The ACT test is the most widely accepted test across the US for admission to colleges. A large number of high school students take this test every year. Your ACT score report provides the college admission committees with adequate information on your career planning, your high school grades, as well as your test scores. This information helps the college admission committees in segregating suitable candidates from the whole lot who’ve applied for admissions.
Almost all high school students set a career goal for themselves depending on their choice of subjects. You should be clear about your aptitude and interest in related subject areas before starting to formalize a plan for achieving your career aspirations. The first step in the right direction would be achieving high scores in the examination.
The ACT consists of 4 sub tests; English, Math, Reading, Science and an optional Writing test. You should check with the college, in which you are applying for admission, whether the ACT Writing Test scores figure in their pre requisites for admission. If these scores are not required by them then you can skip taking the Writing Test. All questions of the sub tests are multiple choice type, except for the Writing Test in which you will be required to write an essay. This examination evaluates your subject specific knowledge of the high school level. You should be thorough with the fundamentals of high school academics in order to excel in the ACT test.
The succeeding paragraphs will give you a brief introduction to the type of questions asked in each sub test. You should log on to the official web site, (www.actstudent.org) for a more detailed description of the ACT questions. The web site offers you a free preparatory booklet with practice tests and other free preparation tips. You can also register for the test online from the same web site.
There are 75 questions in this sub test. and you have 45 minutes to answer all of them. Out of the 75 questions, 45 will test your knowledge on punctuation, sentence structure, grammar and usage of standard written English. Your rhetorical skills will be tested by the remaining 35 ACT questions of the English test.
You will be presented with 5 passages followed by a set of multiple choice questions. The passages are designed to present you with different types of rhetorical situations. The passages will have certain underlined portions and the following questions may refer to these underlined portions. Some questions may be directly related to the underlined text and some may be based on the whole passage or a section of the passage. You have to select your answer from the multiple choices given below the question. You will come across No Change as one of the answers a number of times and you can select this option too if you feel that it correctly answers the question presented to you. Your score report will consist of three scores from the English test. There will be one total English test score which will be arrived at by evaluating all the 75 questions, a sub score based on the 40 questions on usage and mechanics and a sub score based on the 35 questions on rhetoric skills
The Math test consists of 60 questions which have to be answered within a 60 minutes’ time frame. This means that you have exactly 1 minute to spend on answering each question of this section. You should make an endeavor to complete each question in less than one minute so that you have time left to revise your answers in the end, Also, you will have some time up your sleeve in case you get caught up in a difficult problem and you are not able to arrive at the correct answer within 1 minute.
The Mathematics questions are direct questions on Math of the high school level and they are all multiple choice questions. You may be presented with more than one question based on a graph or chart. You should be thorough with the fundamentals of high school mathematics in order to score high in the Math Test. There will be 24 questions on Pre Algebra and Elementary Algebra, 18 questions on Intermediate Algebra and Coordinate Geometry and 18 questions on Plane Geometry and Trigonometry. There will be four scores from the Mathematics section in your score card. The Math score will be calculated by evaluating all 60 questions. In addition to the Math score there will be three sub scores, one each for the questions on elementary algebra, coordinate geometry and Trigonometry.
The Math questions are designed in such a way that you do not require a calculator to solve them. However, you can carry a calculator to the test center and use it if you want. To see the detailed information on use of calculators for the Math test, you can log on to the following website: www.actstudent.org. If you feel that you will be able to solve the given problem without using the calculator then go ahead and solve it. Don’t waste your time in carrying out computations with the calculator. In any case questions requiring complex calculations and recall of difficult formulae are not asked in the Math test. However, if time permits, you can use the calculator to double check your answers.