ACT or American College Testing is an undergraduate entrance exam taken by high school students in English-speaking nations. The ACT is majorly preferred by US universities. ACT registration can be done both online and offline mode. Non-US residents need to pay an ACT exam fee of $63(INR 4,835.25) (without writing), or $88(INR 6,754) (with writing). The ACT score is valid for 5 years. The average ACT score is 21. ACT exam pattern was previously paper-based. ACT is taken in a computer-based format outside the US. ACT syllabus consists of subjects like reading, Mathematics, English, Science, and an optional writing paper. ACT score range is measured on a 0-36 scale. The total duration of the ACT is 2 hours 55 minutes (without writing) and 40 minutes if the writing section is added. Candidates receive their ACT scores within 2-8 weeks of taking the test.
Table of Contents
Candidates are required to know which one to take the ACT or SAT. Below is the difference between ACT vs SAT.
|Test contents||Reading, Writing & Language, Math (with a calculator and without a calculator), Essay (Optional)||English, Math, Reading, Science Reasoning, Essay (Optional)|
|Duration of the test||3 hours (format: no essay) and 3 hours 50 minutes (format: SAT with essay)||2 hours 55 minutes (format: no essay) and 3 hours 40 minutes (format: SAT with essay)|
|Number of questions||154 questions||215 questions|
|Purpose of taking||Admission and SAT Scholarships||Admission and ACT Scholarships|
|Exam fees||$49.50 (without essay) $64.50 (with essay)||$63 (without essay) $88 (with essay)|
At what age should you take the ACT?
There is no age limit to appearing for the ACT. However, any candidate below the age of 13 will not be allowed to register for the test. In that case, the student needs to contact ACT Customer Support to seek assistance to create a MyACT account and complete the registration for the test.
Do Colleges prefer the ACT or SAT?
Colleges do not create a distinction between ACT and SAT. In fact, most US universities accept both. It entirely depends on the choice of the candidates whether they will take SAT or ACT. Both the tests have equal difficulty levels.
Is the SAT or ACT Harder?
SAT and ACT have equal difficulty levels. It is important for candidates to figure out which test is best suited for them. They can decide the same by taking a diagnostic test and evaluating their performance.
Which one to take – SAT or ACT?
Students prefer taking both the SAT and ACT as both are used for college admissions decisions and awarding merit-based SAT Scholarships.
The apt way to decide if to take the SAT or ACT is to take a full-length practice test of each type. Since the syllabus and pattern of the SAT and ACT are very similar, factors like how you manage time and what kinds of questions you find most challenging can help you determine which test is a better fit.
What is the Passing Score for the ACT?
The ACT has no official passing scores. But the average ACT score is a 21 on a scale of 1- 36. If you get a score of 21, then you have scored higher than 50% of test-takers. Try to score high to get admission to prestigious colleges.
The ACT exam pattern has MCQs based test with a total of 215 questions. The ACT exam evaluates a candidate in five main areas: Reading, Mathematics, English, Science, and an optional Writing section. The duration of the ACT test is 2 hours 55 minutes excluding ACT Writing which is 40 minutes long. Below is a detailed description of the ACT exam syllabus that you must go through prior to your preparation:
ACT English is the first section of the ACT syllabus with a duration of 45 minutes with 75 questions. The English section of ACT contains passages or multiple essays followed by multiple-choice questions. ACT exam questions of English cover skills like usage/mechanics, sentence construction, and rhetorical abilities. There are underlined portions that need to be corrected on one side of the page, and the other side has answer options. syllabus of English section measures the candidate’s abilities on four main skills:
ACT Science syllabus consists of 40 questions to be solved in 35 minutes. ACT exam pattern of science has three main passage types: Data Representation, Conflicting Viewpoints, and Research Summary which consists of topics related to Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Earth Sciences. There are a total of 7 passages and are usually followed by tables, charts, or graphs. ACT science tests the interpretive, analytical, problem-solving, and evaluation skills of test-takers.
ACT reading consists of 40 questions that need to be completed in 35 minutes. There are a total of four sections, three of which comprise lengthy prose, and the remaining one has two brief proses. ACT exam questions are generally similar to the first-year college syllabus. The questions of ACT reading are related to Social Studies, Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Literary Narrative or Prose Fiction. ACT reading evaluates skills based on major ideas and details, organization and development, and uniformity of knowledge and ideas.
ACT math comprises 60 questions with a duration of 60 minutes. ACT math topics cover the following given below:
It also implicates data interpretation from tables/graphs and problem-solving. The calculator is allowed in ACT Maths but follows certain guidelines.
