You have 45 minutes to answer 75 questions during the English section of the ACT test. Your task will basically be to find errors and the best choice of correction for these errors. Many questions include the choice “no change needed,” so you need to be secure in your knowledge of standard written English, as well as tools authors use to write effectively.
The passages contain numbers pairing certain content with particular questions on the test. Some questions refer to the entire passage (this is noted, too), some to a paragraph, and others to an underlined phrase or sentence. When answering a question, be sure you are referring to the part of the passage having that question number.
Questions may cover development of topics, essay audience and purpose, developing and evaluating supporting material and relevance of statements. You may also be asked about organization of writing ideas, opening and closing sentences, or transitions in a text. Style questions may address tone, precision of word, image usage, or identifying redundancy or ambiguity.
The Mathematics section of the ACT test contains 60 questions and is timed for 60 minutes. You will have access to a calculator for all of the questions in this section, only. The content covers math skills that are typically learned through the end of the eleventh grade. You will need to use these skills and your reasoning ability to find correct answers.
The Reading section of the ACT test measures your comprehension skills by providing a passage from which you should be able to read, then find explicitly stated details, infer from text, draw conclusions, and make comparisons and generalizations. Roughly 25% of the passages come from each of these subject areas: Social Studies, Natural Sciences, Literature, and Humanities.
Most of the reading questions refer to a single passage, but the ACT test has introduced “paired passages,” for which you will need to refer to two separate short paragraphs on the same topic to answer questions. During the Reading section of the ACT test, you have 35 minutes to answer 40 questions. You need to read passages thoroughly, but quickly, attempting to gain the most meaning while wasting no time. This would be a good thing to practice during your preparation.
The ACT Science test will require you to answer 40 questions in 35 minutes. There will be emphasis on reasoning, not how well you have memorized content. Generally, the questions are taken from core courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and the Earth and space sciences geology, astronomy, and meteorology. No higher-level knowledge in any of these areas is needed, but basic understanding will be required. You will not have access to a calculator for this section.