What to Expect on the ACT Exam

The ACT exam consists of four sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science. These sections consists of multiple choice questions. Students can also choose to take the optional Writing Test section on the ACT exam.

The ACT exam is 2 hours and 55 minutes long without the writing section and includes 215 multiple-choice questions. If students choose to take the writing section, the ACT exam is 3 hours and 35 minutes long. 

The English section of the ACT exam contains 75 questions and is timed for 45 minutes. This section measures the standard written English and rhetorical skills. The question in the English section of the ACT includes:

  • Sentence Structure and Formation
  • Punctuation
  • Usage
  • Organization, Unity, and Cohesion
  • Topic Development
  • Knowledge of Language

What’s on the ACT exam

The Math section contains 60 questions time for 60 minutes and measures the mathematical skills that students have typically acquired in courses that have been taken up to the beginning of grade 12. The questions that are included in the Math section of the ACT consist of:

  • Essential Skills
  • Number and Quantity
  • Algebra
  • Functions
  • Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability

ACT Math Practice Test

The Reading portion contains 40 questions and is timed for 35 minutes. This section measures the test taker’s reading comprehension. The type of questions the student should expect to see in the Reading section of the ACT exam include:

  • Global
  • Inference
  • Detail
  • Vocab-in-Context
  • Function
  • Writer’s View

The Science section also includes 40 questions and is timed for 35 minutes. The Science section measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills that are required in the natural sciences. The Science section includes questions about:

  • Interpretation of Data
  • Scientific Investigation
  • Evaluation of Models, Inferences, and Experimental Results

If the student chooses to take the Writing section of the exam, there is 1 prompt that is timed for 40 minutes. The Writing section measures the writing skills that are emphasized in high school English classes and in entry-level college composition courses. The student will be required to provide a written response to a question about their position on a given issue.


What To Expect on the ACT Exam

Who Accepts the ACT Score?

ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities across the U.S. Each section of the ACT exam will be scored individually on a scale of 1 to 36, with 36 being the highest score. Students will also receive a composite score (an average score) of the four sections, ranging from 1 to 36. The student should consult the college or university to find out the required passing score as all schools have different passing rates.

How Much Does the ACT Exam Cost?

For students that are not taking the Writing portion of the ACT exam (the standard ACT), the fee to register for the exam is $39.50. For those wishing to take the ACT Plus Writing exam, the cost for registration is $56.50.

When is the ACT Exam Administered?

There are six dates per year that the ACT exam is administered: February, April, June, September, October and December.

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