About the ACT

What Is The ACT?

The ACT (American College Testing) – a competitor to the SAT test – is a standardized test that measures skills needed to be admitted to United States colleges and universities.

The ACT is designed to be an indicator of a test-takers readiness for higher education. As such, it employs multiple choice questions that focus on general educational development and the ability to analyze and solve problems at college-level difficulty.

How Is The ACT Structured?

The ACT consists of four sections:

  • English – Measures standard written English, language mechanics/usage, and rhetorical skills
  • Mathematics – Measures math skills such as algebra, geometry, and trigonometry
  • Reading – Measures reading comprehension
  • Science – Measures science analysis, reasoning, and problem-solving capabilities

In addition, there is an optional essay writing portion at the end of the test.

How Is The ACT Scored?

Separate scores are given for each of the test’s four mandatory sections (English, Mathematics, Reading, Science), which form the basis of a total composite score of up to 36 points.

The composite scores are calculated for each test section based on raw scores (i.e. the number of correct answers on each ACT test). These scores are, in a second step, converted to scale scores.

In addition, there are seven subscores that range from 1 to a maximum of 18. However, subscores are not used to compute the overall test score.

Generally, admission to the most selective colleges and universities requires scores between 27-31.

Where And When Can I Take The ACT?

The exam can be taken several times per year, depending on the geographic location. Test centers are located in the U.S. & Canada and worldwide.

Appointments can be scheduled online.

What Study Guides Can Help Me Prepare?

We have compiled a selection of the best ACT books. Moreover, if you are interested in additional resources, you can browse all available ACT books.

Best ACT Books – Read Reviews             Browse All ACT Books