The ACT (American College Testing) is one of two standardized tests used for college admissions. It is offered only 7 times a year at national (USA) testing centers and 5 times a year at international testing centers. There are 4 required sections on the ACT: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science, and an optional Writing section.

Here is a breakdown of each section and what is being covered in each section:

Section Time Number of Questions Areas Covered
English 45 minutes 75 questions

(5 passages)

1. Conventions of standard English (punctuation, usage, sentence structure)

2. Production of writing (topic development, organization, unity, cohesion)

3. Knowledge of language (word choice, style, tone)

Math 60 minutes 60 questions

(calculator allowed)

1. Preparing for higher math (number & quantity, algebra, functions, geometry, statistics & probability)

2. Integrating essential skills (rates & percentages, proportions, area, surface area, volume, average, & median, and number expression)

3. Models

35 minutes 40 questions(3 long passages,

2 short passages)

1. Key ideas & details

2. Craft & structure

3. Integration of  knowledge & ideas

Science 35 minutes 40 questions

(6 passages: data representation, research summaries, conflicting viewpoints)

(NO calculator allowed)

1. Interpretation of data (graphs, trends, interpolate/extrapolate)

2. Scientific investigation (experimental tools, procedures, & design; variables, controls)

3. Evaluation of models, inferences, & experimental results

4. General background knowledge of biology,chemistry, earth/space

science, and physics

Writing (optional, but strongly recommended) 40 minutes Written essay

answering a prompt:
1.     Analyze & evaluate the 3 perspectives given

2.     State and develop your own perspective on the issue

3.     Explain the relationship between your perspective and those given

  1. Ideas & analysis
  2. Development & support
  3. Organization
  4. Language use & conventions

(without writing)

2 hours, 55 minutes _______________

(with writing)

3 hours, 35 minutes _______________ _______________

Except for the optional writing section, the score for each of the four sections ranges from 1 to 36, with 36 being the highest score. For the writing section, the score ranges from 1 to 12. The Composite score is the average (mean) of the four scores from the four sections (English, Math, Reading, Science), excluding the writing section (scored separately). The Composite score also ranges from 1 to 36.

For more information about the ACT, go to the official 2017-2018 Preparing for the ACT Test Guide on the ACT website:

Official ACT website:

Comparison of ACT vs. SAT:


Ready To Register For The ACT?

Great! These are the tips you’re looking for to sign up for the test:

  1. Go to the Registration page on the ACT website:
  2. You will find information about what you need to register, including creating an account, high school information, fee information, test dates and registration deadlines, test center locations, test change information, and a headshot photo requirement.

  1.  Here is a table of all test dates & registration deadlines:

National Test Dates (U.S. territories, Puerto Rico, & Canada)

Test Date Registration Deadline Late Registration
(Late Fee Required)
September 9, 2017 August 4, 2017 August 5-18, 2017
October 28, 2017 September 22, 2017 September 23 – October 6, 2017
December 9, 2017 November 3, 2017 November 4-17, 2017
February 10, 2018* January 12, 2018 January 13-19, 2018
April 14, 2018 March 9, 2018 March 10-23, 2018
June 9, 2018 May 4, 2018 May 5-18, 2018
July 14, 2018* June 15, 2018 June 16-22, 2018

*No test centers are scheduled in New York for the February and July test dates.

2018-2019 Test Dates (National):

  • September 8, 2018
  • October 27, 2018
  • December 8, 2018
  • February 9, 2019*
  • April 13, 2019
  • June 8, 2019
  • July 13, 2019

International Test Dates (NOT U.S., U.S. territories, Puerto Rico, & Canada)

Test Date Registration Deadline
September 9, 2017 August 4, 2017
October 28, 2017* September 22, 2017
December 9, 2017 November 3, 2017
February 10, 2018 January 12, 2018
April 14, 2018 March 9, 2018
June 9, 2018 May 4, 2018


  1.     Fees –

ACT (no writing):          $46

o    Includes reports for you, your high school, and up to 4 colleges
ACT (with writing):       $62.50

o    Includes reports for you, your high school, and up to 4 colleges

o    $16.50 writing test fee is refundable on written request if you are absent on test day or
switch to ACT (no writing) before testing begins

o    To check the writing status of each college you’re interested in, go here:

For additional fees, check the website:

You can also apply for the ACT fee waiver if you meet the criteria for it. The fee waiver can be used up to twice, but it covers only the basic registration test fee, which includes reporting your scores to up to 4 colleges if you included their codes when registering for the test..

  1.     When you’re ready, click “Register Now” under Online Registration, and follow the instructions.


Looking For ACT Test Prep Resources & Tips?

  1.    Check out our Test Prep Service/Tutoring Academies page:
  2.     Check the official website for free test prep resources, including a free official study guide with practice questions, Question of the Day, and free online practice:

o    There is an official 2017-2018 Preparing for the ACT Test Guide on the website:

  1.     Use these online resources for practice questions, test strategies, and tips:

o    Kaplan:

o    Prep Scholar:

o    Princeton Review:

Finally Ready to Ace the ACT?

Don’t forget to bring these items with you on test day!

  1.     Your paper ticket
  2.     Acceptable photo ID (make sure the name matches what’s on your ticket!)
  3.     several sharpened No. 2 pencils (2 or 3 pencils should be enough) – no pens or mechanical
  4.     Good erasers
  5.     Permitted calculator (check the ACT website to make sure your calculator is okay to use on
    the test!)
  6.     A regular wristwatch
  7.     Water and snacks to munch on during your permitted scheduled break (keep them in your
    backpack/bag/purse during the test!)

ACT Test Day info:

Prepare well and good luck!


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