The ACT is designed to assesses how well prepared students are for further education and their skills that are most important for success in post-secondary education. It consists of four multiple choice tests – English, Mathematics, Reading and Science- and an optional writing test.

English

The English exam consists of five passages to test usage and mechanics and rhetoric skills. Usage and mechanics section tests the student’s ability to correctly use punctuation and modifiers. Rhetoric skills assess the capability of students to identify style, strategy, transitions and organization.

Science

This section consists of seven passages each followed by five to seven questions. The passages have three different formats: Data Representation, Research Summary and Conflicting Viewpoints.

Mathematics

Mathematics covers 14 pre-algebra, 10 elementary algebra, 9 intermediate algebra, 14 plane geometry. 9 coordinate geometry and 4 elementary trigonometry questions.

Reading

The Reading section consists of four 10 question pages, ranging from prose fiction, social science, humanities and natural sciences.

Writing (Optional)

This section is optional, however, many universities either require or recommend completing the Writing section and use the score as part of their evaluation.

It involves students writing about broad social issues and students may analyze three different perspectives given, and show how their opinion relates to these perspectives.

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Section breakdown

The test involves four multiple choice tests – English, Mathematics, Reading and Science- and an optional writing test. These tests are designed to measure skills that are deemed most important for success in post-secondary education and those that are acquired in secondary education.

Each section is important as the Composite ACT score is determined using the average score of the above-mentioned four sections.

The table below summarizes the overall structure of the ACT:

SectionsQuestionsTime (Minutes)Score
English75451-36
Mathematics60601-36
Reading40351-36
Science40351-36
Writing (Optional)1402-12