What is the ACT?

Get Information from Our Expert Counselors!
act exam, act dates, act registration fees

16/02/2024

2165 Views


What is the ACT?

ACT, or American College Testing, is an exam that was first introduced in 1959 by a non-profit organization called ACT, Inc. It is used for university admissions in the United States. Over the years, the ACT exam has become widespread and standardized internationally, being accepted by all four-year universities in the United States and many universities outside the United States.

The ACT exam is designed for students in 10th, 11th, and/or 12th grade to provide the necessary data to higher education institutions that will lead them to success after high school. The ACT exam, administered seven times a year in the United States and Canada and five times a year in other countries, assesses the general development of high school students through multiple-choice tests covering English, Math, Reading Skills, Science, and optionally Writing. In other words, the scores from the ACT exam serve as an indicator of college preparedness, and scores on each of the test's sub-sections correspond to skills found in entry-level college courses in English, algebra, social sciences, humanities, and biology.

Structure of the ACT Exam

The ACT exam consists of four multiple-choice tests - English, Math, Reading Skills, and Science - and an optional Writing Skills test that participants can choose to take. These tests are designed to measure skills acquired during post-secondary education and are important for success in higher education. Scores for each of the four multiple-choice tests range from 1 to 36, and the composite score is the rounded average of the scores on these four tests.

ACT English Test

The ACT English test requires participants to review given texts and make accurate revisions. Participants are provided with various rhetorical situations through different types of short texts and essays. Reading passages are selected based on their appropriateness for evaluating writing and language skills and reflecting the interests and experiences of the participants. The English Test, covering language usage, mechanics, sentence structure, and rhetorical skills, allows participants 45 minutes.

The test consists of 75 questions and includes five reading passages on one side with various sections underlined and on the other side, options for corrections related to those underlined sections. Questions in this test generally focus on language usage and mechanics, such as commas, apostrophes, misplaced or dangling modifiers, colon usage, and comma splices. Additionally, it assesses rhetorical skills such as style, writing strategy, transitions, and sentence organization in terms of clarity and conciseness.

ACT Mathematics Test

The ACT Mathematics Test assesses the mathematics skills generally acquired by students up to the 11th grade. The materials covered in the test focus on the prerequisite content areas for students to succeed in entry-level college courses related to mathematics. While foundational formula knowledge and computational skills are considered infrastructure for math problems, memorization of complex formulas and performing extensive calculations are not necessary for this test.

Participants are given 60 minutes for a total of 60 math questions. The 60 questions, varying from test to test, generally consist of 14 pre-algebra questions, 10 elementary algebra questions, 9 intermediate algebra questions, 14 plane geometry questions, 9 coordinate geometry questions, and 4 elementary trigonometry questions.

The difficulty of the questions in the Mathematics Test generally increases as the question numbers go higher. A calculator is allowed only for this section, and questions in this section have 5 answer choices instead of 4.

ACT Reading Test

The ACT Reading Test evaluates participants' abilities in careful reading, drawing conclusions from passages by utilizing evidence, and combining information from various sources. The questions in this test focus on skills participants should use when examining written materials on various subjects.

The questions in this test require participants to determine main ideas, identify and interpret important details, understand plot structures, make comparisons, understand cause-and-effect relationships, determine the meanings of words and phrases in context, make generalizations, analyze the author's or narrator's style and method, examine arguments, claims, and evidence within passages, and combine information from multiple texts.

The Reading Test consists of four sections, including one long prose passage and two short prose passages, totalling 40 questions. Participants are given 35 minutes to complete the test. The passages in this test correspond to text levels and types frequently encountered in first-year college instruction programs.

ACT Science Test

The ACT Science Test assesses participants' interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills required in the field of science. This test presents participants with several original scientific scenarios and asks them to answer multiple-choice questions following these scenarios. The content of the Science Test includes biology, chemistry, earth/space sciences (e.g., geology, astronomy, and meteorology), and physics.

The questions in this test require participants to define and understand the basic qualities of the information and data provided, critically examine relationships between the information given and the results or hypotheses developed, and make generalizations from the information provided to gain new knowledge, draw conclusions, and make predictions.

The ACT Science test consists of 40 questions, and participants are given 35 minutes for this test. Participants are provided with a total of 7 passages, and 5 to 7 questions are directed to each passage. These passages may be written in three different formats: data representation, research summaries, and conflicting viewpoints.

