ACT Reading 1: Overview & Passage Types

Welcome to Elite Academy’s online ACT Reading Lesson 1. 

Today we'll explore the basics of the Reading Section, including a look at the basic passage types.  

Warm-up

Warm-up Excitement Scale

Welcome to Elite Academy’s intensive ACT Reading course. You’re just now beginning a rather full-time regimen of ACT immersion, which should, if you put your head and heart into it, lead to substantial improvements in your score and thus, one hopes, your eventual prospects for college admission. 

So, how excited are you, then?

 

On a scale of 1-10, where would you put your excitement level towards standardized tests, and the process and stress of academic performance and college admissions? 

Warm-up: Test Prep Emotions

Maybe now is a sensible time to assemble all your assortment of negative feelings: annoyance, confusion, fear, exhaustion, apathy and lay them down to share. To balance it off, add at least one semi-positive feeling. 

 

 

Which aspects of the ACT Reading (or standardized tests more generally) are the most frustrating, pointless, difficult, for you? What’s one aspect, feature, experience of test preparation or test taking that you actually enjoy, or at least tolerate? ​

Warm-up: Test Prep Emotions

To begin our journey across the Reading section, let’s reflect a bit on our most recent exam....

 

A. Which was your least favorite passage?

B. Which passage did you like the most? Why?

C. Any other initial thoughts about the section, and your approach through it? 

Overview to ACT Reading Section

The 3 Basic Rules of the ACT

The ACT, just like the SAT or other standardized tests you may already be familiar with, contains some fundamental, necessary limitations in how and what it can test.

While these limitations might initially seem frustrating, they can help you to efficiently approach and conquer the test once you better understand them.

These features are common to all sections of the ACT, but they are especially relevant to the Reading and Science sections, for reasons we’ll understand shortly:

How might this be the case? How might this be a good thing for us in our preparation? A bad thing? 

Rule 2

So if you can’t use such valuable intellectual skills on the ACT, what can you use?

Remember, the ACT needs to be administered to millions of students annually whose scores need to be consistently translated into an “objective” scale that colleges can use to evaluate student abilities across location and time.

The ACT, then needs to be utterly, truly consistent across exams.

Six times a year the ACT must develop six distinct tests that are so consistent that a score of 32 for one exam is meaningfully identical to a score of 32 for the other. This leads us to rule 2: 

What might this mean for our preparation?

Rule 3

Rule two leads directly to our third law.

Because the ACT needs to follow consistent, repeatable patterns in its construction of questions, and what they ask from passages, there needs to be even more standardization to answer choices:

All of this adds up to two implications, one concerning correct answers, one concerning wrong answers. 

What do you think having a fully standardized test structure means for (a) correct answer choices and (b) wrong answer choices? 

Reading Test Basics

We will spend much more time on both general and specific strategies in later lessons, but for now, let’s move on to making sure we understand the basic structure and design of the Reading section. Since you’ve already completed at least one ACT test by this point, let’s check your knowledge of the Reading section by filling in the blanks below: 

Of the four multiple choice sections, the reading section will always come 

You will have  minutes to complete  total questions, which means you only have about  seconds to complete each question (and read the passages!). 

There are three basic scores on the ACT: your Raw score, your Scaled score, and your Composite Score. 

Your  score on the Reading is simply the number of questions you got correct on the section.

Your  score is the score that you get on each section of the ACT after your raw score is scaled based on the average score of all test takers on that particular exam. This score can range from 1-

Your  score is the average of your four scaled scores (English, Math, Reading, and Science). The highest possible composite score is also 36. That's what you're going to get, right?

On the Reading Section, you will always encounter a total of  passages, each followed by questions. 

Each of the four passages is approximately 750-1000 words.

The order of these passage types will always be the same: 

1.      2.  

3.      4. 

This means we have just under  minutes to complete each section.

Clearly, mastering timing becomes an essential skill on the exam. 

 

 

Literary Narrative Passages

As the name implies, the prose-fiction passage will always be a fictional excerpt taken from either a short story or a novel. Compared to other passage types, Prose Fiction questions tend to focus on: 

  • Author’s use of tone and employment of different literary techniques
  • Characters’ beliefs, motivations, and characteristics.
  • Relationship between events

In contrast to the SAT, the ACT will very rarely present texts from the 19th century or earlier. Such dated SAT passages, which often contain archaic vocabulary and structures, can especially frustrate students. For the most part, ACT prose fiction passages will use language and explore themes of more modern import.

