The ACT

What is the ACT?
•  The ACT has four sections: English, Reading, Math, and Science 
•  The test is 175 minutes long
•  The optional writing section adds an additional 30 minutes to the test.    

English Section: (45 minutes total)
    •  1 multiple-choice section  [grammar and usage, punctuation, and sentence structure] -- 75 questions total
    •  The section consists of 5 prose passages, each followed by multiple-choice questions
Reading Section: (35 minutes total)
    •  1 multiple-choice section -- 40 questions total
    •  The section consists of 4 passages that are representitive of the kinds of reading passages students will encounter once in college.
Mathematics Section: (60 minutes total)
    •  1 multiple-choice section -- 60 questions total
    •  The section covers math concepts that most students will have learned by the completion of the 11th­ grade.
Science Section: (35 minutes total)
    •  1 multiple-choice section -- 40 questions total
    •  The section tests students on skills of basic science reasoning: interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving.
    •  The section DOES NOT test students on outside scientific knowledge

What is the optional writing section? Why would I take it?
•  The writing test was first made available in 2005
•  It is a 30-minute essay that tests your basic writing skills. The question is a prompt that will describe an issue and two points-of-view on that issue. The student will then be asked to present his or her own view on the issue. Like the SAT essay, the score for this section will not be based on the actual point-of-view of the essay, but instead it will be based on the overall quality and competence of the essay. 
•  You would take it because most colleges will require the test in conjunction with the ACT. But, others will not. You should make the decision about whether to take the optional writing section or not based on your own college list. But in the majority of cases - you have to take it....