The ACT (originally known as American College Testing) is a standardized college admissions test written by grade 12 students in high schools across America.

This allows the grade 12 students to apply to all four – year colleges and universities across America. This admissions test assists admission committees in colleges to decide which students will be accepted into the various programs at any specified college. The ACT test is an achievement test that asks questions based on what students have learned from school. This contrasts the ACT Test which is an aptitude test that asks questions based on students’ reasoning and learning abilities as opposed to what they have learned throughout their academic careers.

Structure of the ACT Test

The ACT Test is made up of 3 main sections as follows:

English

This portion of the test has questions on grammar and other sentence composition concepts.

Mathematics

This portion of the test covers a variety of mathematical concepts learned up to the end of grade 11 math including: trigonometry, equations of a line, sinusoidal functions, matrices etc.

Reading

This portion of the test provides students with multiple passages and a few questions based on each of them, thereby testing reading comprehension skills.

Science

This portion of the test requires students to analyze scientific observations and studies and answers questions based on them. Some sections also require students to understand and analyze the comparison between two scientific views.

Format of the ACT Test

1. English

  • ➪ 75 Questions
  • ➪ 45 Minutes

2. Mathematics

  • ➪ 60 Questions
  • ➪ 60 Minutes

3. Reading Comprehension

  • ➪ 4 Passages
  • ➪ 40 Questions
  • ➪ 35 minutes

4. Science

  • ➪ 40 Questions
  • ➪ 35 Minutes

5. Required Writing Test

  • ➪ 30 Minutes

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Your ACT Test Score

The ACT exam score that is sent to colleges is known as the “composite score” because the score is an average of all four sections of the ACT. This gives each student a score out of 36 which is then sent to prospective colleges in evaluating student candidacy.

What is a Good ACT Score

The average ACT score is 21 out of 36 and generally a “good” ACT score to strive for is around 25 or 26. This demonstrate to most colleges that you have truly understood the curriculum covered in high school. However, if students would like to have a good chance at an Ivy League school such as Harvard, or Yale they must aim for an even higher score. For example, a composite score of 31 is competitive for entry into Harvard.