That’s not to say that these ACT texts are necessarily easier—often the passages can be somewhat metaphoric and rich in imagery. And as excerpts of often much longer pieces, they may elusively reference events or characters that happened prior to our passage.

To master this type, we will thus need to develop an attuned reading eye that picks up small, but critical details, and uses this insight to make well-founded generalizations and characterizations

Let’s look at a short prose-fiction example and a typical question. Please note that passage is much shorter than a genuine ACT narrative fiction passage—we just want to get attuned to the basic relationship between text and question. 

PROSE FICTION SAMPLE PASSAGE: 

When he was eight, Jason found a bird that had been blown out of its nest during the previous night’s storm. They were fledglings, both of them, and Jason picked up the bird, made a hammock out of his shirt, and carried the young bird home to his mother. 

“Don’t know whether we can help it,” she said, fearful of the effect her doubts might have on Jason but more fearful of raising his hopes unjustifiably. 

Jason looked at her with an absolute confidence that did nothing so much as inspire her to try harder. And she did. She called the local veterinarian, checked with the local animal shelter, and even called the zoo. For two weeks, she and Jason doted on the bird, which they had named Ziggy because Jason thought it resembled a comic strip character. At the end of two weeks, the bird seemed healthy and even restless, as if it knew it had wings and thought they should be put to good use. So one night they moved the bird’s shoebox from the closet to the back porch, left the lid off, and went to bed. In the morning, the bird was gone, and as far as anyone knew, they never saw it again, though sometimes Jason would point at a bird perched on the back fence and tell his mother, “That’s Ziggy!” At such times, she generally nodded, even if that day’s Ziggy was a starling and last week’s had been a robin. 

Which of the following best expresses Jason's mother's reactions to Jason's hopes that she can help the bird?

  • She is initially angry with him for bringing the bird home but ultimately half-heatedly agrees to try to help it
  • She is grateful to her son for trying to help a living creature but realizes she can do nothing to help and calls experts to collect the bird from them.
  • She has doubts about her ability to help the bird but responds to her son's confidence by making a greater effort.
  • She is grateful for the chance to work on a project with her son and hopes helping the bird will bring mother and son closer together.

Social Sciences Passages

The second passage on the Reading Section, Social Science, includes a dauntingly wide range of subjects:

  • anthropology, archaeology, biography, business, economics, education, geography, history, political science, psychology, sociology, and more. 

Indeed, that’s a huge spread of potential topics. But don’t panic. The questions for this section are often concerned with structure and how the author views and frames his or her evidence.

If we focus on the commonalities of the passages of this type, instead of worrying about differences, we can see that most passages follow a fairly standard pattern: of a writer constructing, or describing, a claim regarding human affairs that is somehow distinct from or contrary to common opinions in the field.

In many ways, this is the classic model of analytic writing you’ve been taught since you were moving past your ABCs. 

If we can become familiar the most common models that frame these passages, then the specific content can drift into the background.

That’s not to say that details don’t matter—many Social Science questions will ask you to find a reference and interpret its meaning to the broader claims of the passage. We will need to become proficient at quickly finding specific information and comprehending its basic function. However, if we have a strong sense of what the author is up to in executing his or her claim, the details will be like a puzzle piece that fits into an already clearly established landscape. Let’s take a look at an abbreviated sample of a typical Social Sciences passage:

SOCIAL SCIENCES SAMPLE PASSAGE: 

On March 2, 1955, when she was just 15, Claudette Colvin was arrested. There is really no dispute about the facts. In fact, she confessed to breaking the law. Nearly nine months later, on December 1, 1955, another person broke the same law. That second person’s name has gone down in history. Roads are named after her. She is on a U.S. postage stamp. The name of the second person, the name that has gone down in history as a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement, is Rosa Parks. Claudette Colvin, though she did experience modest notoriety at the time, is largely forgotten today. 

The reason for Colvin’s relative obscurity is well known to people who have heard of her. She became pregnant while unmarried and thus was not as attractive a figure as Rosa Parks to build a movement around. And while Parks should indeed be remembered for her courage and her role in helping to undo an injustice, so should Colvin. Consider some facts. Neither woman sat in the “white section” at the front of the bus. Both refused to move to the back of the bus when the front section filled up with whites and the bus driver told them to move. 

