The ACT is a college entrance exam administered by ACT, Inc. It consists of five sections: English, Math, Reading, Science Reasoning, and Writing.
Format and Content
1 It is NOT specifically designated how many questions will test each math topic, but the content tested is always the same. The primary topics tested are arithmetic, algebra I and II, geometry, and data analysis. Calculators are permitted.
2 Calculators are NOT permitted for the Science Reasoning section.
3 The essay portion of the exam is technically optional although some schools require it.
4 Multiple choice.
Total length with standard time
- 3 hours and 35 minutes with Writing
- 2 hours and 55 minutes without Writing
Total length with extended time
- 5 hours and 23 minutes with Writing
- 4 hours and 23 minutes without Writing
Students receive a score between 1 and 36 for each section other than the Writing section. The Writing section is scored out of 12. A composite score out of 36 is calculated by averaging the four section scores. There is NO wrong answer penalty on the ACT, so a student should never leave a question blank.
2017-2018 Testing Schedule
- September 9, 2017 (registration deadline is 8/4/17)
- October 28, 2017 (registration deadline is 9/22/17)
- December 9, 2017 (registration deadline is 11/3/17)
- February 10, 2018* (registration deadline is 1/12/18)
- April 14, 2018 (registration deadline is 3/9/18)
- June 9, 2018 (registration deadline is 5/4/18)
- July 14, 2018* (registration deadline is 6/15/18)
Registration without Writing Section: $46
Registration with Writing Section: $62.50
Late Registration: $29.50
Test Date Change Fee: $25
Test Center Change Fee: $26
The ACT, like the SAT, has a score choice option that allows a student to take the test multiple times without having to worry about colleges seeing all their results. Instead, they can select which test dates they want sent to schools.
A student CANNOT, however, select from within a test date certain section scores to send. For instance, they cannot send ONLY a math score from a certain test date.
Different schools have different policies in regards to score choice. Students should check the specific requirements for each of their preferred schools.