Here we are discussing question 19 at the bottom of the picture above. 

This kind of ACT English question can be quite tough. All the more important to know how to tackle it. The trick is always to do exactly what the question asks. So, what does the question ask? What does it want you to do?

The question asks you to find what best goes together with the first part of the sentence. First thing to do: find the main point of the first part of the sentence. What is it? He is quite nervous

Now we just need to find the option that contains the best explanation for his nervousness. One important condition: it has to be a literal explanation. The explanation needs to be contained in the words of the option. The reason why many students go wrong on this kind of question is that they thing that some of the options could imply the right answer. But these are not questions that ask you to make any deductions; it is pure and simply about the words. Each option contains five or six words, so finding the right option is really not that tough if you go about it correctly.

C and D do not contain any words that could help to explain why he is nervous. By implication they could explain his nervousness; i.e. he is nervous because he does not know the United States, or because he does not know his parents. But this is not what the question is about.

It is really between A and B. So, what does it really mean to be nervous? When do you get nervous? When you don't know something. When things are not sure. This makes it clear that A creates the most logical link with the previous part of the sentence. He does not remember, so he gets nervous. Missing his parents is not really the most logical connection. If B was the right option, the passage would need to contain something like 'I cannot wait to see them'; this would really logically connect with the word 'missing'. It is all about the words. Once you use the words, finding the right options comes naturally.


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