The ACT is one of the most popular entrance examinations accepted by colleges in the US and abroad. This exam gives students a chance to test their hard work and skill in a healthy competition. While it is less extravagant than its competitor – the SAT, the ACT is accepted by all colleges in the US including the Ivy League. This means that clearing the ACT with a great score could get you admission into the college of your dreams. While coaching is extremely recommended for the exam since people who are familiar with the type of questions will be teaching you, it is also possible to clear it on your own. This article will help you get familiar with the pattern of the examination so that you aren’t at a disadvantage compared to those taking coaching for the examination.
The Examination is divided into 4 different sections. These are – English, Math, Reading, and Science. Applicants are also given a choice to attempt the optional Writing Test (Essay) which is required by most colleges for admission. The exam spans over 2 hours 55 minutes in total and 3 hours 35 minutes if you choose to attempt the writing section. You will be given a short snack break after the 2nd and 4th section which will let you recharge for the next test. The exam is pencil based in the US & Canada and requires the use of an HB-2 pencil, while in other countries, it is computerized.
The ACT is an MCQ (Multiple Choice Question) based examination and gives four choices of the correct answer for each question in the English, Reading, and Science tests. The Mathematics test, however, has 5 choices. The numbering of the questions is a bit peculiar since all odd number questions’ answer choices are labeled as A through D (sometimes E), and for even number questions, it is from F to J (sometimes K) except I.
Every correct answer will land you a point and there is no negative marking to deduct your score in the case of a wrong answer. This allows students to attempt questions that they don’t really know the answers to by guessing.
The raw score for each section gets scaled into a computer-generated score between 1 and 36. Further, all the scores from individual sections are averaged into a score between 1 and 36. The writing section has a score range of 2 to 12 and does not affect your total score in any way.