The ACT is a standardized assessment that helps colleges assess the qualifications of applicants for advanced study in college. Schools use the test as one predictor of academic performance in a college program.
The ACT measures critical reasoning skills by testing math and verbal concepts that students have developed over time. It does not measure specific content from high school. The ACT comprises four main sections: English, Reading, Mathematics, and Science. There is also an optional Writing section.
- English – 75 multiple-choice questions based on 5 passages tested in 45 minutes; This section tests knowledge of standard written English including grammar, sentence structure, and organization of writing.
- Mathematics – 60 multiple-choice questions in 60 minutes; This section emphasizes math content prerequisite to most college courses, focusing on algebra, geometry, coordinate geometry, and basic trigonometry.
- Science – 40 multiple-choice questions in 35 minutes; This section tests interpretation of scientific information and data presented in graphs, tables, experimental descriptions, or collections of differing hypotheses. This section does not require background scientific knowledge in the sciences. Rather, it tests your reasoning and analysis skills when presented with information in various formats.
- Reading – 40 passage-based, multiple-choice questions tested in 35 minutes; This section measures reading comprehension.
- Writing – One 40-minute essay; This section is optional, and must be registered for ahead of time. The prompt presents an issue and three different perspectives on that issue. Students are asked to evaluate the presented perspectives and to formulate their own.