Plan Your Career

ACT - Study in USA

International Exam accepted for admission by most colleges and universities in the U.S.A.

The ACT Test is an international exam that is used to determine whether the candidate is ready for college level studies or not. The idea behind the test is to create a criterion that is common to all applicants so that they can be compared. It is used by most of the colleges and universities in the U.S to admit students along with other criteria like essays, school mark sheets, letters of recommendation etc.

The ACT Test is created and published by ACT, Inc. which is an independent, non – profit organization. It is one of the most important global tests and is held 6 times a year in the U.S and 5 times a year internationally.

Unlike the SAT Reasoning test which judges students on the basis of their ability to analyze and solve problems, the ACT Test looks to test students on the basis of the academic knowledge that they have acquired over the years. The whole purpose is to let colleges and universities know more about the academic prowess of an applicant so that they can decide whether to admit that particular applicant or not.

The ACT Test evaluates a student on the subjects that are taught in high school such as English, Math, Science and Reading so as to know whether the student will be able to cope with college level studies in these subjects or not. The questions are generally of the high school difficulty level, i.e. grade 8 to grade 12. The ACT test acts as a link between what the students have learned till now and what they are going to learn in the future.

The ACT Test comprises of questions on the above mentioned subjects along with an optional writing test. This optional test is useful for students who are applying to colleges that require a written test. Check with your desired college before choosing to appear for the ACT Test (No Writing) or the ACT plus Writing test.

The minimum required score in the ACT test differs from college to college and university to university. It can be helpful to go through your desired college’s website so as to know about what is the minimum requirement with regards to ACT scores for that institution.

What are the eligibility criteria?

There are no specific eligibility criteria for the ACT test. However, 11th grade and above is considered to be a suitable qualification.

In India, students only need to appear for the ACT test if they wish to study abroad. Most students appear for the ACT test during their Class 11th or 12th.

There is no limitation with regards to the number of times you are allowed to appear for the ACT test. However, you are not allowed to appear for the ACT test more than 12 times in total.

For further information, please visit the following websites: and

How to apply?

To register for the ACT test, you must create a free ACT web account. It is advisable to register at least 2 months before the date of the test so as to ensure that you can appear for the test at your desired center and on your desired date.

After creating the account, click on the ‘Register to Test’ link. Choose the type of ACT test you wish to appear for, i.e. ACT (No writing) Test or ACT Plus Writing Test.

Mention the universities or colleges that you want the ACT authorities to send your Test reports to.  Your test reports will be sent directly to up to 4 colleges of your choice for free. If you wish to send your test report to more colleges, then you will have to pay an additional fee per college.

Select the test center and date on which you would like to appear for the ACT Test.

Review your information and make sure that your details are the same as the ones in the ID that you are going to bring to the center on the day of the test.

Make the payment online using a Credit/Debit card. Your registration will be confirmed once your payment is successful.

You will also be required to upload a passport size photograph of yourself on your ACT web account.

For any further information, please visit the following websites: and

What is the pattern of the examination?

The ACT test is a paper based examination. The approximate duration of the test is 3 hours with an additional 30 minutes for the candidates appearing for the optional written test.

The test comprises of 4 separate sections, namely: English, Reading, Science and Math. There is also an optional writing test that one can choose to appear for.

There is a short break after the first two sections. For students attempting the written test, a brief break is also scheduled before the start of the optional written test.

The English section comprises of 75 questions and has to be completed within 45 minutes. It will test you on your grammar, punctuation, sentence structure etc.

The Math section comprises of 60 questions and has to be completed within 60 minutes. It will test you on your knowledge in Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry.

The Reading section comprises of 40 questions and has to be completed within 35 minutes. You will be required to read passages and answer questions based on those passages.

The Science section comprises of 40 questions and has to be completed within 35 minutes. You will be required to go through science based passages and answer related questions.

The duration of the optional test will be 30 minutes and you will have to write a single essay on a particular topic.

The results are generally declared within 2½ weeks after your test date. Score reports are generally released within 3 to 8 weeks after the test date. For candidates who appear for the optional writing test as well, this time frame shifts to 5 to 8 weeks after the test date.

There is no passing or failing score. You will have to go as per the score requirements specified by the college /university you wish to apply to.

Your score is calculated by first adding your marks for all the right answers (raw score) for each test. This raw score for each test is then converted to a ‘scaled score’ that ranges from 1 – 36. The average scaled score for all your 4 sections (English, Reading, Math and Science) makes up your ‘Composite score’. This composite score is the basis of your admission into colleges and universities.

For more information, please visit the following websites: and

What are the prospects?

The ACT test is an internationally recognized exam and is widely used by American as well as foreign students to gain admission into colleges and universities situated in the U.S. As an International student, a good ACT score can make a huge difference to your application as it will help in convincing the college authorities that you will be able to deal with the college work load and the high level of academic studies in the U.S. A Composite score of above 22 is generally considered to be a good ACT score.

What are the dates on which the ACT test is being held?

The ACT test is generally held 5 times a year internationally. The dates are different for each year and you will need to select a date during the application process. It is advisable to visit the ACT website so as to keep a track of the dates and application deadlines of the upcoming ACT tests for your region.

Click on the following link to see when the next ACT test is being held:

Study in USA