Both ended up having to leave Montgomery, Alabama, because their notoriety prevented them from getting jobs. But Colvin was just 15 when, by refusing to stand, she stood up for the rights of a people, spoke out against an injustice, and challenged an ingrained prejudice. Colvin’s case also led to a federal court decision declaring Montgomery’s bus policy unconstitutional. Surely Colvin deserves far better treatment in history than she has received. Then again, history is often cruel in this way. After all, Christopher Columbus is often viewed as the discoverer of a continent he never even saw—and one on which generations of people had been living long before Columbus was born. 

It can reasonably inferred that the author believes Claudette Colvin: 

  • was the direct inspiration for Rosa Parks, who tried to copy Colvin's actions precisely.
  • deserves greater recognition than she has received for role in history.
  • was unaware of the significance of her actions at the time
  • should not have expected dramatic change to come about because of her actions.

Humanities Passages

 

The ACT describes humanities as consisting of passages that cover architecture, art, dance, ethics, film, language, literary criticism, memoir, music, personal essays, philosophy, radio, television, and theater. 

That’s another broad territory of possible topics. Can you see any central commonality between these most of these disciplines, though? 

While not a 100% rule, the vast majority of humanities passages will describe or analyze matters of art or culture

While these passages are built from factual foundations, there is typically a more conspicuous sense of the author’s views or beliefs than the logical argumentation of social or natural science passages. You can expect, therefore, to encounter questions that ask about the author’s belief on a certain issue or how the author would most likely respond to a particular point, even one that is raised hypothetically. We must, then, become adept at seeing the links and distinctions between objective facts and authorial interpretation. Again, becoming familiar with the common structural patterns for this passage type will help us identify such features with the required speed and accuracy. 

Once again, try to answer the question based on the information found in the passage: 

HUMANITIES SAMPLE PASSAGE: 

The effect of television on American life is nowhere more keenly felt than in the news. More than radio—and certainly far more than newspapers—television relied on immediacy. Someone once joked that television had the memory of a kindergarten student, but that joke is not really fair. Kindergarten students can remember yesterday. Television news rarely can. Though radio has the same sort of immediacy that television does since in both cases, the audience perceives the message nearly as soon as it is produced, it is television that became enchanted with the power of the word “live.” There seems to be a sense in television newsrooms that being live is the second most important factor for news and therefore for newsworthiness. (The most important factor is violence or the potential for it.) 

It is hard to determine exactly when television succumbed to the power of live, but a reasonable guess places the transformative moment in November of 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. If not then, certainly a decade later when television brought the Watergate hearings live into people’s homes. Whenever the transformative moment, televised news has ever since been in the clutches of the power of live—and much to its detriment, at least as a source of information. What newspapers lacked in immediacy they more than made up for with depth and scope. If a scandal erupted regarding the governor at noon, the evening newspapers would carry the basic details, but the next day’s morning newspapers would have a great deal more, including reactions from the governor’s staff, comments from the governor’s party and the opposing party, and, most important, context. 

The author's attitude towards television news programming can best be characterized as: 

  • solemn appreciation
  • objective detachment
  • mild approval
  • evident disapproval

Natural Sciences Passages

The ACT’s list of Natural Science subjects goes literally from A to Z: anatomy, astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, ecology, geology, medicine, meteorology, microbiology, natural history, physiology, physics, technology, and zoology. 

Natural-science passages generally discuss a single scientific issue and its relevance to the larger world. A passage might discuss a new medical procedure and then underscore what the applications might be for people suffering from a particular disease. Compared to the often straightforward vocabulary of other passages, natural-science passages often contain an abundance of technical vocabulary. Simply approach such unfamiliar vocabulary the way you would any word you didn’t know: by drawing contextual clues. A word that is important for understanding a central point is almost never presented without contextual support. 

For example, a passage might read: One of the biggest issues facing biologists is the cause of abiogenesis, the emergence of life from non-living matter

You should be an astute enough a reader by this point to notice that the potentially unfamiliar term, abiogenesis, is defined by the appositive (a noun phrase that modifies or clarifies another noun phrase) that follows. 

You should allow your initial read-through of a science passage to orient you to the structure of the passage, in a way that will allow you to quickly locate a specific reference. Still, the author’s tone and claims can be significant, especially at moments that introduce an opinion that challenges conventional wisdom. 

