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Complete Guide to ACT Test 2023: Registration, Dates, Requirements, Scores, Fees & More for ACT Exam

Yocket Editorial Team
Complete Guide to ACT Test 2023: Registration, Dates, Requirements, Scores, Fees & More for ACT Exam Image

Most of the colleges in the USA, Canada, and others accept ACT test scores for their undergraduate admission. Apart from a decent GPA, it is of utmost importance to qualify SAT or ACT exam to secure a seat in the college of your dreams. Appearing for the ACT is equivalent to being one step ahead in the process of your application to the best universities abroad. 

If you are wondering what is ACT exam, or what are ACT test benefits, this blog will guide you through all the details to start with your ACT preparation and planning. 

  Table of Contents:

  1. What is ACT Exam?
  2. What are ACT Test Benefits?
  3. What is the ACT Exam Syllabus and Structure?
  4. How to Calculate ACT Scores?
  5. What are the Requirements for ACT Exam?
  6. How to Register for ACT Exam?
  7. Act Exam Fee 2023
  8. ACT Test Dates & Centres 2022
  9. What are ACT Scholarships?
  10. Tips to Prepare for ACT Exam
  11. Frequently Asked Questions About ACT Exam

What is ACT Exam?

The ACT exam is a curriculum-based education and career planning tool for high school students that assesses their eligibility for the best colleges and universities. A brief overview of the ACT test is given below:

ACT Exam Full Form 

American College Testing 

Conducted By

ACT Inc.

Accepted By

Universities in USA 


Online + Paper-Based

Test Type



High School Graduate


3 hours and 35 minutes(with writing section),

2 hours and 55 minutes(without writing section)

Number of Questions 

216 (1 for writing - optional)

Number of Sections 

3 + 1 optional

Suggested: How to Prepare for ACT Exam 2023?

What are ACT Test Benefits?

Keeping in mind the rigorous preparation and dedication that the ACT exam demands, you might re-think whether or not to take the test. The ACT test benefits are plenty and worth everything in the end. Let us now have a look at the perks of taking the ACT test:

  • ACT Compensates for Low GPA: There might be times when your high school marks do not meet the standards of the college you wish to attend. In such scenarios, a high ACT score can work wonders in impressing the admission committee.
  • Evaluates Your Weaknesses & Strengths: The ACT exam can give a fair idea of the subjects that you are good at, and the ones that you need to put more effort into. It always makes you aware of the stream or subjects that best suit your capabilities.
  • Scholarships: Who wouldn’t want to earn a scholarship to fund their studies abroad? A high ACT score makes you eligible for different undergraduate merit-based scholarships that are well-funded.

Suggested: Colleges Accepting Low ACT Scores

What is the ACT Exam Syllabus and Structure?

To talk of ACT exam syllabus, it mainly tests a student’s high school level language skills and analytical abilities for four subjects i.e., English, Math, Reading and Science. Each section aims at assessing a set of subject-specific skills of the student. Along with this, there is also an optional writing section, whose main purpose is to assess the writing skills of the student. If the student is taking the writing section, the ACT exam duration is 3 hours and 35 minutes; otherwise, it is 2 hours and 55 minutes.

Let us now have a look at the ACT exam pattern based on the syllabus: 

What is the ACT Exam Syllabus and Structure?

ACT English Section

The ACT English test has multiple-choice questions that cover the full spectrum of editorial skills without having students understand complex grammar jargon. Comprising 75 questions that are to be answered in 45 minutes, the ACT English syllabus is based on sentence structuring and rhetorical capabilities. 

A brief overview of ACT English syllabus and exam pattern is mentioned below:

Usage/Mechanics Questions

Skills Tested: Punctuation, Sentence Structure, Grammar & Usage.

No. of Questions: 40

Rhetorical Skills Questions 

Skills Tested: Punctuation, Sentence Structure, Grammar & Usage.

No. of Questions: 35

Suggested: Preparation Books for ACT

ACT Math Section

The ACT math section consists of 60 questions and lasts 60 minutes. This gives students a limited time of one minute per question. The calculator is permitted in ACT Math, but only under defined conditions.

