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The ACT is a college entrance exam that many colleges and universities in the United States use as part of the college admissions process. The ACT is consists of four multiple-choice sections-English, Math, Reading, and Science-and one optional essay Writing section. Total testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes for the ACT without Writing and 3 hours and 35 minutes for the ACT with Writing. The test pattern is designed to evaluate skills that are essential for the success in university level education.

The ACT test is a curriculum-based education and career planning tool for high school students that assesses the college readiness of the test takers. Besides the English, Math, and Reading, there is a Science section which tests your interpretation and analytical skills. There is no negative marking in the ACT and you can guess without penalty. The score range for the ACT is 1-36.

ACT is widely accepted at US institutions. If time permits, it might be a good idea to take the SAT as well as the ACT and then send the best scores to the institutes you are applying to.

Test Description Time / Score
English Measures standard written English and rhetorical skills. 375 Questions(45 minutes)
Mathematics Measures mathematical skills students have typically acquired in courses taken up to the beginning of grade 12. 360 Questions(60 minutes)
Reading Measures reading comprehension 40 Questions(35 minutes)
Science Measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reason- ing, and problem solving skills required in the natural sciences. 40 Questions(35 minutes)
Optional Writing Test Measures writing skills emphasized in high school English classes and in entry- level college composition courses. 1 prompt (40 minutes)

ACT Syllabus
The ACT test format is primarily based on high school level topics on the subjects - English, Mathematics, Reading, Science and Writing (optional). The ACT syllabus majorely focuses on the senior secondary level (10, 11 &12th grade).

ACT English Syllabus
The ACT English syllabus consists of passages that examines the grammar, punctuation and proper sentence formation, language proficiently and how the candidate can grasp from the passage. The ACT exam format of English focuses on testing the overall idea or intricate details of the passage. Each of the English syllabus questions consists of 4 options and some have ‘No Error’ option to select from.
The ACT exam format of English puts focus on certain specific topics:
Writing Management (29-32%): This part thouroughly tests the capacity of the candidate to understand the written test, structure, development of the topic, organization and cohesion.
Language Expertise (13 – 19%): This tests the selection of words and phrases by the candidate;
Standard English Conventions (51 - 56%): The section has the highest weightage percentage, this tests how accurate the test-takers follow the punctuations, grammar, sentences.

ACT Reading Syllabus
The ACT reading section measures the candidate’s reading skills through different contexts of passages – social science, natural science, humanities and literary fiction. The passages have proper titles, name of the author, background details. Major emphasis will be on interpretive skills, grasping the accordance of the sentences, analyzing the connections rather than English grammar.
The ACT reading syllabus focuses on certain factors on which the weights are based:
Main keyword and its details (55-60%): Here, the candidates are required to grasp the passage and pickup the key points, find the inferences, consequences, design the analytical relationship and conclusions.
Structure (25-30%): The major focus is on recognizing the motive of the passage and the intention of the author, the purpose and the keywords used.
Integration and analysis: This tests how precisely the test takers grasps the facts, opinions, finds the subtle differences between different concepts.

ACT Math Syllabus
The ACT math syllabus is categorized into two sections: Direct questions and complex ones.
Note: The ACT math test section allows the calculator usage.
The direct questions assess the mathematical formulas, concepts and fundamentals of mathematics. On the other hand, the complex section measures higher-level formulas, theorems, and problems.
The two sections of the ACT math syllabus are:
Higher-level Maths (57-60%): This section majorly covers the topics such as:
Pre-Algebra (20 – 25%): this includes factors, primes, multiples, number problems, divisibility, fractions, ratios, mean, median and mode, place values, absolute values etc.;
Elementary Algebra (15 – 20%): Linear equations, substitution, simplifying expressions, inequalities, multiplying binomials and quadratic equations;
Intermediate Algebra (15 – 20%): Logarithms, functions, matrices, inequalities, sequences and patterns and complex numbers;
Coordinate Geometry (15 – 20%): Graphing inequalities, distance and mid-points, number lines, slope calculation, etc.;
Trigonometry (5-10%);
Statistics (8 -12%);
Fundamental Skills (40 – 43%): Complex Math concepts such as– ratios, percentages, surface areas, median etc. are are tested. Modeling forms a significant section.

ACT Science Syllabus
The ACT science section consists of variety topics from Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences. This section is filled with tables, graphs, and charts. The main objective of ACT science section is to test the reasoning skills on the concepts rather than memorization of facts and figures.
There are three sections of the ACT science section:
Data Interpretation (45 – 50%): Manipulation and analysis of scientific data, graphs, tables etc.;
Scientific Investigation (20 – 30%): This includes experimental procedures, tools, variables, comparisons, and designs.
Preliminary inferences model and results (25 – 35%): This includes the analysis of the scientific phenomenon, information and outcomes.

ACT Writing Syllabus
The ACT exam pattern of the writing section tests the ability to write a coherent and well structured essay or passage. The candidates will have 3 different passages and viewpoints. The test takes should analyze the passages and provide an executive summary. You need to skim through the passage, identify the flaws in the passage along with merits and demerits.