ACT also known as American College Test, assesses and analyzes a student’s educational development and ability to study and participate in college. The ACT Test itself is a multiple choice test that tests the students in four major skill areas, English, Math, Reading and Science. ACT scores are generally used as an indicator for college aptness along with the students GPA, class rank and extra curricular activities. The ACT Test was initially introduced in 1959 as a competitor to SAT‘s (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and is recognized by all four year colleges and universities in the United States today.
As mentioned before, the ACT test is a four subject multiple choice test of English, Mathematics, Science, and Reading. In addition to the four, you have a fifth component of ACT which is essay writing. The essay writing portion was introduced in 2005. Not all schools take into consideration the essay portion of ACT for admission.
The duration of the ACT test is 3 hrs 30 minutes. This is inclusive of two 15 min breaks. Those that take up the ACT plus writing test are looking at close to 4 hrs to complete the entire test. Time during the test is divided as follows, English for 45 minutes, Math for 60 minutes, Science for 45 minutes, Reading for 30 minutes and finally Essay Writing for 30 minutes.
ACT English Test
ACT English Test consists of 75 questions to be completed in 45 minutes. The questions on the ACT English test covers punctuation, grammar and usage and sentence structure.
ACT Reading Test
ACT Reading Test consists of 40 questions to be completed in 35 minutes. The ACT Reading Test consists of four reading comprehension passages with 10 questions per passage.
ACT Science Test
ACT Science Test consists of 40 questions to be completed in 35 minutes. The ACT Science test consists of questions on natural science that measure the students interpretation, analysis, evaluation and problem solving skills.
ACT Math Test
ACT Math Test consists 60 questions to be completed in 60 minutes. The ACT Math test is made up of Pre Algebra – 23%, Elementary Algebra – 17%, Intermediate Algebra – 15%, Coordinate Geometry – 15%, Plane Geometry – 23% and Trignometry – 7%.
ACT Writing Test
ACT Writing Test is a 30 minute test that aims to measure the students writing skills
ACT Registration Process
The ACT Test is offered 4 – 6 times in a year in September, October, December, February, April and June. The Test is generally conducted on a Saturday. Potential candidates may choose to take the ACT Assessment which has a fee of around $33.00 or the ACT Assessment plus writing which has a fee of around $48.00. You can either register online or register by mail. Registering online is the most accelerated way. You can give your test center preferences and your admission ticket can be printed.
ACT Test Eligibility
A student can take the test twice, once as a junior and once as a senior. Any high schooler irrespective of being a junior or a senior is eligible.
ACT Test Preparation
There are numerous websites including this one that gives you access to free ACT Test practice papers online. You have a rich diaspora of mock tests and mock questions that you can solve which will help you gain the necessary skills and confidence to take the ACT test with confidence. There are many book stores and libraries where you can buy or rent out books on ACT Test preparation which will help you ace the tests. There are several books and tutorials available on the internet too.
ACT Scores range from 1 being the lowest to 36 being the highest. Each individual test is graded in the same scale (1-36) and your overall score is the average of your four individual test scores. Fractions are rounded up or down. The national average scores for ACT is around 20 so any score above that is good.
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