ACT Exam: American College Testing


Every student who has passed class 12th with impressive grades aspires to get enrolled in one of the top universities abroad which can further hone their skills in their respective career. And it becomes equally important to know that getting admission in colleges in the United States and Canada is a cumbersome task and takes utmost efforts for a student to set their feet despite repeated tries. However, with the advancement in the educational system, the introduction to new examinations have helped students achieve their dreams by getting into their dream universities. One such examination American College Testing, also known as ACT exam

Understanding the ACT Exam

ACT is considered a standardized test required to be taken by students who are looking forward to enrolling in various undergraduate schools in the US and Canada. It has been primarily developed to check and evaluate the written, verbal, mathematical as well as scientific skills of the students. Possessing these abilities allows students to easily grab a seat in their preferred universities. Not to forget, the ACT exam is accepted by almost all the 4-year colleges and universities in the US and more than 225 universities outside of the country

ACT Highlights

Here are some of the latest changes with respect to ACT exam-

  • It is conducted 6 times a year in the months of February, April, June, July, September, October and December
  • Unlike the SAT exam, the ACT exam is available only in Computer-Based format
  • It has 4 sections on Mathematics, English, Reading and Science along with an optional section on writing.
  • Applicants above the age of 13 can appear for the test. 
  • Your score for the ACT exam will be calculated on a range of 1 to 36 without including the optional section of writing. 

ACT as a Company

ACT, Inc is an American nonprofit organisation working to help students achieve education and workplace success.  It is a leading company aiming to provide college and career-related solutions. Moreover, ACT serves millions of learners, job seekers, government, schools and employers in the US providing assessments, resources and research.

ACT Exam Dates 2021

Test Date Registration Deadline Registration Deadline with Late Fee
16 & 17 April 2021 26 March 2021 9 April 2021
11 & 12 June 2021 21 May 2021 4 June 2021
16 & 17 July 2021 25 June 2021 9 July 2021

Want to get admission to your dream university abroad? Then, Register Here!

ACT Exam Pattern 2021

The ACT exam in India includes 4 sections: Reading, Science, Mathematics and English. In addition, there is a Writing section wherein the student has an allocated time of 40 minutes. Every section is scored on 1 to 36 points and your scoring in the writing part won’t affect the overall composite score. The ACT score points for each section are:

  • Mathematics: 20.9
  • Reading: 21.3
  • Science:  20.8 
  • English: 20.3
  • Composite: 21.0 
Subject in ACT Exam Sub-Sections Number of Questions Duration
Mathematics A. Pre-algebra
B. Elementary Algebra
C. Intermediate Algebra
D. Coordinate Geometry
E. Plane Geometry
F. Trigonometry
60 MCQs 60 minutes
Reading A.Social Studies
B. Natural Science
C. Fiction and Humanities
40 (4 passages) 35 minutes
Science A. Data Representation (Graphs and Tables)
B. Research Summaries
C. Conflicting Viewpoints
40 35 minutes
English Usage or Mechanics
A. Punctuation
B. Grammar and Usage
C. Sentence Structure
Rhetorical Skills
A. Strategy
B. Organization Style
75  45 minutes
Optional Writing Test 1 Writing Prompt 40 minutes
Total 4 Sections (1 optional)  215 3 hours and 35 minutes (without breaks) 


Section ACT  SAT
Test Contents English, Math, Reading, Science Reasoning, Essay (Optional) Reading, Writing & Language, Math (with a calculator and without a calculator), Essay (Optional)
Duration of the test 2 hours 55 minutes (format: no essay) and 3 hours 40 minutes (format: SAT with essay) 3 hours (format: no essay) and 3 hours 50 minutes (format: SAT with essay)
Score Range 1–36 400–1600
Number of Questions 215 questions 154 questions
Negative  Marking No No
Exam Fee $52 (without essay)$68 (with essay) $49.50 (without essay)$64.50 (with essay)
Purpose Admission and Scholarships Admission and Scholarships

ACT Exam Syllabus 2021

As you are aware that ACT conducts its examination through the Written, Verbal, Science and Mathematics section. So let’s discuss each one of them. 