ACT Writing is an optional section that is mostly opted by Indian students. ACT exam pattern of writing consists of an essay prompt to be completed in 40 minutes. The essay task states three viewpoints on a debatable issue. Candidates must explain and defend their position on that issue. It is scored on a range of 1- 6 by two separate examiners. This section is scored on four categories: Ideas and reasoning skills, organization and development, language use, and structure. Scores in this section mirror the potential to produce useful thoughts and evaluate different points of view on the given issue.
Students often enquire about “How to Apply for the ACT?” – ACT registration can be carried out in both online and offline processes, though the first one is more preferred. ACT registration deadlines generally fall five weeks before the test date. Below are ACT registration details of online and offline methods:
For ACT Registration Online:
For ACT Registration Offline:
If there is a need to change your ACT exam schedules or cancel the exam, candidates will not receive a refund. Therefore, rescheduling is a better option than cancellation. If the cancellation is done by the official body then the update will be delivered to the candidates. For cancellation, students need to contact ACT Student Services for deciding the next slot.
ACT exam fees in India are $63(INR 4,835.25) (without writing), or $88(INR 6,754) (with writing) for taking the exam with writing. ACT exam fees for late registration, test center/date change are $25(INR 1,918.75).
Here are the ACT fees details and additional information:
|Basic ACT Registration Fee without the writing test||$150|
|ACT fees registration charge with the writing test||$166.50|
|ACT fees for international students outside of the U.S.||$51|
|ACT late fee if you register after the deadline but before the final late registration||$35|
|ACT waitlist fee if you register after the late registration deadline||$51|
|ACT reschedule fee if you make changes to the test date, centre, or type||$35|
|ACT fees for revealing the mistakes you made in the questions and answers (optional)||$20|
ACT exam fees can be paid via debit or credit cards or online fund transfer. In case of late registration, candidates need to incur an additional fee of $35.
Candidates often wonder ‘At what age should you take the ACT ?’ Well, there is no strict ACT eligibility to be abided by candidates. Generally, candidates studying in grades 11 or 12 take the ACT exam for pursuing their undergrads. Though students of grades 6 to 9 can also take the ACT exam. ACT eligibility states that the candidate needs to be 13 years of age to take the exam. There is no upper age limit. Though candidates below 13 can also take the exam with the assistance of ACT customer support.
Here in the table below is ACT exam date details of 2022:
|Test Date||Registration Deadline||Late Registration Deadline||Estimated Score Release|
|June 10 and 11||May 13, 2022||May 27, 2022||June 21-August 5, 2022|
|July 16 and 17||June 17, 2022||July 01, 2022||July 26-September 9, 2022|
*The test is not available in New York for the July test date.
ACT college entrance exam test is offered at numerous places across India and multiple times. It is held in most of the cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and more. Across the world, over 2 million candidates take the exam in over 130 countries. Test-takers need to select ACT test centers in India during the time of registration. The following are the ACT test centers in India:
|Ahmedabad International School, Ahmedabad||Idea Institute Of Management And Technology, Ahmedabad||Merittrac Services Pvt Ltd, Delhi|
|Candor Intl School, Bangalore||Data Scribe Consultancy Services, Bangalore||Merittrac Services Pvt Ltd - Hyderabad, Hyderabad|
|Merittrac Services Pvt Ltd - Bangalore||Chris Pareeksha, Bengaluru||Orlando Academy, Indore|
|KIIT International School, Bhubaneswar||Radha Raman Assessment, Bhubaneswar||Evault Digital, Jaipur, Rajasthan|
|Cps Global, Talking Technology Pvt. Ltd. Chennai||Merittrac Services Pvt Ltd, Chennai||Neerja Modi School, Jaipur|
|Infinite Dimensions, Dehradun||The Doon School, Dehradun||Pareeksha Online Examination Centre C/o - Universal Solutions, Kolkata|
|Council For American Education, Merittrac Services Pvt. Ltd, Delhi||Elbrus Assessment Center, Delhi||City Montessori School, Lucknow|
|Rr Info, Mumbai||Glendale Academy International, Hyderabad||Smart Wonders School, Mohali|
|Vivekanand Education Society Inst Of Management Studies And Research, Mumbai||Sreyas Institute Of Engineering And Technology, Hyderabad||Biotech Exam Hub, Lucknow|
|G. H. Raisoni School Of Business Management, Nagpur||Sage University, Indore, Indore||Kalvi Public School, Sholavandan, Madurai|
|Ata Infotech Ventures Pvt Ltd, Salt Lake||Jayshree Periwal International School, Jaipur||Aditya Birla World Academy, Mumbai|
|Lakshmi Balaji Computers, Vijayawada||Kodaikanal International School, Kodaikanal||Singapore International School, Mumbai|
|Jspm's Rajarshi Shahu College Of Engineering, Pune||Delhi Public School Vijayawada, Vijayawada||Woodstock School, Mussoorie|
ACT score range is calculated out of 1 to 36. The composite ACT score is the average of the four sections of the ACT syllabus. ACT score report features the scores of four sections - reading, maths, English, and science. Candidates curious about ‘what is the passing score for the ACT?’ need to know that there is nothing as such. Candidates need to achieve the ACT cutoff of the colleges they have selected. ACT score validity is 5 years. Candidates have the option of ACT score cancellation that can be done when they’re leaving ACT test centers. They need to inform the proctor about that.