NATURAL SCIENCES SAMPLE PASSAGE: 

Off the coast of Oregon, more than a mile beneath the surface, a deep-sea coral is slowly dying. That fact alone is hardly surprising. All sea life dies eventually, and much of it in grisly ways. But what ecologists like Susan von Thun, a senior research technician at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, are most distressed about is the particular cause of this coral’s impending death: human pollution. In this case, a disposable plastic bag, the kind handed out by the millions in markets across the country, has, drawn by currents, wrapped itself around the base of the coral. 

This discovery is the result of efforts by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute to explore and map the ocean floor. In the murky sediment, they have discovered a virtual catalog of human life, especially of the last 30 years: batteries, shoes, plastics, rope, bottles, and more. The worst offender is the single-use plastic beverage bottle, that now ubiquitous artifact of contemporary civilization. “It’s astounding,” says cultural historian Arnold Luxx. “Here we live in a society with excellent drinking water, and for some reason, we’ve decided to pay a thousand times more for bottle water, which is less safe, tastes worse, and consumes immense energy unnecessarily.” He might have added that it is taking a toll on ocean life. That fact has been obvious for decades as fish, birds, and sea mammals have been washing up on shore for that long, caught in plastic six-pack rings. It’s not all bad news—though most of it is. Ocean dwellers are nothing if not resourceful, and some of them have colonized some of the pollution. One clever hermit crab now has a soda can rather than a shell for a house. But those few bits of good news are overwhelmed by the virtual flood of pollution that animals ingest or get caught in. By publicizing this fact, von Thun hopes to be able to encourage people to recycle more or at least to dispose of their waste in ways that prevent it from making its way to the ocean. 

The passage states that the coral is dying because of:

  • a plastic bag that someone deliberately placed around the coral.
  • a plastic bag that was draped around the coral by natural forces.
  • a change in ocean currents caused by increased pollution.
  • a six-pack rig that ended up caught on the coral.

Lesson Complete!

Awesome, awesome work. You clearly know a bit about the Science ACT and how to attack it.

Next, we'll start exploring the world of Data Representation passages specifically. 

If you want to take a break and come back to finish the next lesson later, that's ok!  

 

Problem Set

Instructions

Each lesson, we will ask you to complete a few of passages related to the lesson. 

Make sure you're in a comfortable, quiet space, ready to focus.

Try to time yourself--you have 8:45 seconds per passage. 

Passage I: My Aunt Ama

Question 1

As they are described in the passage, which of the following pairs of characters most clearly symbolizes the conflict between the old and the new ways?

A. The narrator and her uncle Sonny
B. The narrator and her mother
C. Ama and the narrator
D. The narrator's mother and Ama

Question 2

If the last paragraph were omitted from the passage, the reader would not know that: ·

F. Some people view Ama’s lifestyle with suspicion
G. the narrator admits that she still has contradictory feelings about Ama.
H. the narrator's mother had asked her daughter to stop visiting Ama
J.  the narrator admires Ama for her self-reliance.

Question 3

It can most reasonably be inferred from the passage that the narrator's mother is jealous of Ama because 
Ama:

A. lives in accordance with her own belief, while the narrator's mother is conflicted about how she wants to live
B. has a more comfortable house and a less physically taxing life in spite of following the old ways
C.  is much closer to the narrator, and more loved by the narrator, than is the narrator's own mother.
D. feels nothing but contempt for the narrator's mother, even though the narrator's mother admires her

Question 4

The passage states that the narrator is learning or trying to learn all of the following from Ama EXCEPT how to:

F. distinguish between heart and mind.·
G.  be still and listen to silence.
H.  find courage and overcome fear.
J.  survive in a dark and dangerous land.

Question 5

The main purpose of the scene depicted in lines 20-34 is to: '

A. indicate that Ama was a fearless woman.
B. convey how intimidated the narrator's uncles were by Ama
C. reveal the narrator's first impressions of Ama.
D. point out that Ama did not trust anyone who came onto her land.

Question 6

The sixth and seventh paragraph (lines 34-47) are most likely told from the point of view of:

F. a woman immersed in the old ways imagining a meeting with her niece.
G. young woman looking back from several years' distance at an event in her life.
H. a woman who is reflecting upon her first meeting with a young girl.
J.  an old woman looking at an event that occurred in the recent past

Question 7

Which of the following best describes what the ninth paragraph (lines 55-72) reveals about Ama' s char­acter?

