The ACT, which stands for American College Testing, is a standardized college entrance test administered in the United States. It determines if a high school student is ready for college -level education. Today, it is administered by a non-profit organization of the same name.
The ACT was first introduced by Everett Franklin Lindquist, a professor at the University of Iowa back in November 1959. It was first introduced as an alternative to the SAT or Scholastic Aptitude Test.
Originally, there were four tests in the ACT, namely English, Social Studies, Natural Sciences and Mathematics. But in 1989, a Reading test replaced the Social Studies section, and the Social Studies was a sub-section under it. The Natural Sciences test too was renamed. It is now called Science Reasoning test, and it mainly tests the problem-solving skills of a student. Then in February 2005, a Writing test was introduced, but this is optional.
Initially, ACT was a paper-based test, until 2013, when a digital version was made available. However, if schools choose the paper format, it is not compulsory for them to switch to computer tests.
ACT Duration and ACT Scoring
The duration for each of the tests are as follows:
English – 40 minutes
Reading – 35 minutes
Science – 35 minutes
Mathematics – 60 minutes
Optional Writing – 40 minutes
A total of three hours and thirty-five minutes is given to each student for the ACT, excluding breaks in between.
The main four tests, that is English, Reading, Science and Math, excluding the optional Writing test, are each scored on a scale of 1 to 36. Their total score, or the composite score, is then provided, which is a calculation of the average of all four scores, rounded to a whole number.
In recent years, the number of students attempting the ACT has increased. The test is accepted by all colleges and universities across the United States.