ACT Syllabus 2024: Updated Section-wise Syllabus

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ACT Syllabus

ACT (American College Testing) is a standardized test taken by students for university admissions in the USA. The examination consists of Mathematics, Reading, Science, and English sections. There is an optional writing section as well. The examination is conducted for a duration of 3 hours. A total of 215 questions were asked in the paper. Generally, a 20.8 score is the average that candidates secure in the examination. Before appearing for the ACT examination it is important to be aware of the ACT syllabus. It can help the student to be well-prepared for the test. Keep reading to learn more about the ACT syllabus.

Exam NameSAT
Exam Sections Reading Writing, and Mathematics
Exam Duration2 hours and 14 minutes
Exam Website https://satsuite.collegeboard.org/sat/registration

ACT Exam Test Pattern 2024

The ACT examination pattern & ACT Syllabus is as follows:

SectionDurationNo.of QuestionACT syllabus
Mathematics60 minutes60 MCQAlgebra, elementary trigonometry, geometry, reasoning, and problem-solving
English45 minutes75Usage/mechanics and rhetorical skills
Science35 minutes40Interpretation, analysis, reasoning, evaluation, and problem-solving
Reading35 minutes40Reading Comprehension
Writing Test (optional)30 minutes1 essayWriting Skills

ACT Syllabus

The ACT exam syllabus for all sections is provided below. That is, English, Mathematics, science, reading, and writing tests.


75 MCQs are asked in this section. Mainly 2 skills are tested- Rhetorical skills (abstract understanding of a passage) usage and mechanics (understanding of grammar rules)

Types of questions asked Description
Punctuationsemi-colons, apostrophe, period, comma etc. 
Strategy Modify a given passage by using appropriate phrases
Grammar Usage subject/verb agreement, pronoun/antecedent agreement, verb formation, pronoun case, etc
Organization Choice of opening/closing and transitional sentences.
StyleAbility to maintain the flow and tone of the essay.


The types of questions asked in the Mathematics ACT syllabus are as follows:

Types of questions asked Description
Pre-AlgebraNumber problems, multiples/factors/primes, divisibility, percentages, fractions, square roots, ratios, etc
Intermediate AlgebraEquations, functions, matrices, logarithms, inequalities, sequence
Elementary Algebrasubstitution, simplifying expressions, solving linear equations, inequalities, multiplying binomials
Coordinate GeometryNumber lines, graphing inequalities, distance and midpoints, slope calculation, parallel/perpendicular lines
Plane GeometryAngles, triangles, polygons, circles, 3-D geometry, volume, properties of circles
TrigonometryGraphing trigonometric functions, solving trigonometric equations, etc


The types of questions asked in the Reading ACT syllabus are as follows:

This section contains 4 passages for a total of 40 multiple-choice questions. The passages will represent four broad areas: social science, humanities, natural science, and literary fiction.

Types of questions asked Description
Central IdeaBig idea or theme of the passage
Detail Understanding of a specific phrase/line within a passage is tested
VocabularyContextual understanding of words and their usage
Function Understanding of the role of a particular word or phrase 
Implied IdeaExplain the meaning of a word/phrase 


The science section contains 7 passages. Questions consisting of diagrams such as charts, tables, and graphs are asked. The topic of the questions tends to revolve around chemistry, physics, biology, chemistry, and Earth sciences.

Types of questions asked Description
Research SummariesTests the ability of the candidate in using the information provided to decipher graphs/scatter plots/tables
Data RepresentationTests the ability of the candidate to use the information provided to decipher graphs/scatter plots/tables
Conflicting ViewpointsAccesses the ability to analyze divergent viewpoints

Writing (Optional) 

The ACT syllabus writing test consists of a short passage, accompanied by 3 different viewpoints. The task involves analyzing the viewpoints, providing the merits and demerits, identifying the flaws of reasoning (if any), and discussing the scope of improvements.

Also Read
ACT Exam- Check Yearly Exam CalendarAll About ACT Exam 2023- 24 in India
ACT to SAT ConversionSAT Superscoring


1. What are the subjects in ACT exam?

The 4 assessments on the ACT: are reading, math, science, and English. Additionally, there is also an optional writing test (essay). The ACT duration: two hours and fifty-five minutes without the essay & three hours and thirty-five minutes with the essay.

2. What is ACT and SAT syllabus?

Mathematics and English are tested on the SAT. ACT, on the other hand, assesses students in reading, science, math, and English skills.

3. Is the ACT harder than the SAT?

Both ACT and SAT examinations are used for college admissions. However, the difficulty level of each exam depends on the student. The universities consider ACT and SAT equally.

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