ACT Syllabus 2022: English, Mathematics, Science, Reading Section Syllabus


Piyush Kohli

Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert

Updated on Dec 27, 2021 09:47 IST

The ACT (American College Testing) exam is a standardized test taken by students looking for admission in undergraduate schools/colleges in the United States and Canada. ACT Test is conducted by ACT to monitor the preparedness of the high school students aspiring to pursue their undergraduate studies in the US and Canada. The exam is designed in such a way that the aspirants can relate to their high school curriculum.

ACT Syllabus

ACT exam includes four sections English, Math, Reading, and Science. There is one more section, 'Writing', however, it is an optional section that includes one 30-40 minute prompt. Students are not scored on this section. Also, learn about the ACT Registration.

English Section


Punctuation – The questions test the knowledge of the internal and ‘end of sentence’ punctuation, with a focus on the relationship of punctuation to meaning.

Grammar and Usage – These questions test your understanding of the agreement between pronoun and antecedent, between subject and verb, and between modifiers and the word modified; pronoun case; verb formation; idiomatic usage; and formation of comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs.

Sentence Structure – Candidates are tested on their understanding of relationships between and among clauses, shifts in construction, and placement of modifiers.

Rhetorical Skills

Strategy – These questions test how well you develop a topic by choosing appropriate expressions to an essay's purpose and audience; judging the effect of adding, deleting, or revising supporting material; and testing the relevance of statements in context.

Organization – These questions test how well you organize ideas, as well as how you choose an effective opening, transitional, and closing sentence.

Style – These questions test how well you choose appropriate words and images, manage sentence elements, maintain the level of style and tone, and avoid ambiguous pronouns.

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Mathematics Section

Pre-Algebra/Elementary Algebra

Pre-Algebra – Candidates have to answer questions based on operations like whole numbers, decimals, place value; the concept of exponents; square roots and approximations; fractions, linear equations in one variable; and integers; scientific notation; factors; ratio, proportion, data collection, representation, and interpretation; and percent; and understanding descriptive statistics.

Elementary Algebra – Candidates have to solve questions based on solving quadratic equations, multiplying binomials, solving linear equations, inequalities, substitution, and simplifying expressions.

Plane Geometry/Trigonometry

Plane Geometry – The questions are related to 3-D geometry, triangles, parallelograms, lines and angles, volume, polygons, properties of circles, triangles, and parallelograms.

Trigonometry – The questions are based on trigonometric identities and graphs, graphing trigonometric functions, triangles, and solving trigonometric equations.

Reading Section

Social Studies – These questions are based on passages in the areas of biography, anthropology, business, economics, psychology, history, archaeology, geography, political science, education, and sociology.

Natural Sciences -- These questions are based on passages in the areas of meteorology, astronomy, biology, botany, natural history, ecology, geology, physics, medicine, microbiology, anatomy, physiology, technology, chemistry, and zoology.

Literary Narrative or Prose Fiction – These questions are based on passages from novels, memoirs, short stories, and personal essays. Questions in the Prose Fiction section are based on passages from novels and short stories.

Humanities – These questions are based on passages in the areas of art, dance, film, language, radio, literary criticism, philosophy, music, television, ethics, architecture, and theater.

Science Section

  • Data Representation – This section has Graphic and tabular material similar to those in science journals and texts. The questions associated with this format measure skills like graph reading, interpretation of the information presented in tables, and interpretation of scatterplots.
  • Research Summaries - This section provides descriptions of experiments. The questions focus on the design of experiments and the explanation of results.
  • Conflicting Viewpoints - This section presents several hypotheses or views that might be based on differing premises or incomplete data, and are inconsistent with one another. The questions focus on the analysis, understanding, and comparison of alternative hypotheses.

ACT Exam Pattern


Type of questions



(45 minutes)

75 multiple-choice questions


  • punctuation
  • grammar and usage
  • sentence structure

Rhetorical Skills

  • strategy
  • organization
  • style


(60 minutes)

60 multiple-choice questions

  • Coordinate geometry
  • Plane geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Pre-algebra
  • Elementary algebra
  • Intermediate algebra




(35 minutes)

40 multiple-choice questions

Four passages are given, each passage from different section like social studies, natural science, fiction and humanities


(35 minutes)

40 multiple-choice questions

  • Data representation like graphs and tables
  • Research summaries
  • Conflicting viewpoints



Writing (optional)

(40 minutes)

1 essay

One writing prompt


3 hours and 35 minutes (excluding breaks)

215 questions

4 sections (One optional)

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ACT Syllabus FAQs

Q. What is included in the ACT?

A. The ACT test includes Reading, English, Math, and Science apart from the optional Writing section. Each section includes a different set of questions, you can check the above article and read in detail about the ACT syllabus. There is a total of 215 multiple choice questions on the ACT.

Q. What math to study to prepare for the ACT?

A. All the questions in the math section are multiple-choice questions. Questions in the math section are covered from six areas plane geometry, coordinate geometry, trigonometry, pre-algebra, elementary algebra, and intermediate algebra.

Q. Is the ACT test accepted by all the US colleges?

A. According to the American College Testing, ACT scores is accepted by all US colleges and universities offering the four-year degree.

Q. Do universities prefer the ACT or SAT from candidates seeking admission to undergraduate colleges?

A. Universities give equal value to both exams. It is not like that the colleges prefer any exam over the other. So, you should go for the one which is best for you in scoring high.

Q. How often is ACT offered in India?

A. The ACT test is conducted 6 times a year and candidates need to register for the exam two months before the test date.

Q. What is a good ACT score?

A. According to the ACT, the average ACT score is around 21 (20.8) in 2020. However, anything above 30 is a good ACT score.

Q. What is a good ACT math score?

A. The average math score for the ACT is 20.7, so anything higher than this is above average. However, at times above average may not be enough to get into a good college. Anything above 30 or more is a good math score.

Q. Is ACT math easier than SAT?

A. Students who hold a strong hand in math and science might find ACT math easier than SAT. Math in the ACT includes charts, graphs, and formulas and it's straightforward.

Q. What is the highest ACT score?

A. The ACT exam score ranges from 1-36. The maximum highest score possible in the ACT is 36.

Q. What items are allowed to bring to the ACT test center?

A. A valid photo ID, admission ticket, calculator that is approved as per the ACT policy, sharpened number 2 pencils, and watch.

Q. What all is not allowed in the ACT test room?

A. Any kind of paper other than your admission ticket, pens, any electronic device, any kind of reading material.



na bro they removed it now. Hyderabad isn't listed due to covid

Reply to TEJ Since 2004


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert


Thanks for the update Tej.

Why Hyderabad isn't there.

Reply to TEJ Since 2004


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert


Hello Tej. Hyderabad is listed as an ACT test centre. Kindly re-check the page.

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