Categories: ExamStudying Abroad

ACT Test – Eligibility, Pattern, Exam Dates, Test Centres, Exam Fees

ACT Test, administered by the ACT – a non-profit organisation, is one of the most popular college admission tests that measure the knowledge of high school students to determine whether they are ready to pursue their degree in a college of the United States. The score of ACT test remains valid for a period of 5 years and is used by US colleges to take admission decisions. This test is conducted six times a year and consists of subjects like English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science.

Now that you know briefly about ACT test, let’s read the complete details of this test conducted to get admitted into the US colleges. Here in this article, we have covered all important details such as eligibility conditions, registration and test pattern. Before that, find below the highlights of ACT test that are covered in this article.

Highlights of ACT Test

S.No. Particulars Details
1. Application period 6 times a year during the months of September, October, December, February/March, April and June
2. Eligibility Anyone can apply
3. Registration detail Register online for ACT test through the official website of ACT
4. Exam Pattern Consists of 5 sections which includes Maths test, Reading test, Science test, English test and Writing test (optional) for a duration of 2 hours and 55 minutes (plus 40 minutes of writing test which is optional)
5. ACT Score Ranges between 1–36 as ACT Composite Score

* The application period is tentative and subject to change as per the discretion of the test organiser.

Now that you have gone through the highlights of ACT Test, let’s get to know them in complete detail.

Are you planning to give IELTS for study abroad? Read “IELTS Preparation” article here.

ACT Test – Application Period

The applicants appearing for ACT test outside of the US and Canada need to register for the test as per the international test dates. These dates can be found on the official website of ACT. The students are advised to pick a test date at least two months ahead of the application deadlines. The test is conducted six times annually during the months of September, October, December, February/March, April and June. The test dates for the year 2018-19 has been announced. Find the schedule of ACT test 2018-19 in the table given below.

Test Schedule of ACT Test 2018-19

S.No. Deadline to Register Test Date
1. 10 August 2018 7–8 September 2018
2. 28 September 2018 26–27 October 2018
3. 2 November 2018 7–8 December 2018
4. 1 February 2019 8–9 February 2019/ 2 March 2019
5. 22 March 2019 12–13 April 2019
6. 17 May 2019 7–8 June 2019

Note: The applicants must register for the test by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) at least one month before the LSAT test date.

ACT Test – Eligibility Conditions

The ACT not only provides ACT score but also prepares a unique interest inventory and profile of a student which consists of candidate’s interests, courses, and educational preferences. This profile shows the universities a student’s work in high school and his/her career choices. Thus, this ACT test can be undertaken by anyone who wishes to get accessed about their academic knowledge and get their student profile prepared for future references. So, the students of Grades 6 to 12 can appear for this test.

ACT Test – Registration Detail

To appear for this entrance test, the aspiring candidates first need to register themselves with ACT. The registration process is simple and easy. The candidates can register online through the official website of ACT. After registration, the students become eligible to avail various services offered by the ACT such as students can select their test option and test date, get regular updates on email id about their registration, add or remove the writing test, view their score, update student profile and order test preparation materials. Now, find below the step-wise registration process of ACT test.

Step 1: The candidates first need to visit the home page of ACT and click on ‘Sign In’ to create a MyACT account.

Step 2: To create an account on ACT, the applicants need to click on ‘Create Account’ which opens a new page where the candidates need to fill the required information and finally create an account on ACT.

Step 3: Now, the applicants need to login to ACT web account and fill in the registration details to register for ACT test.

Step 4: The candidates need to pay the registration fee to complete the registration process.

ACT Test – Exam Pattern

ACT accesses the academic knowledge of students through the ACT test and determines whether they ready for college or not. The test covers four subject areas – English, Maths, Reading and Science. A total of 215 multiple-choice questions are asked in this test which takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete including the short breaks given to the candidates after the first two tests. The test is conducted in two sessions – morning and afternoon sessions. Given below is the exam pattern of ACT test.

Exam Pattern of ACT Test

Sections Number of Questions to Attempt Allotted Time
English 75 45 minutes
Mathematics 60 60 minutes
Reading 40 35 minutes
Science 40 35 minutes
Writing (Optional) 1 40 minutes

ACT Test Pattern – English

ACT English Test consists of 5 passages based on which the candidates are asked certain questions. The topics of the passages range from historical essays to personal accounts. This test evaluates a candidate’s grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and rhetorical skills.

ACT Test Pattern – Mathematics

The appearing candidates can expect high school mathematical topics to be covered in the ACT Mathematics Test. These topics are Algebra I & II, Geometry and Trigonometry. Given below are a few points to take into account while preparing for the ACT test.

  • The students need to attempt 33 algebra questions which include 14 pre-algebra, 10 elementary algebra and 9 intermediate algebra questions based on integers, prime numbers, fractions, decimals, inequalities, linear equations, ratios, percentage, average, exponents, roots, simultaneous equations, and quadratic equations.
  • 23 questions related to geometry are asked in the maths test. These questions cover topics like angles, lengths, triangles, quadrilaterals, circles, perimeter, area, volume, slope, distance, midpoint, parallel & perpendicular lines, points of intersection and graphing.
  • The students get to attempt 4 questions related to trigonometry which covers basic sine, cosine, and tangent functions, trig identities, etc.
  • Also, the candidates are allowed to use a calculator in the test. The calculator models like TI-89 are not allowed to be used.

ACT Test Pattern – Reading

ACT Reading Test consists of 4 reading passages of almost 800 words each. These passages include subjects like prose fiction, social science, humanities and natural science with 10 questions under each passage.

ACT Test Pattern – Science

The students need to attempt 40 questions under ACT Science Test which includes 7 science passages based on topics such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics and the Earth/Space sciences.

ACT Test Pattern – Writing (Optional)

The candidates are advised to take ACT Writing Test because some colleges ask for the writing test. The students are given a prompt topic to write on. The candidates should follow the essay writing format – Introduction, body paragraph (1 & 2) and conclusion of the essay topic – to complete this test. The essay must be comprehensible and display the ideas/perspectives clearly.

ACT Test – Score

The ACT test scores usually become available to the candidates through their ACT web account beginning 2 business days after the test date. However, the score of the writing test comes after 2-3 weeks the score of multiple-choice sections. The candidate’s composite score ranges between 1 to 36 on point scale which consists of all the test scores (English, Maths, Reading, Science & Writing (optional)) attempted by the candidate. Students also get a score of individual tests. One thing that the candidates must keep in mind in that there is no negative marking.

ACT Test – Some Important Facts

There are some keys facts that the candidates must keep in mind if they wish to appear for ACT test. Find below the list of these facts regarding this college entrance test.

  • The international test fee of ACT Test is USD 150 without including writing test. If the candidates decide to take the writing test as well, the test fee is USD 166.5.
  • The score card includes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) score, ELA (English Language Arts) score, Progress Toward Career Readiness Indicator and Test Complexity Progress Indicator.
  • The ACT test score is accepted by all the US colleges and universities.
  • The candidates can retake the test if they feel that their score is not up to mark.
  • During the morning session, the test starts at 8 a.m. and during the afternoon session, the ACT test starts at 1:30 p.m.

While going through ACT Test, if you wish to avail the benefits of scholarships as well then click here.

Also, read ‘Education Loan for Study Abroad’ to know about easy loan options that you can avail to fund your education abroad.

Also, read ‘LSAT – Know All About Law School Admission Test’ if you wish to pursue law education from the US.

Published by
Anamika Sharma