ACT Exam Pattern & syllabus 2021: Exam Format, structure, fees

ACT Exam Pattern 2021 in Details

ACT Exam Pattern
ACT Exam Pattern


Duration (minutes)

Number of Question/Task

Number of answer options




Multiple-choice questions with four or five choices




Multiple-choice referring and reasoning questions with four or five choices




Four-choices for one question, multiple-choice data representation, research summaries, and conflicting viewpoints questions




Four-choice, multiple-choice usage/mechanics and rhetorical skills questions

Writing (optional essay)



One writing prompt

ACT Exam Pattern Basics

ACT Length
  • The ACT is a 3 hours long exam and if the candidate opts for the optional writing then it continues up to 4 hours;
ACT Sections
  • English
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Writing (optional)
Cost The US without Writing: USD 50.50

The US with Writing: USD 67.00

Non-US without Writing: USD 150.00

Non-US with Writing: USD 166.50

Max. Score 36
Avg. Score 21

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Act exam pattern

ACT Exam Structure

Test Number of questions Time limit
English 75 multiple-choice questions 45 minutes
Math 60 multiple-choice questions 60 minutes
Reading 40 multiple-choice questions 35 minutes
Science 40 multiple-choice questions 35 minutes
Writing (optional)/ ACT Plus Writing 1 essay 40 minutes

ACT Syllabus 2021

The ACT syllabus mainly focuses on the senior secondary level subject includes

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

ACT English Syllabus

The ACT English syllabus consists of passages that examine the rhetorical, structural, discursive, usage, and mechanics skills. Grammar, punctuation, and proper sentence formation are tested under usage and mechanics, whereas the rhetorical section shows how proficiently the candidate grasps the passage.

  1. Mechanics – 40 Questions
    • punctuation(10 Questions)
    • grammar and usage (12 Questions)
    • sentence structure (18 Questions)
  2. Rhetorical Skills – 35 Questions
    • strategy(12 Questions)
    • organization(11 Questions)
    • style(12 Questions)
  3. Management of Writing (28-32%)
  4. Language Expertise (14 – 20%)
  5. Conventions of Standard English (50 – 56%)

ACT Reading Syllabus

ACT reading syllabus focuses on different contexts of passages prose fiction, social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences and literary fiction.

Structure (26-30%): Main focuses on author intends to state, the keywords and it’s purpose.

Keyword integration and analysis (55-60%)

ACT Math Syllabus

  • 4 trigonometry-based questions
  • 14 Pre-algebra-based: Linear equations, substitution, simplifying expressions, inequalities, multiplying binomials and quadratic equations
  • 9 Intermediate Algebra-based
  • 14 Plane geometry-based: Graphing inequalities, distance and mid-points, number lines, slope calculation
  • Elementary algebra-based:  ratio and percentages, surface areas, median.

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