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What is on the ACT?

Thumbtack Editors
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The ACT is made up of a variety of multi-choice questions under four main subject areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. There is also the option for a written essay. For ACT prep, it’s important to study each subject. Each subject area is broken down into multiple parts to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the student’s understanding of the material. ACT prep provides an opportunity to prepare for the subject matter in each area.

ACT English:

  • Production of writing: 29 percent-32 percent of English score. These questions focus on topic development and organization, unity, and cohesion.
  • Knowledge of language: 13 percent-19 percent of English score. This section examines the student’s use of vocabulary and effective language use.
  • Conventions of standard English: 51 percent-56 percent of English score. These questions address sentence structure and formation, punctuation and grammar, and recognition of grammatical errors and how to improve.

 

ACT Math:

  • Preparing for higher math: 57 percent-60 percent of mathematics score. These questions cover number and quantity, algebra, functions, geometry, and statistics and probability.
  • Integrating essential skills: 40 percent-43 percent of mathematics score. These questions address comprehension of math learned prior to and after 8th grade.
  • Modeling: less than 25 percent of mathematics score. These questions examine how students use modeling skills in all math topics.

 

ACT Reading:

  • Key ideas and details: 55 percent-60 percent of reading score. The questions test students’ ability to summarize information, draw conclusions, and grasp central themes.
  • Craft and structure: 25-30 percent of reading score. These questions examine students’ ability to understand an author’s word choice and meaning and analyze various points of view.
  • Integration of knowledge and ideas: 13-18 percent of reading score. These questions examine students’ ability to understand facts and opinions and make connections between texts that share similar themes.

 

ACT Science:

  • Interpretation of data: 45–55 percent of science score. Students will need to analyze and manipulate scientific data presented in various formats.
  • Scientific investigation: 20–30 percent of science score. These questions will test students’ understanding of experimental tools, procedures and design.
  • Evaluation of models, inferences, and experimental results: 25–35 percent of science score.

 

ACT Writing:

  • This is a 40-minute written essay that examines students’ competence with ideas and analysis, development and support, organization, and language use and conventions.

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