A. She understands and feels at home in the natural world.
B.  She prefers the quiet of fishing to most other activities.
C.  Even though her moods change frequently, she is rarely in a bad mood.
D. She hopes the narrator will begin to see her as a substitute mother.

Question 8

In the context of the last paragraph, it can most reasonably be inferred that the narrator's mother calls Ama "foolish" (line 83) because Ama:

F. likes to visit with the narrator after school.
G. lives without any modern conveniences or appliances.
H. prefers fishing in silence to visiting with people.
J. lives without fear in a dangerous place

Question 9

The passage states that the narrator helps Ama by:

A. cutting wood for her
B.  catching fish for her
C.  bringing her supplies and kitchen items.
D.  making small repairs on her house

Question 10

When the narrator uses the phrase "how the world...catches me up" (line 76), she is most likely referring to how she: 

F. prefers Ama's way of life to her mother's way of life.
G.  doesn't understand her feelings for Ama
H. is influenced by her everyday, contemporary life
J. is often afraid of what is happening in the outside world.

Passage II: Work-Life Balance

Question 1

This passage is best described as being:

 an argument in support of making modern work­ places much more family friendly.
 an analysis of how traditional workplace,.models. have served American businesses.
 a thorough evaluation of the drawbacks of making workplaces more family friendly.
 an examination of how workplaces have in the past abandoned job flexibility programs .

 

Question 2

The· author uses all of the following sources of evidence to support her assertions EXCEPT:.

 the opinion of a human resources professional
 research by academics and psychologists.
 examples of companies with family-friendly policies.
 quotations from important management textbooks.

 

Question 3

According to the passage, increased worker autonomy and input into decisions· translates directly into an 
increase in worker:·

 sharing in company profits
 commitment to their job
 hours at the workplace
 personal life complications

 

Question 4

The "paradox" mentioned in line 1 most directly refers  to which of the following ideas? ·

 Most companies realize they must accommodate families in which both parents work outside the home, but few companies are actually offering programs intended to help workers cope.
 Many companies. offer ·ways to make the workplace more accommodating to families, but few employees are in fact interested in having more job flexibility.
 Companies frequently offer options such as child care and flexible working hours, but many employees are opposed to these programs.
 Many companies have job flexibility programs, but company expectations ·about bow employees will ·use the programs limit the programs' effectiveness.

 

Question 5

Which of the following best describes the way the· author uses the word secure in line 34 ?

 In a literal way that suggests workers are grateful to their companies when they provide emergency child care ·
 In a literal way that suggests employees feel comfortable that their children are being oared for jn emergency day care
 In an ironic way that suggests a program that was intended to make workers feel better might have the opposite effect .
 In a metaphorical way that suggests offering programs such as emergency child care helps workers feel more satisfied with their jobs

 

Question 6

It can reasonably be inferred that those conducting the research described in lines 50-63 were interested in 
studying all of the following EXCEPT the: ·

 types of products the workers produced. .
 level of workers' satisfaction with their jobs.
 connection between work and family.
 amount of influence workers had over their jobs.

 

Question 7

Which of the following best characterizes the work schedule described in the seventh paragraph 
(lines 72-84)? .

 Employers benefit by the plant running longer hours, and employees benefit by getting more overtime pay,.
 Employers benefit more from increased productivity than the workers do from increased job flexibility.
 Employers and employees both derive significant benefits from the schedule.
 Employees gain substantial benefits from the schedule but at great expense to their company.

 

Question 8

The "blueprint for success" mentioned in lines 9-10 most likely refers to the idea that:

 companies need to be flexible to accommodate workers.
 companies must constantly reeducate their workers.
 work and personal lives should be in balance.­
 work should come before one's personal life.

 

Question 9

In terms of its acceptance, the idea of reinventing the workplace is one that the passage indicates has been:

 tried out by a small number of companies. · ·
 adopted enthusiastically by the business community.
 opposed by some academics and management experts.
 proved to be effective in a large number of firms.

 

Question 10

All of the following are identified in the fifth paragraph (lines 45-63) as critical to worker satisfaction EXCEPT:

 clear job expectations.
 share of annual profits.
 control over work schedule.
 input in business decisions.

 

Lesson Complete!

Awesome, awesome to see such effort.

Next, you'll reflect on your past exam. 

If you want to take a break and come back to finish the next section of the lesson that's ok!  

