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.
2019-2020 Testing Schedule
- September 14, 2019 (registration deadline is 8/16/19)
- October 26, 2019 (registration deadline is 9/20/19)
- December 14, 2019 (registration deadline is 11/8/19)
- February 8, 2020 (registration deadline is 1/10/20)
- April 4, 2020 (registration deadline is 2/28/20)
- June 13, 2020 (registration deadline is 5/8/20)
- July 18, 2020 (registration deadline is 6/19/20) [This date is not available in NY.]
Registration without Writing Section: $46
Registration with Writing Section: $62.50
Late Registration: $29.50
Test Date Change Fee: $26
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.