American College Testing is abbreviated as ACT. It is a standardized test used for college admissions in the United States. It was first introduced in November 1959 as a competitor to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). It is currently administered by ACT, a non-profit organization of the same name. For the last 5 years, both ACT and SAT are accepted by almost all major universities for undergraduate admissions in the US.

The purpose of the ACT is to measure a high school student’s preparedness for university and provide universities with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. Along with test scores, college admission officers review applicant’s high school GPA, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays.

ACT assigns higher importance to curriculum-based learning inside the school. It tests you on areas related to English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science, and Writing is optional. Duration of ACT is 2 hrs, 55 minutes, and an additional 40 minutes if taking the ACT with writing.

ACT comprises four sections – English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science; and every section receives a score from 1-36. The composite score (or final score) is the average of the 4 scores from different sections and ranges from 1-36 too. The ACT exam is now computer-based.

SectionNo of QuestionDurationContentQuestion Type
English7545 minsgrammar & usage, punctuation, sentence structure, strategy, organization, and stylefour-choice, multiple-choice usage/mechanics and rhetorical skills questions
Math6060 minspre-algebra, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, coordinate geometry, plane geometry, and trigonometryfive-choice, multiple-choice questions
Reading4035 minsreading comprehension of what is directly stated or impliedfour-choice, multiple-choice referring and reasoning questions
Science4035 minsinterpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem solvingfour-choice, multiple-choice data representation, research summaries, and conflicting viewpoints questions
Writing140 minswriting skillsessay prompt
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