Home / Blogs / 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.

Test Structure

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 Optional Writing Test

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.


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






Language Use, Language Mechanics and Rhetorical Skills





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

Reading skills




Reading Comprehension





Interpretation, Analysis, Evaluation, Reasoning and Problem Solving

Optional Writing Test (not included in the combined score)

1 Essay Question



Writing Skills

Combined Score



Average of all section scores except Writing Test