ACT Test Sections: Updated Syllabus & Time Management

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ACT Test Sections

ACT full form is American College Testing. The ACT entrance examination is conducted by the universities in the USA for undergraduate admissions. The ACT examination follows an MCQ-based pattern and looks at the core areas: Math, English, Reading, Science, and Writing skills of the test takers. In fact, all first-world countries such as the USA, UK, and Canada accept ACT test sections. The duration of the examination is 2 hours and 55 minutes.  Keep reading to learn more about the ACT test sections.

Exam NameACT
Conducted byACT, Incorporated.
Exam SectionsMath, English, Reading, Science, and Writing section
Duration of the exam2 hours and 55 minutes

The 5 Main ACT Test Sections 

The ACT examination exam pattern consists of 5 main sections. That is, reading, mathematics, science, and English skills. A total of 215 questions were asked in the examination. The examination pattern is as follows:

SectionNo of QuestionsQuestion TypeDuration
English75 MCQsTests grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and rhetorical skills45 minutes
Reading10 question each passage (4)Four passages (prose fiction, social studies, humanities, and natural sciences)35 minutes
Math60  MCQsAlgebra I and II, geometry, and some trigonometry60 minutes
Science40 MCQsScience-based passages presented with graphs, charts, tables and research summaries35 minutes
Writing (optional)1 essayEssay40 min

ACT Exam Syllabus for Each Section

The ACT exam syllabus for each section ( English, mathematics, science, reading, and writing) is provided below:

Section Question TypeWeightage 
EnglishSocial Studies, Natural Sciences, Literary Narrative or Prose Fiction, Humanities Usage/Mechanics ( 52-55%), Rhetorical Skills
Reading Data Representation (25-30%), Research Summaries (45-60%), Conflicting Viewpoints (15-20%)Key Ideas & Details (52–60%), Craft & Structure( 25–30%), and Integration of Knowledge & Ideas (13–23%.)
MathPre-Algebra/Elementary Algebra, and Plane Geometry/TrigonometryPre-Algebra/Elementary Algebra (57-60%), Plane Geometry/Trigonometry (12-15%)
Science Data Representation, Research Summaries, and Conflicting Viewpoints Data Representation, Research Summaries, and Conflicting Viewpoints 

ACT Exam 2024 Syllabus Time Management

To ace the ACT exam it is important to understand the syllabus and manage the time. Hence, we have provided the number of questions and the exam duration taken for the ACT exam.

ACT SectionsNumber of QuestionsDuration
English Section75 questions45 minutes
Reading Section40 questions35 minutes
Mathematics Section60 questions60 minutes
Science Section40 questions35 minutes
Writing Test Section (Optional) 1 essay prompt30 minutes
Also Read
ACT Exam- Check Yearly Exam CalendarAll About ACT Exam 2023- 24 in India
ACT to SAT ConversionSAT Superscoring


1. What are the 5 sections of the ACT?

The 5 main sections of the ACT Examination are Reading, mathematics, English, and science sections. The 5th section is the writing section. However, it is an optional section. There are a total of 215 questions that candidates must answer. The duration of the exam is  2 hours and 55 minutes.

2. What are the 4 ACT subjects?

The 4 main ACT sections are as follows. Mathematics, English, Reading, and Science section. There is a 5th section as well. It is the writing section. However, the section is optional. The exam is conducted for a duration of 2 hours and 55 minutes. There are a total of 215 questions asked in the paper.

3. Is the ACT easier than SAT?

The ACT/SAT is easier or not depending on the student. Generally, the SAT is easier for students who have a stronghold in mathematics. ACT is easier for students whose strengths are science, and the reading section. 

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