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Exam Pattern

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

            Section    Number of questions          and time limit  Content/Skills Covered       Question Types
              English 75 questions in 45 min.  grammar & usage,                punctuation, sentence        structure, strategy,              organization, and style  four-choice, multiple-      choice usage/mechanics  and rhetorical skills          questions
              Math 60 questions in 60 min.  pre-algebra, elementary      algebra, intermediate          algebra, coordinate              geometry, plane  geometry,and  trigonometry  five-choice, multiple-    choice questions
            Reading 40 questions in 35 min.  reading comprehension of  what is directly stated or    implied  four-choice, multiple-      choice referring and          reasoning questions
           Science 40 questions in 35 min.  interpretation, analysis,      evaluation, reasoning,  and problem solving  four-choice, multiple-      choice data                  representation, research  summaries, and              conflicting viewpoints      questions
     Writing (optional)         1 essay in 40 min.               writing skills              essay prompt


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:


grammar and usage
sentence structure
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 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 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 the 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 it. 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.


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