75 questions



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ACT Overview

  • LA 5
  • Test
  •  
  •  
  • Content
  • English
  • 75 questions
  • 45 min
  • Measures standard written English and rhetorical skills.
  • Math
  • 60 questions
  • 60 min
  • Measures mathematical skills students have typically acquired in courses taken up to the beginning of grade 12.
  • Reading
  • 40 questions
  • 35 min
  • Measures reading comprehension.
  • Science
  • 40 questions
  • 35 min
  • Measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills required in the natural sciences.
  • Optional Writing Test
  • 1 prompt
  • 30 min
  • Measures writing skills emphasized in high school English classes and in entry-level college composition courses.

Overview, continued

  • ACT test is about 3½ hours long
  • There is a short break between the Math and Reading tests
  • There is a total of 215 multiple choice questions and one essay
  • The ACT does not penalize you for a wrong answer: ANSWER EVERY QUESTION, even if it is a guess

English Test

  • The English test is a 75-question, 45-minute test, covering:
  • Usage/Mechanics
    • punctuation
    • grammar and usage
    • sentence structure
  • Rhetorical Skills
    • strategy
    • organization
    • style

Sample English Question:

Reading Test

  • 35 minutes, 40 questions
  • 4 reading passages 
      • 10 questions per passage
      • Factoring out time you’ll initially take to read the passages, you’ll have approximately 30 seconds per question (more for some, less for others)
      • 4 categories for reading passages:
        • Social Studies about 1,000
        • Natural Sciences words:
        • Humanities college level text
        • Prose Fiction

Social Studies, Natural Sciences, and Humanities Passages

  • Well-organized essays with a recognizable theme
  • You will have one reading from each of these categories
  • You will be asked questions about:
    • The theme and what its meaning is
    • Specific facts in the essay
    • The structure/organization of the essay

Prose Fiction Passage

  • Only fiction passage on the ACT Reading
  • Questions will ask you to:
    • Understand thoughts, feelings, motivations of fictional characters even when not explicitly stated in passage
    • Make lots of inferences

Sample Reading Questions


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