The below table shows the performance level according to the ACT score range.
|Top Scores||Competitive Scores||Good Scores||Below Average Scores|
|English||29-36||24-28||20-23||19 or lower|
|Maths||28-36||24-27||20-23||19 or lower|
|Reading||30-36||25-29||21-28||20 or lower|
|Science||27-36||24-26||21-25||20 or lower|
If you’re looking for “When and where are the scores of ACT reported?” then here is the answer. ACT delivers your scorecard automatically after the scores are released. But if you want to send your scores to more colleges that is possible too. The below steps need to be followed for that:
The below table of ACT cutoff will help candidates with ACT score requirements in Top Universities:
|Top Universities||ACT Cut off|
|California Institute of Technology||36|
|Carnegie Mellon University||34|
|John Hopkins University||34|
|University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign||31|
|University of Michigan – Ann Arbor||33|
|University of Notre Dame||34|
|University of Pennsylvania||34|
|University of California – San Diego||33|
|University of Southern California||33|
|University of Virginia||34|
|University of Texas(Austin)||33|
|University of Wisconsin – Madison||31|
|University of British Vancouver||25 and 10 in writing|
|University of Bristol||24|
|University of Tulsa||24-31|
|New York University||30 – 34|
|Oklahoma State University||21-28|
|University of Miami||28-32|
The following are a few general ACT preparation tips:
Below are a few of the best ACT coaching classes in India. These classes make use of the ACT English score calculator, and other score calculators to measure the performance level of candidates. ACT Preparation at Home can be aced with proper study materials and mock tests. The features of ACT coaching classes include personalized timings, problem-solving sessions, flexible pricing, and more.
Test takers should go through test day instructions provided on the official website under the “test day tab”
You can get ACT preparation materials online, but here are some ACT practice papers to help in your ACT preparation:
ACT Math Practice Paper:
|ACT Math Practice Paper 1||ACT Math Practice Paper 2|
|ACT Math Practice Paper 3||ACT Math Practice Paper 4|
|ACT Math Practice Paper 5||ACT Math Practice Paper 6|
|ACT Math Practice Paper 7||ACT Math Practice Paper 8|
|ACT Math Practice Paper 9||ACT Math Practice Paper 10|
|ACT Math Practice Test 11||ACT Math Practice Test 12|
|ACT Math Practice Test 13||ACT Math Practice Test 14|
ACT English Practice Paper:
|ACT English Practice Paper 1||ACT English Practice Paper 2|
|ACT English Practice Paper 3||ACT English Practice Paper 4|
|ACT English Practice Paper 5||ACT English Practice Paper 6|
|ACT English Practice Paper 7||ACT English Practice Paper 8|
|ACT English Practice Paper 9||ACT English Practice Paper 10|
|ACT English Practice Test 11||ACT English Practice Test 12|
|ACT English Practice Test 13||ACT English Practice Test 14|
ACT Reading Practice Paper:
|ACT Reading Practice Paper 1||ACT Reading Practice Paper 2|
|ACT Reading Practice Paper 3||ACT Reading Practice Paper 4|
|ACT Reading Practice Paper 5||ACT Reading Practice Paper 6|
|ACT Reading Practice Paper 7||ACT Reading Practice Paper 8|
|ACT Reading Practice Test 9||ACT Reading Practice Test 10|
|ACT Reading Practice Test 11||ACT Reading Practice Test 12|
|ACT Reading Practice Test 13||ACT Reading Practice Test 14|
ACT Science Practice Paper:
|ACT Science Practice Test 1||ACT Science Practice Test 2|
|ACT Science Practice Test 3||ACT Science Practice Test 4|
|ACT Science Practice Test 5||ACT Science Practice Test 6|
|ACT Science Practice Test 7||ACT Science Practice Test 8|
|ACT Science Practice Test 9||ACT Science Practice Test 10|
|ACT Science Practice Test 11||ACT Science Practice Test 12|
|ACT Science Practice Test 13||-|
So, these are all about ACT, and the candidates who want to complete their undergraduate studies from the reputed US universities must take ACT very seriously.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.