ACT Test Structure

ACT Test Structure - A Brief Overview

The test structure for ACT had been designed so as to reflect the merit of the test takers, which enables the colleges and universities to select students based upon their performances. Therefore, having a clear understanding and observing thetest structure is quite important for all the test takers in order to plan a preparation schedule and eventually score well in the examination. In this article, each and every aspect concerning the test is being focused upon and explained for your benefit.

What does the ACT Contain?

ACT tests the abilities of students through a stringent testing process that involves four different sections. For the reason that the test is intended for the high school students, the four sections of the test contain questions that will be based upon the high school syllabus. However, the questions are all designed to put a check to your logical thinking and the key skill that is tested in this test is time management. Normally, the questions in ACT are easier when compared to those in SAT. However, due to a very small time frame of the test, it becomes tougher for you to solve many questions until and unless you are well prepared.

The four sections of the ACT include English, Reading, Mathematics and Science. The test containing the said four sections is often referred to as the ACT Assessment Test. Other than these, in the year 2005, the ACT, Inc had included a new section in the test, known as 'Writing' in order to emphasize on changing testing trends. Now, the test that contains the five test sections including the new one is referred to as the ACT Assessment Plus Writing. Although they differ in pricing, both the formats of tests are in existence and can be taken according to your wish and requirement.

ACT Sections Explained

The  test without the Writing section, in total consists of 215 questions, which, you are expected to answer within the allotted time frame of 175 minutes. Let us now have an in depth look into thetest format from each section's perspective.

  • The English section consists of 75 questions, which are to be answered within a time of 45 minutes. You should understand that each question gets just over half a minute for answering it. The questions of this section are based upon usage and test rhetoric skills.
  • The Mathematics section contains 60 questions, which should be answered within a time of 60 minutes. Here, you get a flat minute to solve each question. The questions, in this section are based broadly upon pre-algebra, coordinate geometry and trigonometry.
  • The Reading section consists of 40 questions and is allotted a total time of 35 minutes for answering. Here, you don't get even a full minute to answer the questions. In this section, there will be four paragraphs, each of which will be followed by 10 questions. You will have to read the given paragraphs and then answer the questions that are provided with them.
  • The Science section is a 35-minute test and contains 40 questions. The questions that appear in this section are based on Data Interpretations, Research Summaries, and Conflicting Viewpoints.
  • For the test containing the Writing test, there will be one prompt and you shall have to present an essay response to the given prompt within a time of 30 minutes.

How can you succeed?

The test structure is designed to primarily test your accuracy levels. Therefore, it would not be sufficient if you are just fast enough in attempting the questions, you should also be accurate. This is the main criteria. Hence, it is instrumental that you practice to be both accurate and fast right from the day one of your preparation. Refer to the official website for detailed information on theACT and its structure in order to plan your preparation schedule.