The ACT (American College Testing) is a standardized test used for college admissions in the United States. It is currently administered by ACT, a nonprofit organization of the same name. The ACT test covers four academic skill areas: English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning. It also offers an optional writing test. It is accepted by all colleges and universities in the United States.

SectionNumber of QuestionsTime (Minutes)Score RangeAverage Score (2018)College Readiness BenchmarkContent
English75451-3620.218Usage/mechanics and rhetorical skills
Mathematices60601-3620.522Pre-algebra, elementay algebra, intermediate algebra, coordinate geomety, geometry, elementry trigonometry, reasoning and problem-solving
Reading40351-3621.322Reading comprehension
Science40351-3620.723Interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning and problem-solving
Optional Writing Test (not included in composite score)1 essay prompt401-126.5 Wrinting skills
Composite  1-3620.8 Average (mean) of all section scores except Writing

Although the writing section is optional, many colleges require an essay score and will factor it into the admissions decision (but fewer than half of all colleges have this requirement).

Test Details

  1. The ACT is offered in other locations outside the US five times a year: in September, October, December, April, and June.The ACT is offered only on Saturdays.
  2. Candidates may choose either the ACT assessment ($50.50), or the ACT assessment plus writing ($67.00).
  3. Scores are sent to the student, his or her high school, and up to four colleges of the student’s choice (optional).

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