a look at development questions in the ACT reading exam.

## What Is a Development Question?

Larger scale function questions focus on the development of the text. You can expect some questions that focus on the development of ideas in the passage. Others will assess shifts in the passages or the larger purpose of an author’s writing. Consider how portions of the text operate for the text as a whole.

Examples:

1. The last paragraph of Passage A (lines 40–51) marks a shift in the passage from:
1. ___
2. ___
3. ___
4. ___

The last paragraph of Passage A works to develop something on a larger scale by functioning as a transition between the passage’s main ideas, themes, or perspectives. To answer this question, you must understand what the passage is shifting away from, (and what idea, theme, or perspective the author is developing as a result).

1. Based on the passage, the primary purpose of [something] was to:
1. ___
2. ___
3. ___
4. ___

A question like this may focus on the passage as a whole. To answer this question, you will have to assess the information given in the question and pinpoint its function for the entire text.

If you want to practice the skills necessary for success with function and development questions in ACT Reading, try UWorld’s ACT Prep Course. Our online learning tools include performance tracking data, detailed answer explanations, and thousands of practice questions. You can use these resources to track your progress throughout your studies, deepen your understanding of more complicated concepts, and gain realistic experience with the exam. Try it out!

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