What is the ACT?

The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in:

English Mathematics Reading Science

The ACT Plus Writing includes the four subject area tests plus a 30-minute Writing Test.

ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the U.S.

The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete, including a short break (or just over four hours if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing). Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes (plus 30 minutes if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing).

The ACT is administered on six test dates within the United States, U.S. territories, Puerto Rico, and Canada—September, October, December, February, April, and June. In other locations, the ACT is administered on all of the above dates except September, and the ACT Plus Writing is not available on the February test date.

The basic registration fee includes score reports for up to four college choices, if you list valid codes when you register.

The ACT tests are prepared according to the:

  • Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and National Council on Measurement in Education (1999).
  • Code of Professional Responsibilities in Educational Measurement, National Council on Measurement in Education (1995).
  • Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education, Joint Committee on Testing Practices (2004).