All About ACT: Test Information, Eligibility, Fees, Test Pattern & Key Highlights

Gearing up for admission into a university or college?

Fret not because ACT (American College Testing) is the most popular college entrance test which is accepted and highly valued by all colleges and universities in the United States.

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Why take ACT?

  1. It is a standardized test that is taken by students who want to take undergraduate admission in US and Canada.
  2. It is a computer-based test that evaluates a student’s written, verbal, scientific and mathematical skills.
  3.  Through this test, a personalized information about the student’s strengths for career planning and education are known.  
  4. The ACT is administered by the ACT, Incorporated.

Test information will give the students a good deal of know-how of all the nitty-gritty details. And its important to research well before attempting any test.

  1. International students need to register for ACT only through online means. Students planning to take the test at the Indian test centre need to create an ACT Web account.
  2. The registration fee for the ACT is $54.50 ( Roughly around INR 3515). The international fees charged for Indian students is $37 ( INR 2390 )
  3. All the sections of the ACT  i.e., Reading, English, Science and Math are scored on the basis of 1 to 36 point scale. The composite score is taken on the average of all four tests. The average ACT scores according to sections are English- 20.3, Math- 20.9, Reading- 21.3, Science- 20.8 and Composite- 21.0.
  4. The validity of the ACT is for five years.
  5. The test scores are released within eight weeks and can be viewed online. If the student’s take ACT with writing, the scores will be posted online after the general scores are out.
  6.  Students are advised to take the ACT test at least two months in advance of the application deadline. This is because the score for the ACT is normally reported 2-8 weeks after the test date.

Honed the exam information? now let’s look up into the crux of the test pattern

The test pattern is a crucial aspect while preparing for any exam because knowing the test pattern will give the student an insight over the exam, which in turn will help the students prepare according to the pattern.

The time limit of the exam is of 3 hours and 35 minutes which is excluding breaks. There are 4 sections and one optional section. There are 215 questions to be answered.

  1. The ACT exam is divided into four sections i.e., English, Math, Reading, Science. There is an optional section called the writing section which has a 30-40 minute writing prompt which will define an issue and has two points of view on that issue. Writing section is not scored.
  2. The duration of English is 45 minutes and consists of 75 questions divided into two subsections. The first subsection is about usage/mechanics which consists of punctuation, grammar and usage, sentence structure. The second subsection is about rhetorical skills which consist of strategy, organization and style.
  3. The duration of math is 60 minutes and consists of 60 multiple choice questions. The questions are asked on pre-algebra, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, coordinate geometry, plane geometry and trigonometry.
  4. The duration of reading is 35 minutes and consists of 40 questions. The questions are based on four passages where each passage is from different sections like social studies, fiction, humanities and natural science.
  5. The duration of science is 35 minutes divided and consists of 40 questions. The questions are based on data representation like tables and graphs, conflicting viewpoints and research summaries.
  6. The optional writing test consists of 40 minutes and the question is asked on one writing prompt.

Here is the eligibility criteria to attempt ACT test.

Every exam has an eligibility criterion which needs to adhere mandatorily. Information regarding eligibility will make sure that students are aware of their eligibility.

  1. The ACT is primarily for high school students and has no particular eligibility criteria. Anyone can appear for the test irrespective of age and grade levels.
  2. In addition to high school students, it can also be taken by students who are in grades 6,7,8 and 9.
  3. Individual institutions might set up the ACT eligibility requirement.
  4. Since ACT score is accepted for college admission in the US, the test is typically taken by high school graduates above the age of 13.
  1. Unlike SAT, ACT is a curriculum-based test which evaluates what students had learnt in school.
  2. The test is conducted 6 times a year in the US territories, US, Puerto Rico and Canada. In the rest of the countries, it is held on 5 test dates.
  3. ACT 2018 does not have any negative marking.
  4. Students can download and print the admit card from the website and must produce the admit card while appearing for the exam.
  5. The students can either prepare through self-study or coaching classes and also go through the test sample-papers.

 Wishing you lots of luck!

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