What is tested on the ACT



Nearly every college in Midwestern and Southern United States accepts the ACT as a part of its admissions process. That's why nearly 1.5 million students take the ACT every year!

The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in: English, Mathematics, Reading and Science. Plus a 30-minute Writing test if you choose to write the ACT Plus Writing test.

ACT results are accepted by all colleges and universities in the United States.

The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete, including a short break (or just over four hours if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing). Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes (plus 30 minutes if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing).

The ACT test assesses high school students' general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work.

  • The multiple-choice tests cover four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science.
  • The Writing Test, which is optional, measures skill in planning and writing a short essay.

NOTE: Although the writing section is optional, several schools do require an essay score and will factor it in to the admissions decision.