What is ACT?
What is ACT Test?
ACT is an achievement test conducted by American College Testing, a nonprofit organization checks the eligibility of the undergraduates willing to take admissions in the four-year universities in the U.S and also more than 200 universities outside the U.S. This well designed standardized test is one of the useful assessment tools to measure the college and career readiness of the applicants. The performance of the individuals in the ACT test depends on the Knowledge and skills acquired during the formal high school education. Moreover, this achievement test is also considered as an essential tool to predict your performance in the subjects during the first year of college.
ACT test is traditionally a paper and pencil based test. However, It is a linear test that is available only in the computer-based format for the students outside the US (international students).
The test format makes little difference in your test experience.
The Test is conducted in September, October, December, February, April, June, and July.
The test taker will not be able to take the test more than 12 times in total. This Test is conducted around 24 times a year.
ACT Exam Structure
ACT test comprises of 4 sections(tests)and 1 optional writing section(test). The total testing time to answer the four tests is 2 hours 55 minutes. If the test taker takes the writing test, then the individual needs to spend an additional 40 minutes.
The tests included in the ACT test are English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, Writing (optional). The test taker will be allocated 15 minutes break after the second Test. In addition, if the student opts for the writing test also, he/she will be allowed to take another 5 minutes break after the science test. There is no penalty for an incorrect answer.
English test comprises of 75 questions and must be completed in 45 minutes while Mathematics test consists of 60 questions, which must be solved in 60 minutes. After a break of 15 minutes, the test taker will be continuing the ACT test with a Reading test, which includes 40 questions that must be answered in 35 minutes. The fourth Test is the Science test that also includes 40 questions, which must be answered in 35 minutes time.
The test-takers taking the optional “writing test” of ACT will be given a 5 minutes break before starting the writing test. This part of the ACT consists of one prompt, and the test taker needs to type his/her response within 40 minutes. A scratch paper will be provided to the examinee to plan the response.
This test consists of 5 passages. Approximately 15 questions follow each passage. Each question on the English Test is followed by 4 answer choices: One question with choices A, B, C, and D while the next with choices F, G, H, and J.
The questions on the English Test require the test taker to make revisions for the underlined part of the passage or refer to the passage as a whole to pick the best possible answer choice. These questions fall under 3 categories: Production of Writing, Knowledge of Language, and Conventions of Standard English.
Production Of Writing
The questions under this category contribute to 29% – 32 % of the questions in the English Test. This category deals with the questions related to Topic development, Organization, Unity, and Cohesion.
Knowledge Of Language
The questions under this category contribute to 13% – 19% of the questions in the English Test. This category deals with the questions related to Word choice, Style, and Tone.
Conventions Of Standard English
The questions under this category contribute to 51% – 56% of the questions in the English Test. This category deals with the questions related to Sentence Structure, Punctuations, Grammar, and Usage.
The Math test on ACT consists of 60 Multiple choice questions which fall under 8 Reporting Categories: Higher Math; Number and Quantity; Algebra; Functions; Geometry; Statistics and Probability; Integrating Essential Skills; and Modeling.. Each question on the English Test is followed by 4 answer choices: One question with choices A, B, C, D, and E while the next with choices F, G, H, J, and K.
The test taker is permitted to use any four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator. Kindly check the most recent calculator policy.
Reading Test on ACT consists of 4 Sections: Three of these sections consist of one Long passage each, and one section has two short passages. Each section usually consists of 10 multiple-choice questions. Each question on the ACT Reading test is followed by four answer choices: One question with choices A, B, C, and D while the next with F, G, H, and J.
The passages in the Reading Test are from topics related to Social studies, Natural sciences, literary narrative, and Humanities.
The Questions on the English Test requires the test taker to understand the main idea, purpose, and Central claim of the given passage; Analyze the Text Structure, and Questions on Reading Test are reported under3 categories: Key ideas and details, craft and structure; and integration of knowledge and ideas.
Key Ideas And Details
The questions under this category contribute to 55% – 60% of the questions in the Reading test. The questions that require the examinee to focus on summaries &Main ideas, and to draw conclusions are included in this category. In addition, a few questions will also test the ability to build a relationship between the ideas in the given text.
Craft and structure
The questions under this category contribute to 25% – 30% of the questions in the Reading test. The questions that test the ability of the test taker to comprehend the meaning of certain words in the context, and also that require the test taker to analyze the impact of the choice of words used by the author are included in this category. Moreover, questions dealing with the purpose and point of view are also included in this category.
Integration of Knowledge and ideas
The questions under this category contribute to 13% – 18% of the questions in the Reading test. The test taker may require analyzing more than one passage. This category includes questions that test the ability of the examinee to compare multiple texts to answer the questions. Also, this category deals with the questions related to argumentative passages.
Science test is made up of several science-based passages: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth/Space sciences. Some knowledge about scientific terms and concepts is essential for a student to answer some of these questions. Each question on the ACT Science test is followed by four answer choices: One question with choices A, B, C, and D while the next with choices F, G, H, and J.
The passages in the science test can be categorized under any one of the formats: The Data Representation, The Research Summaries, and The Conflicting viewpoints.