 

Test Correction

Self-Correction

Closely examining and analyzing each of your exam performances is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to improve your ACT score.

Throughout this course, you will be asked, once you receive your test results, to review your wrong answers and understand your mistakes. To make this self-correction stick, we ask you here to type an explanation of your errors for at least 5 problems.

 

If you got less than 5 wrong on the entire exam, then woohoo!, simply analyze those few that you got wrong. 

Following your reflection, we will supply you with a full set of answer explanations, so you can build on your own corrections. 

Closely examining and analyzing each of your exam performances is one of the simplest, yet, effective ways to improve your ACT reading score. Remember, ACT Rule 2 & 3 tell us that there is a predictability to the structure of passages and the patterns of questions and answer choices. The ACT test, especially the Reading Section, is not a test of accumulated knowledge, but instead evaluates your execution of a limited set of stable, predictable skills. Every mistake you make on a practice exam provides you with a real opportunity to gain insight into the intricacies of test design and the specific nature of your limitations. 

Our course, then, will emphasize a methodical and thorough approach to test review, one that actually begins while you’re taking your exam. Here are the 3 basic components to our approach. 

 

  • In each Review Set, we will ask you to describe certain features of passages or questions in a way that explicitly links back to the day’s lesson and skill focus. Again, it’s imperative that you don’t skip or avoid thinking about questions or passages that you deem particularly “easy.” Our eventual goal is to turn all content you encounter into something you find “easy,” but in order to do that we need to become attuned to structural features. 
  • For every question you got wrong, you should examine not only the test explanation, which is a relatively passive experience, but also actively reflect on what you did wrong. What drew you to the wrong answer choice, what led you away from the correct answer. Describing this process of error in your own words should allow you to build an awareness of it that will help you avoid similar traps in the future. To help bring out patterns, we’ll ask you to identify and classify the nature of your mistake. 
  •  On every practice test you take, make a simple mark next to each question that you feel somewhat “uncertain” about. After the exam, you will go through the explanations and see how you did on these uncertain questions. Read through the answer explanation, for each uncertain, regardless of whether you got the question correct or wrong. Being able to discover what seems to work and what seems to doom us when we make our educated guesses, is as valuable as any particular “reading” skill. 

 

Analyzing Structure 

As we’ve noted, different passage types will often organize themselves in very different ways, so it's important for you to practice identifying and describing organizational structures. Many questions will directly ask you about the nature or purpose of the prevailing structure of the passage. Beyond helping with these direct inquiries, though, structure skills should help you become efficient and confident in quickly locating specific content and extracting needed information under serious time constraints. 

In the next sections, you’ll first be asked general questions about it to help you reflect on your performance on and understanding. After the general discussion, detailed explanations of each question will follow. 

Reflect on at least (5) mistakes you made on the Reading portion of your most recent ACT exam.

List the number of the question and then describe your mistake and the evidence that supports the proper solution.

Lesson Complete!!

Awesome, awesome to see such self-reflection.

Let's finish up with a Science Corner and then, Week 1 is complete!

 

Vocabulary

Vocabulary Intro

Though the ACT does not test vocabulary directly (meaning that there are no questions that deal solely with vocabulary out of context), building a better vocabulary will doubtlessly aid the speed and depth of your comprehension. 

For this course, we will pull 20 high-frequency or otherwise interesting words from the actual exams each day. 

  • You should ensure that you understand not only the basic meaning, but how to appropriately use the words in the context of writing and speech. We will not supply you with definitions, so you’ll have to go check them up in a proper dictionary. 
  •  You will be given a short quiz at the beginning of each lesson to ensure you’re able to use these words in sentences. 
  • For homework, in addition to learning the meaning of all 20 words, you will construct a meaningful sentence for five of the words. Each sentence should be contextually rich enough that if you gave the sentence to a partner with the vocabulary item removed, he or she would be able to make a reasonable guess at the blank item’s meaning. 

Let’s say the vocabulary word was “smartphone.” Below you can see the difference between an insufficient and sufficient sentence for communicating its meaning through surrounding context:

You will complete your vocabulary "quiz" in the LMS after clicking "Vocab Quiz 1" in the Week 1 folder. 

Week 1 Complete

Really inspiring to see you work through the entirety of the first week! Please make sure to complete the vocabulary quiz in the learning management system.

After completing the quiz, whenever you're ready, you may move on to Lesson 2, Question Types. Keep up the energy and focus!