English Section

The English section will test your ability to understand the grammatical dynamism and relationship between the subject and verb, idiomatic usage, superlative adjectives and adverbs, pronoun cases, formation of complex and simple sentences, narration, etc. Besides, candidates should have a good command and hold on the punctuation and proper usage of sentences.

Reading Section

Another aspect of cracking the ACT exam is to have a good command of the Reading section. In the Reading section following you will be examined on the following parameters:

  • Social Studies: Here you will be posed questions related to Biographies, History, Sociology, Politics, Geography, Archaeology, Business, etc.
  • Natural Science: This section requires your knowledge pertaining to Botany, Zoology, Microbiology, Physics, Medicines, etc.
  • Literary Section: You need to have a prime interest in Literature which includes Proses, Poems, Storytelling and Reading. The questions will be based on memoirs, short stories, novels, prose, etc. You may also be asked to write personal essays. 
  • Humanities: This section will check an in-depth understanding of Art and Music, Drama, Film, Radio, Literary, Architecture, etc. 

Rhetorical Skills

Your Rhetoric skills play a pivotal role in any field in order to keep you ahead from the crowd. If you know how to play with rhetoric, you are good to go. So let us take a look at comes under Rhetorical skills:

  • Strategy: The strategic questions will surely test your skills on how you frame an idea or topic by including the appropriate essay’s purpose and audience. You will be able to understand the importance of adding, deleting or revising the supporting material and test the relevance of statements in a proper context and frame.
  • Organisation: Another important parameter on which your rhetorical skills will be tested is how well do you organise your ideas and come up with an impressive opening and effective closing sentences.
  • Style: As far as the style parameter is concerned, here you will be tested on the basis of your appropriate usage of words and images. How do you manage your sentence elements and maintain the tone as well as style? How you avoid ambiguity in your sentences and pronouns will also be checked thoroughly. 

Mathematical Section

  • Elementary Algebra: This section of Mathematics meticulously check your knowledge of Algebraic Expression, Square Roots, Quadratic Equation and its solution, Properties of Exponents, Integers and Fractions, Linear Equations in One Variable, Data Collection, Counting Techniques and Probability, Whole Numbers, Place Value, Decimals, etc.
  • Intermediate Algebra: Here you will be asked questions regarding Quadratic Formula, Sequences and Patterns, Quadratic Inequalities, Complex Number, Roots and Polynomials, etc.
  • Coordinate Geometry: In this section of the ACT exam, you will be asked questions based on Graphing and the relation between Equations and Graphs, Polynomials, Parallel and Perpendicular, Midpoints, Circles and Curves, etc.
  • Plane Geometry: This section of Mathematics will contain problems pertaining to Parallel Lines, Properties of Triangles, Circles, Rectangles, Trapezoids, Parallelograms, Application of Geometry to 3-D, etc.
  • Trigonometry: This section will make you think of Trigonometric questions and solutions, their functions and solving of Trigonometric Equations. 

ACT Exam Fee

Tabulated below are the estimated fee for the ACT Exam for the year 2021-

Purpose Fee INR 
ACT (no writing) in US US$ 55 4000
ACT (with writing) in US US$70 5100
ACT (no writing) other than US US$ 150 10900
ACT (writing) other than US US$ 166 12000
Late Fee US$35 2500
Standby Fee US$ 56 4076
Change Fee US$35 2546
5th and 6th Score report US$ 13 945
Question and Answers US$22 1600

ACT Exam: Things to Remember

  • It is important to mention here that your ACT test scoring is valid for the next 5 years after the actual testing year you appeared in. 
  • It is recommended for you to register for the examination 3 months before you choose the date of appearing for the exam.
  • If you stick to your early registration, you will have the time to prepare for the examination accordingly. 
  • Check your syllabus thoroughly. 
  • Do a lot of self-study. 
  • Solve previous years’ question papers to develop a holistic understanding.

It is important to prove your mettle and set your feet in a globally prestigious undergraduate institution in the US and Canada. With enough exposure and amiable study environment in universities abroad, you will grow unstoppable and achieve a milestone. Still, having apprehensions regarding the ACT exam? Don’t worry, our team at Leverage Edu is a one-stop solution to your queries. Book your 30 minutes free counselling session with us now!

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