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The ACT is a standardized college entrance exam that consists of four tests in: English, Math, Reading and Science reasoning. All four year colleges now accept the ACT test score, but each score places different emphasis on standardized test scores in comparison to GPA, class rank and extracurricular activities.
How is the ACT scored?
Each of the four standard test sections (English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning) is scored on a scale of 1-36. You will also receive a composite score, which is the average of your four test scores. If you take the Writing test, you will receive a Writing test sub-score (ranging from 2 to 12) and a combined English/Writing score (ranging from 1 to 36), along with comments about your essay.
What is the format of each test?
Each subject consist of multiple choice as well as a 30-minute writing test. The ACT English Test consists of five passages of nonfiction prose. Each passage is followed by 15 questions about how it is written. Some questions ask you to choose the selection that best rephrases an underlined portion of the passage, and others ask about its overall organization.
The ACT Mathematics Test is designed to test your knowledge of the basic facts and skills taught in most high school math programs. The test utilizes various problem types, including some word problems, problems that involve reading and interpreting graphs and charts, geometry problems, trigonometry problems, and a few straightforward arithmetic and algebra problems.
The ACT Reading Test includes four passages. One is a fictional narrative; the others are nonfiction discussions of topics from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. A group of questions designed to test how well you understood the information follows each passage.
The ACT Science Reasoning Test presents you with seven sets of science information, which can be presented in the form of graphs, tables, charts, or diagrams; descriptions of experimental studies and results; and presentations of differing theories or hypotheses about a particular scientific topic. Each passage is followed by several questions that require you to demonstrate your understanding of the subject and interpret the information that was presented.
The optional ACT Writing Test consists of one essay question. The question defines an issue and then presents two points of view. In your essay, you must declare your position and support your opinion with reasons and details. You may choose one of the perspectives presented in the prompt or present a new perspective of your own. You will be graded on your ability to express a position; maintain focus; develop and support your ideas; organize your thoughts logically; and use language clearly and effectively.
How should you study for the ACT test?
Practice tests are an ideal way to begin your preparation. They are affordable and will give you instant results to see how you might score if the test were today. Get yourself familiar with the testing set up and talk to others who have taken the test, or a mentor who is familiar with the testing setup.