The skills tested in the Science Test of ACT falls into 3 Reporting Categories: Interpretation of Data; Scientific investigation; and Evaluation of Models, inferences, and experimental results.
Interpretation Of Data
The questions under this category contribute to 45% – 55 % of the questions in the Science test. The questions included in this category require the examinee to analyze the given data and find out the mathematical relationship between the data.
The questions under this category contribute to 20% – 30 % of the questions in the Science test. The questions related to understanding scientific experiments, evaluating experimental results, and predicting the effects of modified experimental designs are included in this category.
Evaluation Of Models, Inferences & Experimental Results
The questions under this category contribute to 25% – 35 % of the questions in the Science test. A few questions which test your ability to evaluate and test the validity of experimental results are included in this category.
Writing Test (Optional)
The test taker is given a prompt with three different perspectives. The examinee needs to develop his/her perspective on the given issue. The perspective developed by the test taker can be in complete agreement, partial agreement, or disagreement with the other given perspectives.
The examinee is expected to maintain the Standard English grammar usage in the essay and is also expected to develop a response that details illustrations, elaborate examples, and demonstrate strong cohesion among various ideas discussed in the essay.
There is no paragraph limit or word limit.
Scoring The Four Multiple-Choice Tests On ACT
- Basing on the number of correct answers, a Subject test Score (1-36) will be given to each Test (English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Tests).
- The average of these 4 test scores will contribute to the “Composite score” (1 – 36).
- Students typically receive scores on multiple-choice tests in 2 business days after the Test.
Scoring The Writing Test (Optional)
- Two trained readers will separately score the essay on a scale of 1 to 6 in each of the four domains: Ideas and analysis, Development and Support, Organization, and Language Use.
- The sum of the two readers’ scores is reported on a scale of 2 to 12. (Domain score) for each of the above-discussed domain.
- If there is a difference in the scores given by the readers, a third reader will evaluate the essay and will score the essay.
- Scores on the Writing test will be reported about 2 to 3 weeks after the multiple-choice scores.
ELA And STEM Scores
The ACT Score report also consists of a score that is the average of Science and Math test scores (STEM score). This score is reported on the scale of 1-36.
If the test taker takes the optional writing test, he/she will also receive another score, which is the average of English, Reading, and Writing Test scores (ELA Score). This Score is also given on the scale of (1 – 36).
Detailed Score Report
The detailed score report gives a precise analysis of the proficiency of the test taker in every category questions related to all the core academic areas of English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. The microanalysis helps the test taker to identify the inherent weaknesses and provides an opportunity for improvement.
English Test receives four scores: Three scores will help to understand the efficiency of the test taker in Production of English, Knowledge of Language, and Conventions of Standard English and one Subject Test score on the scale of (1 -36).
The detailed score report also includes a readiness benchmark to check the college readiness of the test taker. In the English test, the readiness benchmark score to be reached by the test taker to perform well in the first year of the college is 18.
Mathematics test will receive 9 Scores: One Subject score on the scale of (1 – 36) and 8 reporting category scores in the following areas: Higher Math; Number and Quantity; Algebra; Functions; Geometry; Statistics and Probability; Integrating Essential Skills; and Modeling.
The readiness Benchmark score for Mathematics test is 22.
Reading Test also receives four scores: Three of these scores analyze the performance of the examinee inKey ideas and details, craft and structure, and integration of knowledge and ideas. Along with this, a Subject Test score on the scale of (1 – 36) will also be reported.
The detailed score report also includes a readiness benchmark to check the college readiness of the test taker. In the Reading test, the readiness benchmark score expected to be reached by the test taker to perform well in the first year of the college is 22.
Science Test reports four scores in the detailed score report: While one score gives the Subject score, the other three scores give an in-depth analysis of three reporting categories (Interpretation of Data; Scientific investigation; and Evaluation of Models, inferences, and experimental results).
The detailed score report also includes a readiness benchmark to check the college readiness of the test taker. In the Reading test, the readiness benchmark score expected to be reached by the test taker to perform well in the first year of the college is 23.
ACT does not initiate a complete refund for test cancellation. So, well, plan your test day to avoid any extra unnecessary hustle. However, Refund is initiated only for optional services: writing test, additional score report. Refund will be made about eight weeks after the scheduled test date
Late registration or test date change – $32
Test center change (o the same day): $30
- $50.00 multiple-choice tests
- $40.00 writing test essay
- $90.00 both the multiple-choice tests and writing test essay
How to Register?
Simple Steps to get ready for the Test. Firstly, the ACT test aspirant must create My ACT account to register for the Test, view scores, and send additional score reports. Secondly, the test taker must locate the nearby test centers. After checking the availability of the convenient test date, one can proceed with the process of payment after uploading the required documents.
*ACT test is generally conducted in two different time slots:: 8.00 a.m./1.30 p.m.
The ACT test fee without Writing Test is $ 150.00, and the fee with the writing test is $166.50
After The Test
The test taker can pick the colleges to send the score report during the time of registration. However, ACT also provides an opportunity for the test taker to select the colleges to send additional score reports even after the Test. The examinee will be eligible to send four score reports to the colleges without any additional cost. From the fifth score report, the test taker will be charged $13 for each score report.