About ACT Exam
English Test Description
The English test is a
75-question, 45-minute test, covering:
- grammar and usage
- sentence structure
Spelling, vocabulary, and
rote recall of rules of grammar aren't tested. See sample questions or read tips
The test consists of five
prose passages, each one followed by multiple-choice test questions. Different
passage types are included to provide variety.
Some questions refer to
underlined portions of the passage and offer several alternatives to the
portion underlined. You must decide which choice is most appropriate in the
context of the passage.
Some questions ask about an
underlined portion, a section of the passage, or the passage as a whole. You
must decide which choice best answers the question posed.
Many questions include "NO
CHANGE" to the passage as one of the choices.
The questions are numbered
consecutively. Each question number corresponds to an underlined portion in the
passage or to a box located in the passage.
Mathematics Test Description
The ACT Mathematics Test is a
60-question, 60-minute test designed to measure the mathematical skills
students have typically acquired in courses taken by the end of 11th grade.
The test presents
multiple-choice questions that require you to use reasoning skills to solve
practical problems in mathematics.
You need knowledge of basic
formulas and computational skills to answer the problems, but you aren't
required to know complex formulas and perform extensive computation.
You may use a calculator on
the Mathematics Test. See ACT's calculator policy for details about permitted
and prohibited calculators. If you use a prohibited calculator, you will be
dismissed and your answer document will not be scored. You are not required to
use a calculator. All of the problems can be solved without a calculator.
Reading Test Description
The Reading Test is a
40-question, 35-minute test that measures your reading comprehension. You're
asked to read four passages and answer questions that show your understanding
- what is
- statements with
Specifically, questions will
ask you to use referring and reasoning skills to:
- determine main
- locate and
interpret significant details
sequences of events
- determine the
meaning of context-dependent words, phrases, and statements
- analyze the
author's or narrator's voice and method
The test comprises four prose
passages that are representative of the level and kinds of reading required in
first-year college courses; passages on topics in social studies, natural
sciences, fiction, and the humanities are included.
Each passage is accompanied
by a set of multiple-choice test questions. These questions do not test the
rote recall of facts from outside the passage, isolated vocabulary items, or
rules of formal logic. Instead, the test focuses on the complementary and
supportive skills that readers must use in studying written materials across a
range of subject areas.
Science Test Description
The Science Test is a
40-question, 35-minute test that measures the skills required in the natural
sciences: interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem solving.
not be used on the Science Test.
The test assumes that
students are in the process of taking the core science course of study (three
years or more) that will prepare them for college-level work and have completed
a course in Earth science and/or physical science and a course in biology.
The test presents seven sets
of scientific information, each followed by a number of multiple-choice test
questions. The scientific information is presented in one of three different
representation (graphs, tables, and other schematic forms)
summaries (descriptions of one or more related experiments)
viewpoints (expressions of several related hypotheses or views that are
inconsistent with one another)
The questions require you to:
- recognize and
understand the basic features of, and concepts related to, the provided
critically the relationship between the information provided and the
conclusions drawn or hypotheses developed
- generalize from
given information and draw conclusions, gain new information, or make
The Writing Test is a 30-minute essay test
that measures your writing skills-specifically those writing skills emphasized
in high school English classes and in entry-level college composition courses.
The test consists of one writing prompt that will define an
issue and describe two points of view on that issue. You are asked to respond
to a question about your position on the issue described in the writing prompt.
In doing so, you may adopt one or the other of the perspectives described in
the prompt, or you may present a different point of view on the issue. Your
score will not be affected by the point of view you take on the issue.