What is the act?

The ACT is a standardized college entrance exam used by colleges and universities to assist in their admissions process. The ACT is divided into four different multiple choice tests and offer an optional ACT Writing Test. The four sections: English, mathematics, reading, and science will cover a broad range of topics and each section has varying level of questions and time allocation. Your ACT Composite score is made up of these four sections, meanwhile the ACT Writing Test has its own score.


The fees for the 2020-2021 ACT Exam cycle are as follows:

what to expect

The sections in the ACT are:

  1. English
  2. Mathematics
  3. Reading
  4. Science
  5. Writing*

*Writing Test is optional but many schools require applicants to take


Time: 45 minutes
# of Questions: 75

While these many questions may seem impossible to complete in the time given, the questions are not lengthy by any means. This test is designed to measure students’ understanding of English, production of writing, and knowledge of language skills. For example, you can expect questions regarding grammar or the best writing skill for the short passage. There are some questions that will have underlined portions for you to reference and other questions asking you to insert a sentence within a passage where it makes the most sense.


Time: 60 minutes
# of Questions: 60

The Mathematics Test is designed to test math skills students have been taught in classes up to the start of 12th grade. Calculators are permitted throughout the exam, but these questions can be answered without the use of one. However, we still recommend students bring their calculators because of the time constraint. The type of questions you can expect from this test range from solving word problems, looking at coordinate planes, to solving linear equations. Using a calculator can save time on the right questions. Since this exam is multiple choice, you do not need to write or show your work.


Time: 35 minutes
# of Questions: 40

The Reading Test is different from the English test in terms of the questions and style of the passages. This test is designed to measure reading comprehension skills, which can serve as indicators on how students might perform in first year of college curricula. The Reading test contains 4 passages, with each having 10 questions to answer.

The four subjects are in the following order:
Prose Fiction, Social Studies, Humanities (History/Art), and Natural Sciences.


Time: 35 minutes
# of Questions: 40

The Science Test is designed to test students’ skills such as interpretations, analysis, evaluation, reasoning and problem-solving which are required in the fields of biology, chemistry, Earth/space sciences and physics.


Time: 40 minutes
# of Questions: 1

Unlike other sections of the ACT, the Writing Test is optional but many colleges require students to take the ACT with writing. The test consists of one writing prompt that will describe a complex issue and present three different perspectives on that issue.  You are asked to read the prompt and write an essay in which you develop your own perspective on the issue. Your essay should analyze the relationship between your perspective and one or more other perspectives. You may adopt a perspective from the prompt, partially or fully, or you may generate your own. Your score will not be affected by the point of view you take on the issue.


Students will receive a total of five scores for this test: a single subject-level writing score reported on a range of 2-12, and four domain scores, also 2-12, that are based on an analytic scoring rubric. The subject-level score will be the rounded average of the four domain scores. The four domain scores are: Ideas and Analysis, Development and Support, Organization, and Language Use and Conventions. An image of your essay will be available to your high school and the colleges to which you have ACT report your scores from that test date.