ACT paper pattern and ACT Exam Scheme: A national college admissions examination

The ACT is a standardized test which acts as a national college admissions examination. The examination tests you on four key test areas: English, Mathematics, Reading and Science. Also there is an ACT plus writing test which includes the mentioned test areas along with an optional 30 minute writing test.

ACT Exam Pattern

The ACT consist of four multiple choice test papers and an optional written test.


This test measures the candidates written English ability and checks his/hers rhetorical ability. There are 75 questions asked in this section and 45 minutes are provided to complete the part. The test covers:


  • punctuation
    • Rhetorical Skills


    The mathematics part of ACT is incorporated to check the candidate's mathematical skills that the student has acquired over the time and till the beginning of grade 12. For this section you are required to have knowledge of basic formulas and computational skills to answer the problems, but you are not required to know complex formulas and perform extensive computation. The section has 60 questions which are to be completed in 60 minutes.


    This part of the paper deals in reading comprehensions. This part of the paper is has 40 questions which are to be completed in 35 minutes. The reading part will deal with questions which will deal with direct statements or with implied meanings. Either ways you are to:

    • determine main ideas
    • locate and interpret significant details
    • understand sequences of events
    • make comparisons
    • comprehend cause-effect relationships
    • determine the meaning of context-dependent words, phrases, and statements
    • draw generalizations
    • analyze the author's or narrator's voice and method


    This part of ACT which measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills required in natural sciences. This part of the paper is has 40 questions which are to be completed in 35 minutes. The test presents several sets of scientific information, each followed by a number of multiple-choice test questions. The scientific information is conveyed in one of three different formats:

    • data representation (graphs, tables, and other schematic forms)
    • research summaries (descriptions of several related experiments)
    • conflicting viewpoints (expressions of several related hypotheses or views that are inconsistent with one another)

    Optional writing test

    There is also an optional writing test in the paper which is designed to measure the writing skills of a student that he/she acquires in high school English classes and in entry-level college composition courses. The test consists of one writing prompt that will define an issue and describe two points of view on that issue. You are asked to respond to the question and explain your position on the. In doing so, you may adopt one or the other of the perspectives described in the prompt, or you may present a different point of view on the issue. Your score will not be affected by the point of view you take on the issue. The section is to be completed within 30 minutes.

  • grammar and usage
  • sentence structure
  • strategy
  • organization
  • style
  • reference:

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