American College Testing (ACT)

The American College Testing (ACT), is a standardized test for high school achievement and college admissions in the United States.

Test Format

SectionsNumber of questionsDurations
English4575 minutes
Mathematics6060 minutes
Reading4035 minutes
Science4035 minutes
Writing (optional)1 topic40 minutes

Section Information briefly


The first section is the 45-minute English test covering usage/mechanics and rhetorical skills. The 75-question test consists of five passages with various sections underlined on one side of the page and options to correct the underlined portions on the other side of the page. More specifically, questions focus on usage and mechanics – issues such as commas, apostrophes, (misplaced/dangling) modifiers, colons, and fragments and run-ons – as well as on rhetorical skills – style (clarity and brevity), strategy, transitions, and organization (sentences in a paragraph and paragraphs in a passage).


The second section is the 60-minute, 60-question mathematics test with 14 covering pre-algebra, 10 elementary algebra, 9 intermediate algebra, 14 plane geometry, 9coordinate geometry, and 4 elementary trigonometry questions. Calculators are permitted in this section only. Standard graphing calculators, are allowed. Also, this is the only section that has five instead of four answer choices.


The reading section consists of four ten-question passages, from the realm of prose fiction, social science, humanities, and natural science. The student gets 35 minutes to take this test.


The science reasoning test is a 35-minute, 40-question test. There are seven passages each followed by five to seven questions. The passages have three different formats: Data Representation, Research Summary, and Conflicting Viewpoints. While the format used to be very predictable (i.e. there were always three Data Representation passages with 5 questions following each, 3 Research Summary passages with six questions each, and one Conflicting Viewpoints passage with 7 questions), when the number of passages was reduced from 7 to 6, more variability in the number of each passage type started to appear. But so far, there is still always only one Conflicting Viewpoints passage.


The optional writing section, which is always administered at the end of the test, is 40 minutes long. Essays must be in response to a given prompt. The prompts are about broad social issues (changing from the old prompts which were directly applicable to teenagers) and students must analyze three different perspectives given, and show how their opinion relates to these perspectives. The essay does not affect the composite score or the English section score. It is only given as a separate writing score. No particular essay structure is required. The essays is judged on the basis of Ideas and Analysis, Development and Support, Organization, Language Use and Conventions. Although the writing section is optional, many colleges do require an essay score and will factor it into the admissions decision (but fewer than half of all colleges have this requirement).


ACT individual test scores range from 1 – 36. Composite score is the average of all the four test scores. Writing Score is reported on a scale of 1 – 36.

Miscellaneous Details

Nature of the test          :           Paper-Based                 Test frequency                          :           6 times in one year

Exam Fee                     :           $ 96.5 (with essay)         Score Validity Period                 :           5 years

                                                $ 79.5 (without essay)   

Rescheduling Fee          :           $ 24/-                            Score Reporting Time                :           19 days

Free Score Reports       :           4                                  Extra Score reporting Fee          :           $ 12

Official Website            :                                                                  

Deadline for Free Score Reporting         :           till the test date


ACT coaching at Shine

At Shine, day one is always a day of mock test.   The test result allows an individual to know where he stands and consequently provides him an idea of how much effort is required to achieve a desirable score.

For Mathematics part, every session begins with concepts teaching of a particular topic. After concept explanation, our teachers solve few problems of different types to show how concept is applied. Then students are given approximately 25 questions of varying difficulty levels to solve in the class. As students solve the problems, the teachers remain present in the class to help the students in case any difficulty arises. For home-assignment, approximately an equal number of questions are given for practice. Towards the last 15 – 20 minutes of session, our teachers take doubts of the previous home-assignment, if any.  

For English part, our teachers first explain the different question types that compose the section. Then approach and strategies are explained to tackle these question types. For practice in the class, passages are taken from The Real ACT Prep Guide. The Guide contains approximately 5 tests on passages. All these passages are taken in the class with a very strong focus on discussion. Similarly, for English part, the same book is used. The book has approximately 5 tests on the same type. Our teachers do all these tests, again with a very strong focus on discussion.      

The Science part discussion is taken from the official guide. The book has 5 tests of science. All the questions are discussed and explained in class.

For Reading part, the passages are practiced from The Real ACT Prep Guide. The guide contains 5 tests. All the passages are discussed with a strong focus on approach towards different question types, discussion on all passages and questions, and practice.   

For Essay part, which is an optional section, firstly the essay question type is explained. Then guidelines are given on how to compose the essay on each type of topic. Then our faculties discuss 10 topics. Discussion revolves around the ideas to be presented, organization to be followed and language to be used for composing essay. Then students are asked to compose essays on these topics. Essays are assessed and guidelines are provided to make the composition better.

After completion of classroom training, 20 full-length mock tests are administered at our testing centre. Faculties also conduct revision session as well as take doubts of students.

Salient Features

  • Intensive and comprehensive coaching of 80 classroom hours
  • Qualified, experienced and trained teachers
  • 20 full-length mock tests post classroom coaching
  • Well-stocked library
  • ACT official Guide, an official publication for ACT, and Mathematics for MBA, a standard text to build foundation in and practice for Mathematics, issued as courseware
  • Early morning and late evening batches
  • Flexibility of Three schedules (Weekdays, Weekends and Alternate days)
    • Weekdays Schedule (Tue – Fri, 2 hours per day, morning to evening batches)
    • Weekend Schedule (Sat – Sun, 4 hours per day, morning)
    • Alternate days ( Mon/Wed/Fri OR Tue/Thu/Sat, 2 hours per day, early morning)