The ACT math syllabus consists of 6 sections that cover a wide range of topics. A bifurcation of the ACT math topics and the number of questions are mentioned below:


No. of Questions



Elementary Algebra


Intermediate Algebra


Coordinate Geometry


Plane Geometry




Suggested: Preparation Book for Math ACT

ACT Reading 

Comprising of different reading passages and targeted towards evaluating your presence of mind and analytical abilities, the ACT reading is one of the most critical sections of the ACT test. The ACT reading passages are based on topics from Social Studies, General Science, Literary Studies and Current Affairs. This segment is also 36 points, just like the others. It consists of four passages with approximately 800 words each with 40 questions altogether and a time limit of 35 minutes. 

A brief overview of the ACT reading syllabus is discussed below: 

  • Prose Fiction: It comprises snippets from novels or short tales. The majority of the passages are modern, promoting variety, and usually centred on family dynamics.
  • Social Science: Anthropology, archaeology, biography, business, economics, education, geography, history, political science, psychology, and sociology are examples of social science topics.
  • Humanities: Nonfiction passages in the humanities, typically contain recollections or personal essays Architecture, art, dance, ethics, film, language, literary criticism, music, philosophy, radio, television, and theatre are among the topics covered.
  • Natural Science: Anatomy, astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, ecology, geology, medicine, meteorology, microbiology, natural history, physiology, physics, technology, and zoology are some of the topics covered in natural science.

Suggested: ACT Reading Preparation Books

ACT Writing Section

The ACT writing test is an optional choice. College and universities act independently regarding whether to require the ACT writing exam scores for admittance and/or course allocation. Students will opt on whether or not to take the writing test depending on the requirements of the institutions they are considering.

A brief exam pattern of ACT writing is as follows:

The ACT writing topics provided to you will be divided into two sections:

  • A paragraph addressing a subject of international significance.
  • Three perspectives on the subject post the introduction.

A well-drafted ACT essay follows the following steps:

  • An introduction statement for the argument and essential facts about your perspective in the first paragraph.
  • Proceeded by further logic and detail your opinions in the next paragraphs. 
  • The essay concludes with a definite closing statement or remarks. 

Suggested: Preparation Book for Science ACT

How to Calculate ACT Scores?

All the four sections of the ACT syllabus is worth 36 points. The ACT score is the average of all the points scored in each section on a scale of 1-36. The scores for the writing section are given individually on a scale of 2-22 points. The average ACT score required for most college applications is 22.

If you opt for the optional Writing component, that will be evaluated on a scale of 2-12. However, your ACT essay score does not impact your overall ACT score.

To have a detailed knowledge of calculating your ACT results check out our blog ACT Score Calculator.

Suggested: What is ACT Superscore?

How to Calculate ACT Scores?

What are the Requirements for ACT Exam?

There is no such set ACT exam eligibility. You may appear for the ACT test irrespective of academic grades and levels. However, it is mostly the fresh high school graduates who take the test to apply for undergraduate courses at the best universities in US and few other countries. Some of the important requirements to apply for the ACT exam are as follows:

  • In addition to high school graduates, students in grades 6 through 9 can also take the ACT test.
  • Those who wish to take the test before 13 years of age need to reach out to ACT customer support as a MyACT account cannot be created unless the applicant is at least 13 years old.
  • The ACT exam must be taken at least 2 months before the university application deadline as it takes two to eight weeks for the results to come out.
  • While there are no age requirements to take the exam, the applicant must hold an International Debit or Credit card for ACT registration.
  • For ACT exam registration the candidate must have a valid passport as proof of identification.

Note. When it comes to the ACT photo requirements, there are certain guidelines that must be followed:

  • Single photo with nobody in the background
  • The image should be clear. Blurry or hazy images are strictly not acceptable
  • Photo of head and shoulders, squarely facing at the camera
  • The picture should be in portrait mode and not landscape mode
  • No dark glasses are allowed 
  • There should be no filter or emojis, or lenses in the picture
  • The maximum file size is 5 MB
  • The photo needs to be 640 x 480 pixels
  • The face should be aimed at the camera
  • Only JPEG, JPG, PNG, or BMP format allowed

ACT Test Day Checklist

How to Register for ACT Exam?

The best way to register for ACT test is through online mode. However, students in the U.S. can also get a registration packet from their high school guidance office. But for international students ACT registration can only be done online.