ACT Writing Test [Optional]

ACT Writing Test is an optional writing test that participants can choose to take, measuring writing skills taught in high school English classes and introductory college composition courses. The Writing Test consists of an essay question that explains a complex issue and presents three different perspectives on that issue.

Participants are required to read the essay question and write an essay developing their own perspectives on the topic. The essay written by participants should analyze the relationship between their own perspective and one or more of the perspectives provided. Participants can either choose one of the perspectives given in the question as their own or present a perspective entirely different from those provided. The Writing Test, which is optional for participants, is administered at the end of the exam, and participants are given 40 minutes for this test.

Scoring

The score range for each of the four multiple-choice tests on the ACT exam is 1-36, and the test takers' composite score corresponds to the average of the four test scores rounded to the nearest whole number.

Exam Section

Number of questions

Given Time (Minutes)

Score Range

Content

English

75

45

1–36

Language Use, Language Mechanics and Rhetorical Skills

Maths

60

60

1–36

Pre-algebra, Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Plane Geometry, Coordinate Geometry, Introductory Trigonometry, Problem Solving

Reading skills

40

35

1–36

Reading Comprehension

Science

40

35

1–36

Interpretation, Analysis, Evaluation, Reasoning and Problem Solving

Optional Writing Test (not included in the combined score)

1 Essay Question

40

1–12

Writing Skills

Combined Score

   

1–36

Average of all section scores except Writing Test

SAT Test Scores and ACT Test Scores

Combined ACT Score

SAT Total Score Range

SAT Total Score

36

1570–1600

1590

35

1530–1560

1540

34

1490–1520

1500

33

1450–1480

1460

32

1420–1440

1430

31

1390–1410

1400

30

1360–1380

1370

29

1330–1350

1340

28

1300–1320

1310

27

1260–1290

1280

26

1230–1250

1240

25

1200–1220

1210

24

1160–1190

1180

23

1130–1150

1140

22

1100–1120

1110

21

1060–1090

1080

20

1030–1050

1040

19

990–1020

1010

18

960–980

970

17

920–950

930

16

880–910

890

15

830–870

850

14

780–820

800

13

730–770

760

12

690–720

710

11

650–680

670

10

620–640

630

9

590–610

590



Frequently Asked Questions About What is the ACT?



World's Best Universities

Scholarship Opportunity

ETH ZURICH – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

0 likes Quality Score: 93

Switzerland

City: Zürih
ESL Offered: NO
Undergraduate Program: 23
Undergradute Fee: 730 CHF

Master Program: 49
Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 1

POPULAR
Scholarship Opportunity

University of Toronto

0 likes Quality Score: 89

Canada

City: Toronto
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 141
Undergradute Fee: 61.350 CAD

Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 1

POPULAR
Scholarship Opportunity

University of Cambridge

0 likes Quality Score: 99

United Kingdom

City: Cambridge
ESL Offered: NO
Undergraduate Program: 32
Undergradute Fee: 24.507 GBP

Master Program: 120
Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 1

Popular Universities

POPULAR
Scholarship Opportunity

Case Western Reserve University

0 likes

United States

City: Cleveland, OH
ESL Offered: NO
Lisans Programı: 73
Undergradute Fee: 86.103 USD

Master Program: 54
Status: PRIVATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 42

POPULAR

University of Wollongong

0 likes

Australia

City: Wollongong
ESL Offered: YES
Lisans Programı: 116
Undergradute Fee: 14.400 AUD

Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 10

POPULAR
Free Application Scholarship Opportunity

University of Otago

0 likes

New Zeland

City: Dunedin, Otago
ESL Offered: NO
Lisans Programı: 93
Undergradute Fee: 34.251 NZD

Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 2

Find Your Faculty!

Explore the comprehensive university faculties designed to foster a range of academic disciplines for undergraduate studies. Our portfolio boasts an extensive selection, from numerous faculties to an array of specialized sub-programs, ensuring we meet the varied needs of our discerning clientele. With our user-friendly interface, you can effortlessly peruse through the options to identify the faculty that aligns perfectly with your academic objectives. Delve into our listings and discover the academic journey that awaits you.

Choose the country in which you hope to study.
Explore the universities and the programs they offer.

AS SEEN ON
Trust ReefTrust Reef
Get Info Call