Cancel Forgot Password?

ACT Scores: The First Step Is Knowing the Basics about the Test

By Peterson's Staff updated on Friday, May 02, 2014

ACT scores

The ACT is composed of four standard test sections:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Reading
  • Science Reasoning

Each section is scored on a scale of 1-36. You will also receive a composite ACT score, which is the average of your four test scores.

If you take the Writing test, you will receive a Writing test subscore (ranging from 2 to 12) and a combined English/Writing score (ranging from 1 to 36), along with comments about your essay.

By utilizing ACT prep, you'll be able to maximize your scoring. ACT test prep grants you tips and strategies to increase your scores. One of the best sources of prep is sample tests, and you can find just such a free ACT test here at Peterson's.

ACT testing locations

Tests are usually administered at high schools. Check with your guidance counselor or contact ACT, Inc. for more information.

ACT testing dates

Test Date Registration Date Late Registration
April 12, 2014 March 7, 2014 March 8-21, 2014
June 14, 2014 May 9, 2014 May 10-23, 2014

*Only within the 50 United States and D.C.
**No testing in New York

ACT help: understand the test structure for high ACT scores

Question Type Number of Questions
Usage & mechanics 40
Rhetorical skills 35
Time Allotted: 45 minutes
Question Type Number of Questions
Pre-Algebra (Arithmetic) 14
Elementary algebra 10
Intermediate algebra 9
Coordinate geometry 9
Plane geometry 14
Trigonometry 4
Time Allotted: 60 minutes
Question Type Number of Questions
Prose fiction 10
Humanities 10
Social studies 10
Natural sciences 10
Time Allotted: 35 minutes
Science Reasoning
Question Type Number of Questions
Data representation 15
Research summary 18
Conflicting viewpoint 7
Time Allotted: 35 minutes
Writing (optional)
Question Type Number of Questions
Essay 1
Time Allotted: 30 minutes


About the Author

Peterson's has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, and the expert staff members here are all ready to leverage their considerable knowledge and experience to help you succeed on your educational journey. We have the information, the know-how, and the tools -- now all we need is you!

More articles by this author
Find a college that's right for you!
1Choose a state

2Choose a major
3Choose a degree type

Colleges you might like...

  • Type Private
  • Setting Not Reported
  • Size Not Reported
  • In-State Not Reported
  • Out-of-State Not Reported
  • Acceptance Not Reported
View Full School Profile
  • Type Public
  • Setting Suburban
  • Size 20,797 students
  • In-State $8,190
  • Out-of-State $29,160
  • Acceptance Moderately Difficult
View Full School Profile
  • Type Public
  • Setting Suburban
  • Size 25,981 students
  • In-State $9,048
  • Out-of-State $31,410
  • Acceptance Moderately Difficult
View Full School Profile

Forgot Your Password?

To reset your password, simply enter your email address in the field below and click the Reset Password button. You will receive an email with a link and instructions to reset your password.

Check your email.

Please check your email and click on the link provided in the message to reset your password.