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A Comprehensive Guide on ACT Test Preparation

ACT Test Preparation

If you are a high school student then you must have heard about the two main daunting tests – ACT and SAT- doing the rounds. In order to enroll for an undergraduate exam, your college will ask you to submit your ACT/SAT score. They form a key component of your admission process. Lately, ACT has been gaining more and more popularity because of its student-friendly pattern. The graph below indicates how the number of ACT test-takers has been steadily increasing and has surpassed the number of SAT-takers. Let’s have a look at what this exam is all about and what is the ACT test used for? 

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What Is The ACT?

ACT test stands for American College Testing. The ACT is a standardized test that is required to be taken by students looking for admission in undergraduate schools based in the US and Canada. It assesses your college readiness and gauges your academic abilities. This is one of the most crucial aspects for measuring your eligibility to get admission into a college or university. 

The ACT exam has been developed to evaluate your written, mathematical, verbal and scientific skills. The test has five sections: English, Math, Reading, Science, and the optional Writing (Essay) section. The ACT test is of 2 hrs 55 minutes duration without essay and 3 hrs 35 minutes with essay. It is conducted 7 times a year: February, April, June, July, August, September, October. 

English, Math, Reading and Science tests are scored on a scale of 1 to 36 and the composite ACT score is the average of these four tests. The average score of this exam stands at 21. The cost of taking the ACT outside the US is $150 without writing and $166.50 with writing. 

About The ACT Test

The ACT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make key admissions decisions. They use this test to get a broad idea of the student’s academic abilities. The test score provides a common data point to the colleges to compare students in the institution’s applicant pool. 

Since the ACT is a standardized test, an individual student’s ACT test score can be used to compare him to students in the rest of the country or even the world.

College admissions officers will review standardized test scores alongside your high school GPA, the classes you took in high school, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays. How important ACT scores are in the college application process varies from school to school.

Although the GPA is an important part of your college application, this ACT test score will be closely evaluated and used in more ways than one. You may ask what the ACT test used for? We will answer that question right after explaining the test pattern.

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What Is The ACT Exam Pattern? | ACT Exam Guide 

The following is the exam pattern of the ACT test.

  • The English test has 75 questions with a duration of 45 minutes
  • The Math test has 60 questions with a duration of 60 minutes
  • The Reading test has 40 questions with a duration of 35 minutes
  • The Science test has 40 questions with a duration of 35 minutes
  • The Writing (optional) test has 1 question and is of 40 minutes

What Is The ACT Used For?

Finally, we have arrived at the section you were looking for. The ACT test has numerous applications. A few of the common ones have been listed below.

  1. Gaining Admission Into Prestigious Colleges and Universities

The first and foremost use of the ACT test is to gain admission into your dream college. An ACT Math Test score of 33 may tell colleges or universities that you are ready to take on their college program’s higher-level Mathematics, while an ACT test score of 20 might tell institutions that you may not have the proficiency they need. The ACT test scores of the student let institutions see where you stand on a broad academic spectrum, and determine if you would be able to make it at their school. Most colleges accept both ACT and SAT scores so taking this test will act as the first step towards your bright and successful future. 

  1. The ACT Test Score Is Used For Scholarships

You will be stunned to know how many scholarships await you if you have a decent score. In some universities, you can also secure scholarships worth $2000 for just a score of mid-20s. That doesn’t mean you set your bar low. In most cases, an above 30 ACT test score is good for availing scholarships. Scoring above 30 points puts you in the 90th percentile of test-takers. Make sure you maximise your score to grab massive scholarships. You can even check out Unischolarz for a complete list of scholarships available. 

  1. ACT Scores Can Make A Difference In Your Future Job

Some employers are interested in the academic performance of the candidates from the very start. This is why even if you are years out of college, there may be chances that your new employer asks you for the ACT scores. Hence, do take this exam seriously even at the age of 17 because it is going to matter at the age of 27 or beyond. 

  1. It gives you a sense of accomplishment

Taking the ACT test is an accomplishment in itself. You will be able to determine your strengths and weaknesses well. Setting a high target and achieving the same would boost your confidence and help you drive motivation out of it in all your future endeavors. 

These were some answers to the question – What is ACT exam used for? Hope we could help explain to you all the details about the ACT exam. If you have decided to take the test then do study well and all the best!


1.What is the ACT and what does it test?

The ACT is a standardised test that assesses students’ abilities in five areas: English, Math, reading, science, and writing (optional). Students in grade 11 and grade 12 take the ACT so that their scores can be submitted to colleges as part of the college application procedure. In 45 minutes, you must answer 75 questions.

2.What is a good ACT score?

Overall, a good ACT score is one that is in the 75th percentile or higher, at least a 24. Students should strive to achieve or exceed the mid- 50% of ACT scores at their preferred colleges. The ACT Writing segment is optional and is scored using a different scale.

3.Who is eligible for the ACT?

According to the ACT, anyone, regardless of age or academic grade level, can apply for the test; students in grades 6, 7, 8, and 9 and high school graduates can apply for the ACT exam.

4.Is the ACT easy?

Because of its strict time constraints, the ACT is difficult for many students. In the English section, you’ll have 45 minutes to answer 75 questions, which equates to 36 seconds per question. In the Math section, you’ll have 60 minutes to answer 60 questions, so each question will take no more than a minute.

Thank you for reading this blog on –  What Is The ACT Test Used For? The Complete Guide To ACT Exam. If you enjoyed reading this blog then do check out our following international exam blogs as well. 

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ACT Test Preparation

A Comprehensive Guide on ACT Test Preparation

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