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ACT Exam: A Step-By-Step Definitive Guide

While planning to study in the USA or Canada, you might have checked the requirements to get admission to a leading university in the USA and Canada.

You might have noticed that many universities accept the ACT exam.

What this exam is? Why do you need to take this test? What is the eligibility procedure for the test? How much is the fee and how can you register for the test?

So many questions are there. To get answers to all these questions, you need to read this blog from the beginning till the last. 

Table of Contents

  1. What is the ACT exam? 

  2. Exam Highlights 

  3. Eligibility Criteria 

  4. Pattern and Syllabus 

  5. Exam Fee 

  6. How to register? 

  7. How to check result? 

  8. FAQs

  9. Wrapping up

What is the ACT exam? 

The full form of the ACT exam is American College Testing which is taken by students who want to get admission to an undergraduate course in universities in the USA or Canada. It is a computer-based standardized test that identifies the written, mathematical, scientific and verbal skills of the students. 

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ACT Exam Highlights 

Here are some highlights of the ACT exam that will help you get a quick overview:

Name of the Exam 

ACT (American College Testing) 


English, Math, Reading, Writing (optional) and Science 

Type of Exam 


Type of questions 

MCQs +1 subjective (optional) 

Negative Marking 


Test Duration 

2 hours 55 minutes(without writing section) and 3 hours 55 minutes(with writing section) 

Exam conducting body 

ACT, Incorporated

ACT score validity 

5 years

ACT Exam Eligibility Criteria 

Are you eligible to take the ACT exam? Let’s check whether you fulfill the eligibility criteria for the test or not by checking the conditions given below: 

  • The minimum age to take the ACT test is 13, whereas there is no restriction on the upper age limit. 

  • A valid passport is required. 

  • The student or parent must have a debit card to pay the fee for the test. 

  • The student needs to take the test at least 3 months before the college/university deadline. 

ACT Exam Pattern and Syllabus 

Before taking the ACT exam, it is crucial to have full familiarity with the exam pattern and syllabus in order to avoid any chaos later. To become cognizant of the ACT exam pattern and syllabus, make sure to check out the table given below: 


Number of Questions 

Time Duration 



60 questions 

60 minutes 

Pre-algebra, Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Coordinate geometry, Plane geometry, Trigonometry


75 questions 

45 minutes 

Test sentence structure, punctuation, grammar, and rhetorical skills.


40 questions 

35 minutes 

Four passages from different sections including social sciences, humanities, fiction and natural sciences


40 questions 

35 minutes 

Research summaries, Data representation like graphs and tables, Conflicting viewpoints


1 essay prompt 

40 minutes 


ACT Exam Fee 

Let us tell you that the ACT exam fee is non-refundable. So, once you paid for the test won’t be refunded in the future. Well, the examination fee for the ACT exam is given below: 

ACT exam fee (With the writing section) 


ACT exam fee (Without the writing section)


International fee


ACt exam date changed fee 


Late registration fee 


How to register the ACT exam? 

Step 1: If you want to register for the ACT exam, you can follow the steps given below: 

Step 2: Visit the official website (www.global.act.org) to create an account. 

Step 3: Sign in to the account you have created and fill out the application form. 

Step 4: Choose the test session. 

Step 5: Now, choose the test date and a suitable option such as with a writing section or without a writing section.  

Step 6: Choose the colleges and make the payment. 

Step 7: Finally upload your photographs. 

How to check the ACT exam result? 

Candidates can check the ACT exam result by logging in to the account they created by registering for the test. Those who have taken the computer-based test can check the scores of the MCQ-type questions two days after the test date. However, those who have taken the pen and paper-based exam can check their scores two-ten weeks after the test date. Well, to check the scores in the writing section, you need to wait for two weeks after the release of scores in MCQ-type questions. 


Ques 1) What is the full form of the ACT exam? 

Ans) The full form of the ACT exam is American College Testing. 

Ques 2) Is the writing section mandatory in the ACT exam? 

Ans) No, the writing section is optional in the ACT exam. 

Ques 3) What is the total time duration of the ACT exam? 

Ans) The total time duration of the ACT exam (with a writing section) is 3 hours 55 minutes, while the time duration of the ACT exam (without a writing section) is 2 hours 55 minutes. 

Ques 4) What is the minimum age limit to be eligible for the ACT exam? 

Ans) The minimum age limit to be eligible for the ACT exam is 13. 

Wrapping up

To wrap up, this was the complete guide for the ACT exam including all the details. We hope you don’t have any confusion regarding the ACT exam now as you have got all the answers to your questions through this blog.

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