What is ACT?

The ACT is a standardized college entrance test that is administered by the non-profit ACT. ACT primarily measures the knowledge of a high school student for a college degree in the US. Since the last 5 years, both ACT and SAT are accepted by almost all major universities for undergraduate admissions in the US.

The ACT is a standardized test that measures a student’s skills in five core areas: English, math, reading, science, and writing (optional). Students in grades 11 and 12 take the ACT so that they can submit their scores to colleges as part of the college application process.

ACT test is conducted in two formats, namely ACT (without writing) and ACT (with writing). Any aspirant can choose to take 12 attempts for appearing in the ACT test.

Eligibility and Registration of ACT

There are no specific ACT eligibility criteria mentioned by the exam conducting authority; the ACT Test can be attempted by people of all ages and grade levels. However, students need to meet the ACT requirements set by individual intuitions/colleges/universities that they are applying to.

The most common and fastest way to enrol for ACT test is through online mode, though students in the US have the option of registering through the mail as well.

Importance of ACT

One of the most sought-after college admissions test, ACT test score is accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the US and is valid for a period of five years. ACT is typically taken by high school graduates and those above 13 years of age.

Test Pattern of ACT

The ACT test (without writing) consists of four subject area tests: Mathematics, English, Reading and Science.

Students opting for ACT with writing have to appear in the Essay test separately. Subject tests measure a student’s grasp of specific subjects.

According to the test pattern of ACT, the total duration of the test is 2 hours 55 minutes. The ACT test includes 215 multiple-choice questions, and one essay (optional). Those appearing for the optional writing (essay) test have additional 40 minutes to complete their essay.

The breakdown of each section is as follows:

Section# of Questions & Time LimitContent/Skills CoveredQuestion Types

75 questions in 45 min.

grammar & usage, punctuation, sentence structure, strategy, organization, and style

four-choice, multiple-choice usage/mechanics and rhetorical skills questions


60 questions in 60 min

pre-algebra, elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, coordinate geometry, plane geometry, and trigonometry

five-choice, multiple-choice questions


40 questions in 35 min.

reading comprehension of what is directly stated or implied

four-choice, multiple-choice referring and reasoning questions


40 questions in 35 min.

interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem solving

four-choice, multiple-choice data representation, research summaries, and conflicting viewpoints questions

Writing (optional)

1 essay in 40 min.

writing skills

essay prompt

Tips to Crack ACT

The best tips to crack ACT are:

Read the Official Guide thoroughly! It contains all the real questions and practice papers

Take timed practice tests for best results and then scoring it to find your strengths and weaknesses.

The English grammar questions typically test about 40 common errors in grammar, mechanics, and punctuation. Learn these errors and learn how to spot them.

To improve in reading, you need to practice reading long, boring passages. You need to become comfortable with dry, boring passages, and learn how to maintain focus while reading them.

If you aren’t very proficient in math, review the concepts and take more tests!