A step-by-step guide to registering for ACT exam 2023 is given below:

  • For ACT test registration outside of the U.S., international students need to create their MyACT account on ACT’s official website.
  • Once the account is created, you may register for the ACT exam by choosing a test date and a centre.
  • You will then be asked to create your student profile, complete the application request, and submit the necessary documents.
  • Following this, you will receive a registration confirmation.
    How to Register for ACT Exam?
  • Once you confirm, you will be expected to pay your ACT exam fee. You can pay your ACT fees using a debit or credit card or through an online funds transfer.
  • Typically, the ACT test registration deadlines are three to four weeks before the test date.
  • The ACT test deadline for late registration usually occurs two to three weeks before the test date. However, you will be charged an ACT late fee if they cross the deadline.

How to Register for ACT Exam?Suggested: What is ACT Exam Practice Test?

ACT Exam Fee 2023

The latest ACT exam fee for different particulars are mentioned below:

Fee Description 

Amount Payable

ACT with Writing 


ACT without Writing


Test Option Change


Late Registration 


Standby Testing 


Change Fee


Score reports to 5th and 6th college choices


Additional Score Reports


Test Information Release

$30 (during registration), $40 (after test)

Suggested: ACT vs SAT

ACT Test Dates & Centres 2022

The latest dates for different ACT test centres in India for the year 2022 are:

Test Date 

Regular Registration Deadline

Late Registration Deadline

Standby Deadline/ Photo Upload Deadline

June 11

May 6

May 20

June 3

July 16

June 17

June 24

July 8

September 10

August 5

August 19

September 2

October 22

September 16

September 30

October 14

December 10

November 4

November 11

December 2

Suggested: ACT Test Dates and Centers

What are ACT Scholarships?

As it has already been mentioned, one of the most crucial perks of securing a high ACT score is the eligibility to apply for scholarships. ACT scholarships offer upto $90,000 for the ones who have a score between 20 to 25. Some of the popular ACT test scholarships for international students are:

Scholarship Name 

ACT Score Required 


Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship



CIA Undergraduate Scholarship 



Matt Logies Memorial Scholarship



Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program



Suggested: ACT Score and Result

Tips Prepare for ACT Exam

The ACT preparation is crucial to securing high scores and thereby making it to the university of your choice. The most important steps that you must keep in mind during your ACT preparation are:

  • Start Early: This is true for any exam that you plan to take. The ACT test evaluates your presence of mind, analytical skills and also the ability to manage your time. Hence, prior preparation will help you face your ACT exam with confidence.
  • Thorough Understanding of ACT Syllabus: Before getting started with your preparation for ACT, the first and the most important step is to know the exam pattern and syllabus of the test. 
  • Prepare a Schedule: As we know, the ACT exam has 4 sections that deal with a wide range of topics. Try dividing the sections according to your convenience and give equal attention to each. 
  • Get the ACT Books: There are a number of ACT preparation books available in the market. Do your research and get the best ones to guide you in your preparation. 
  • Take ACT Practice Tests: Practising with official ACT practice tests is a great way of getting to know about the format of questions and the kind of passages that might be presented in the real exam. Make sure you get adequate practice before the exam day. 

Suggested: Best online coaching for ACT

Along with months of thorough preparation and planning, the ACT test also demands effective time management skills. So, start early and take as many ACT practise tests as possible before your actual test to boost your confidence. Work hard as well as smart! For further assistance and guidance do get in touch with our Yocket Professionals

Before ending the blog, let us go through some ACT faqs:

Frequently Asked Questions About ACT Exam

Ques. Is there an ACT test age limit?

Ans. Anyone above the age of 13 can appear for the exam. There is no upper limit to age for taking the ACT exam.

Ques. When do you take the ACT test?

Ans. After completing high school, schedule your ACT test at least two months before the college application deadline.

Ques. Why is an average ACT score essential?

Ans. The average ACT score is significant because it allows universities and schools to compare your results to those of other applicants.

Ques. Why is the ACT writing section measured differently?

Ans. It is because most colleges don't require the ACT writing test. For them, the general ACT is enough to determine an applicant's knowledge and understanding of issues.

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