ACT and SAT Accommodations Update from ACT Success – Online Test Prep
January 26, 2017

ACT Test Prep – English Section – Practice Question #12

Spoiler alert: The answer is below the line.

We recommend that you challenge yourself to answer the question correctly, then learn why the right answer is right and the wrong answers are wrong. Go to actsuccess.org to learn more about test-taking strategies or buy the award-winning online ACT Success Test Prep course.

Good luck!


The right answer is J. The adjectives moist, mesic, and dry constitute a list of three different things that sand prairies can be. Therefore, commas are necessary after moist and mesic. (Although the comma before the conjunction that separates the final two items in a list is optional when the conjunction is and, it is mandatory when the conjunction is or!) The word dry ends one independent clause, which then needs to be joined to the subsequent one via a comma + conjunction, and so a comma is also necessary after dry.

The right answer is NOT F because it omits the necessary commas after moist, mesic, and dry.

The right answer is NOT G because it omits the necessary comma after moist and incorrectly replaces the necessary comma after dry with a semicolon.

The right answer is NOT H because it omits the necessary comma after mesic and incorrectly replaces the necessary comma after moist with a colon.

Jim Giovannini
Jim Giovannini
Jim Giovannini has dedicated his thirty-year educational career to improving the lives of students. A former classroom teacher who became the founder of both ACT Success, Inc. and Academic Tutoring, LLC in Chicago. Co-author of two bestselling ACT test prep tools for Barron’s Educational Series: Barron’s ACT Flash Cards and Barron’s 6 ACT Practice Tests. ACT Success Online® brings highly affordable and highly effective digital ACT test prep to all students.