The ACT test is used for apply to college or for scholarships. It’s not an IQ test, but it measures knowledge and skills learned in high school. It is recognized by all colleges and universities in the US. Anyone can take the ACT, from grade school students to high school graduates.
While nothing beats focused study in high school to ace the ACT, all students can take further steps to increase their chances of getting a better score by taking practice tests and online courses designed for ACT.
The ACT test contains four sections: english, math, science, and reading. These four sections in the test are intended to give test-takers the chance to showcase a full range of their knowledge and skills.
The ACT also includes an optional essay. The ACT takes three and a half hours with the essay section or three hours without the essay section. It has a total of 215 questions. Many test-takers feel the alloted time isn’t enough, but this really depends on the level of your knowledge and skills, plus your familiarity with the test structure and rules. Again, this is where practice tests can help you.
|Test||Number Of Questions||Time||Description|
|English||75||45 minutes||Multiple-choice questions for grammar and usage.|
|Math||60||60 minutes||Multiple-choice questions – Math|
|Reading||40||35 minutes||Multiple-choice questions – reading comprehension|
|Science||40||35 minutes||Multiple choice questions – data interpretation|
|Writing||1 essay||40 minutes||Optional. One 1-4 page essay|
|TOTAL||215||2 hours 55 minutes|
|With essay||215 + essay||3 hours 35 minutes|
The ACT English has 75 questions that you need to finish within 45 minutes. This test has five essays or passages that test your standard English skills, including punctuation, usage, and sentence structure, production of writing and knowledge of language.
- Production of Writing (29–32%)
- Knowledge of Language (13%-19%)
- Conventions of Standard English (51%-56%)
Related Topic: ACT Test Introduction, Registration, Dates & Score
The ACT Math has 60 multiple-choice questions that you need to answer within 60 minutes. It tests math skills that were taught from grade 12. You will be asked to solve math problems that may require knowledge of basic computation and formulas. Test-takers are allowed to use a calculator, as long as it follows the ACT Calculator Policy.
- Preparation for Higher Math (57%-60%) – This includes number & quantity, algebra, functions, and geometry, and statistics & probability
- Integrating Essential Skills (40%-43%)
- Modeling (More than 25%)
The ACT Reading Test has 40 multiple-choice questions on reading comprehension that you need to complete within 35 minutes. It has four sections, with three long passages and another section with two shorter passages. Each passage has a heading with the author’s name, type of passage, and also an introduction that will help you better understand the passage.
Vocabulary words that are not included in the passages and logic rules are not included in the test. Instead, you will be asked to analyze the author’s points of view, compare details, understand the logical sequence of events, understand cause-and-effect relationships, and point out main ideas.
- Key Ideas and Details (55%-60%)
- Craft and Structure (25%-30%)
- Integration of Knowledge and Ideas (13%-18%)
Related Topic: ACT Registration And Requirements
The ACT Science test has 40 multiple-choice questions that you need to answer in 35 minutes. The test checks your ability to interpret, analyze, evaluate, and solve problems related to natural science. You will be presented with scientific information in forms of data representations, summaries of research, or conflicting views.
The test includes high-school level science topics such as earth science, physics, biology, and chemistry. It consists of six or seven passages with five to seven questions each with accompanying graphs, figures or tables.
- Interpretation of data (45%-55%)
- Scientific investigation (20%-30%)
- Evaluation of Models, Inferences, and Experimental Results (25%-35%)
Pick the ACT Practice Tests You Want to Take
ACT 2017-2018 Official Practice Test
ACT Official Practice Test 2015-16
2014-2015 ACT Official Practice Test
Official ACT Practice Test 2011-12
ACT Practice Test 2008-09
ACT Practice Test Official 2005-06
ACT Test Scoring
The ACT test of a student is scored out of 36 points. Each test section is also scored out of 36 points, and the composite or the average of these ACT scores will be the overall score. The average scores are taken to show how you performed on the test compared to other ACT test-takers.
The test doesn’t take points off for incorrect answers, so students should always guess even if they are not sure. The essay is also scored out of 36 points. But, because this section is optional, it is not included in the composite ACT score. The essay score of a student is based on organization, language, ideas, and analysis, as well as development and support.
Related Topic: How The ACT is Scored in 2018
ACT Test Dates
The ACT test dates are generally on Saturdays, but students may be able to take the test on a different date if they have a religious exemption or are taking the test’s special school administration. Many students schedule their ACT test date in the fall of their junior year. After receiving their initial test scores, as well as reflecting on the experience, students will take the test the next few months to improve areas of weakness.
Related Topic: 2018-2019 ACT Test Dates for US and International Students
Upcoming ACT test dates:
- December 9, 2017
- February 10, 2018
- April 14, 2018
- June 9, 2018
- July 14, 2018
Importance of ACT Practice Test
To increase your chances of scoring higher, it is recommended that you review for the ACT test and take practice tests. Practice tests are designed to help you become familiar with the test structure, review topics that might appear on the test, and practice answering topics within a time limit. It gives you the chance to assess your own skills even before the test, so you’ll know which weak areas to focus on once you start reviewing.
It is highly recommended that students should have full-length ACT practice tests because:
- Full-length practice tests provide a baseline score that can help students make a customized, efficient study plan.
The scores from the ACT practice tests help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. The practice test scores also reveal the areas that need improvement as well as the areas in which the student already has a strong foundation. This way, the student can create a more effective plan by focusing on areas of improvement that will increase his score, rather than paying particular attention to areas the student already knows.
- Full-length ACT practice tests deal with more than strategy and content.
While students may have a vigorous understanding of the test content and successfully apply their knowledge to preparatory questions during tutoring sessions, ACT practice tests give students an opportunity to use their test-taking skills under the actual conditions of the ACT test. ACT practice test imitates the real conditions present in an official ACT test so students can boost their test-taking skills.
- Practice tests measure progress.
ACT practice test builds focus and confidence of students for the official test. Practice test also gives test-takers a chance to test what they have already learned. Some students will take a practice test before they start a prep program to acquire a baseline score so they’ll know their starting point. Then, they will take the practice test during the middle of the program, and a practice test at the end of the program as a final practice for the official test.