The American College Testing or ACT is a standardized test for admission to colleges in the United States. The famous SAT exam has the closest resemblance to ACT because they generally serve the same purpose. Hence, students take one or the other test according to the requirement of the university. ACT assesses a student’s preparedness for college education and is recognized by all 4-year colleges in the US. If you plan to apply to a university within the US, then having an exceptional ACT score will definitely improve your chances of getting admitted.

Admission to College with ACT Test

Benefits of Taking ACT Test

Why you should consider taking Prepaway ACT test? Here are a few reasons why taking ACT would help you a great deal:

  • ACT may be a mandatory course requirement in the university or college you are applying to. This means you definitely have to have a satisfactory – if not a competitive – score to get admittance to the University of your choice. 
  • A remarkable score will get you the upper hand among other candidates applying for the same course. This is crucial if you are applying for a highly competitive course of study.
  • You may be able to benefit from various merit-based scholarships and grants if you perform exceptionally well in yourACT’s. This itself would be worth it considering the amount of funding required for a college degree in the US.
  • Some honors programs in colleges require students to have a high ACT/SAT score. These programs give access to limited tools and other features to the selected students.

Why choose ACT?

ACT is one of the most popular entrance exams in the world. Over 2 million students across the world take this test yearly. The popularity of this test is due to factors such as:

  • ACT is approved for use in state models for federal and state accountability and thus is reliable and trustworthy as an assessment.
  • All four-year US colleges and universities accept the Admission Tests Free ACT scores, so it has turned out to become an essential qualification for university applicants.

At this point in the article, you may be appealed by the facts given to you and think that taking ACT test is a good option for your future prospects. So, let’s consider the details of ACT test.

Structure of ACT Test

ACT test consists of multiple-choice questions on English, Math, Reading and Science, with an optional Writing test, i.e. you may or may not sit for the writing test depending on the course requirements and/or your personal preference. Below is a brief overview of the test and its structure.

English Test

It is a 75-question test with a duration of 45 minutes. It consists of 5 passages each followed by a set of multiple-choice questions. Some questions will ask you to select the best alternative for a selected portion of a passage out of the choices provided. Others may be to select the best/most suitable comment about the whole passage or its particular section. 4 scores will be reported; the test score and three other reporting category scores on the following skills. The percentages indicate the approximate amount of test questions devoted to the category:

  • Production of Writing (29-32%)
  • Knowledge of language (13-19%)
  • Conventions of standard English (51-56%)

Basically, the goal of the English test is to assess your knowledge of grammar rulesand your ability to edit texts.

Mathematics Test

It is a 60-question test with a duration of 60 minutes. The test consists of multiple-choice questions that will assess your mathematical skills and knowledge of the materials covered up to grade 12. 9 test scores are reported: the total test score and 8 other category and sub-category scores on specific skills:

  • Preparing for Higher Mathematics (57-60%)
  1. Number and Quantity (7-10%)
  2. Algebra (12-15%)
  3. Functions(12-15%)
  4. Geometry (12-15%)
  5. Statistics and Probability (8-12%)
  • Integrating Essential Skills (40-43%)
  • Modeling

You are allowed to use a calculator for this test, but most of the problems can be solved without it. 

Reading Test

This is a 40-question test with a duration of 35 minutes. It assesses your ability to closely read texts and infer by gathering information from them. Five scores are reported: the total test score and 3 other category scores on specific skills plus an Understanding Complex Texts indicator. 

  • Key Ideas and Details (55-60%)
  • Craft and Structure (25-30%)
  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas (13-18%)

Science Test

It is a 40-question test with a duration of 35 minutes. You will be tested on your knowledge in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Physics. You will receive 4 scores: your total test score along with the following category scores:

  • Interpretation of Data (45-55%)
  • Scientific Investigation(20-30%)
  • Evaluation of Models, Inferences and Experimental Results (25-35%)

Writing Test (Optional)

The writing test will be an evaluation of your knowledge of writing skills taught in high school. The duration of the test will be 40 minutes within which you have to write an essay describing your perspective on a certain complex issue presented in the test. Here you will receive five scores; a subject level score and 4 other scores on the following writing domains:

  • Ideas and Analysis
  • Development and Support 
  • Organization
  • Language Use and Conventions

Your final scores for the English, Science, Math and Reading tests will be scaled to a range from 1-36 and your composite score would be the average of these scores rounded to the nearest whole number.

That is how the general structure of ACT exam looks like.Still,I strongly recommend you to visit the official website of ACT and refer the latest ‘Preparing for the ACT test’ publication to get a more detailed analysis of the test.

Tips to Excel in Your ACT Test

It is evident that an excellent ACT score is a profile booster when it comes to a college application. I will share with you some tips to better prepare yourself for ACT tests. 

As with every other exam, the key to successfully facing ACT is to practice. Since ACT tests your knowledge based on what you learned during high school, study the necessary content, revise your notes and clear up any doubts you have. 

Start doing practice exams to understand your weaknesses and get familiarized with the exam structure. Make sure you are timing the practice tests and are taking the necessary actions if you find yourself falling short of time – this is generally the reasonwhy ACT is known to be a time-intensive test. For quality and updated practice tests, visit the ExamSnap website. On ExamSnap, all practice questions are verified by the experts in the industry which guaranties a good result. 

There are many tutorials and videos that give great pointers on how you could go about saving time in the tests. I, personally, found the book ‘The Official ACT Prep Guide’ which tuned out to be really helpful for my scores because it had a lot of strategies and other valuable explanations. Always use up-to-date material to keep up with the latest changes in ACT test structure. 

Summary of ACT

ACT is the most popular achievement test recognized by all colleges and universities in the US. A good ACT score is going to back you up academically, financially and career-wise and will definitely strengthen your college education. By preparing and utilizing the tips mentioned in this article, you too should be able to ace all ACT tests and obtain an outstanding score.



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