ACT Exam Overview

New in ACT 2023


Upcoming ACT dates and deadlines: 

DatesRegistration DateLate Registration Deadline
October 27-28, 2023September 29, 2023October 6, 2023


The ACT, or American College Testing, is an entrance exam much like SAT. ACT checks your readiness for graduate-level education and is majorly required for post-graduate programs.


The ACT exam is typically taken if you’re applying for undergraduate courses in the USA and Canada. 

The ACT exam tests your English, Mathematics, and Verbal and Scientific skills. The writing section is optional. ACT was delivered paper-based for a long time. However, since 2021, the test has been entirely computer-delivered. 


ACT exam costs ₹14,711. If you opt for the optional writing section, the exam will cost you ₹16,758. 

The exam lasts 2 hours and 55 minutes without the writing test. With the optional writing test, the exam lasts 3 hours and 35 minutes. ACT is scored on a scale of 1 - 36. 


At a glance:


ACT Full FormAmerican College Testing
Duration 2 hours and 55 minutes
Mode of ExaminationComputer-based
Score range1-36


ACT Registration


ACT registration can be completed online and offline. Completing the registration process online is much easier. 

You must keep in mind that ACT has strict deadlines for registration. If you register after the given deadline, you must pay an additional fee.

ACT Registration: Online


To register online,  follow these steps. 


  • Visit the official website of the ACT
  • Create an account by entering your details
  • Complete your application by submitting the required documents
  • Choose your preferred exam date and test centre
  • Pay the exam fee


ACT Registration: Offline


ACT online registration is the easiest method for booking a slot. However, you can also offline register for the ACT exam using the following steps. 


  • Visit the official website of ACT, and request a registration mail package. 
  • Fill out your details in the form
  • Choose a date and test centre
  • Mail the form to the given address


Documents Required for ACT Registration


ACT registration is a simple process and does not require too many documents. You must upload a headshot of yourself and your high school academic transcript. 

Apart from this, you must provide payment details such as credit or debit card information and your details. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How can I register for the ACT exam in India?

A. You can register for the ACT exam in two ways: Online and offline. For online registration, follow these steps. 

  • Visit the official website of the ACT
  • Create an account and fill in your details
  • Choose your preferred exam date and test centre
  • Pay the exam fee 

Q. What is the registration fee for the ACT exam?

A. ACT exam costs  ₹14,711 in India. If you add on the optional writing section, you must pay an additional $25, which is ₹16,758. You can pay the fee at the end of the registration process. However, you must remember that late registrations will cost extra. It’s best to register within the given deadlines. 


Q. Can I register for the ACT exam via phone?

A. No. Currently, you can only register online on their website, or you can register offline via mail. To register offline, follow these steps: 

  • Visit the official website of ACT and request a registration mail package. 
  • Fill out your details in the form
  • Choose a date and test centre
  • Mail the form to the given address




The ACT Fee in India is $176.50 or ₹14,711. This cost is inclusive of 4 score reports and is non-refundable. 

If you wish to add the writing section to your test, you will have to pay an additional $25, which makes the total fee $201 or ₹16,758. This ACT fee may be refunded if you send a letter requesting it under certain circumstances.


Here’s an overview.


ExamFee in INR
ACT Registration Fee₹14,711
ACT exam + Writing section₹16,758


ACT Special Handling Fee


You must pay additional charges if you have special requests, such as late registration or changing the test option.

The additional charges are as follows.

Special Handling RequestFee in INR
Late Registration₹2,994
Standby Testing₹5,656
Test Date/Centre change₹3,493
Additional Score Report₹1,497
Score Verification (MCQ Test or Writing Test) ₹4,575
Score Verification (MCQ test and Writing Test)₹9,150


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Are there any additional fees associated with the ACT exam?

A. Yes. Additional charges for special requests such as late registration, changing test dates, and test centres may apply. You must also pay additionally for score reports, as only the first four are free. Below are some special requests and their charges. 


Special Handling RequestFee in INR
Late Registration₹2,994
Test Date/Centre change₹3,493
Additional Score Report₹1,497


Q. Can I pay the ACT fee with a credit card?

A. Yes. You can pay the ACT fee via credit or debit cards. You can also pay via online funds transfer mode. ACT fee can be paid during the registration process. It’s best to verify if your card is eligible and ensure the fee payment is successful. A late registration fee applies if you register after the deadline. 

Q. Are there any ACT scholarships available to waive the registration fee? 

A. Currently, there aren’t any ACT scholarships or fee waivers. However, many universities reward good scores on ACT or SAT exams and provide scholarships based on that. These scholarships are specific to universities and courses, so checking with them during the application process is best.

ACT Result


The ACT results are released online within 2-8 weeks of your test date. The writing score is released about two weeks after your general score. 

Log in to your MyACT account and locate the results options to view your results. You cannot view your results via phone, fax or mail. 


ACT results are valid for a lifetime. However, you are typically advised to retake the test after five years.


Sending ACT scores to universities


ACT sends your scores to the first four universities free of cost. You can select these universities during the time of your registration. 

If you wish to send your scores to any more universities, you must pay an additional charge of ₹1,497. 


If you’re unhappy with your scores and do not wish to send them to universities, you can cancel them after viewing them.

Click here to learn more about ACT Results.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How do I view my ACT results?

A. You can view your ACT results on the official website of ACT. You must log in to your MyACT account and locate the results option on your dashboard. Your results will be updated within 2-8 weeks of your test date. You cannot view your results by phone, mail or fax. 

Q. How can I send my ACT scores to universities?

A. You can send your ACT scores to universities while registering for the test. The first four universities are free of cost. If you wish to send your scores to more universities, you must pay an additional cost of ₹1,497. You can add more universities to the list through your MyACT account. 

Q. How long are my ACT results valid?

A. There is no expiration date for ACT scores. You can keep your scores for a lifetime and access them anytime via your MyACT account. Though it is not officially mentioned, it is advised that you retake the exam if your scores are over five years old. If your scores are older than five years, universities may find them less relevant.

ACT Eligibility


Anyone of any age and qualifications can take the ACT. However, it is primarily for high school students applying for undergraduate courses in the USA or Canada. 


ACT may not be needed for all courses, so it’s best to check with the university before you apply. 


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Can I apply for ACT after 12th grade?

A. Yes. There is no restriction on when you can apply for the ACT exam. Anyone of any age can apply for the exam. There are no restrictions on the qualifications as well. However, you must be at least 13 before appearing for the ACT exam. Since the exam is typically required for undergraduate admissions, you must meet other requirements the university deems necessary.

Q. Can students with disabilities take the ACT exam? 

A. Yes, students with disabilities can take the ACT exam. ACT has made special accommodations available for those who need it. There is a review process, and you must qualify for these accommodations. You will request special accommodations on the ACT website and submit the required documents.


Q. Does ACT have an age limit?

A. No. ACT has not officially announced any age limits. However, you’re expected to be at least 13 years of age before you take the exam, as it gives you a better chance of scoring well. ACT is an advanced exam and requires thorough preparation. Hence, it’ll be easier for you if you are over 13. 

ACT Pattern


The ACT exam evaluates four skills: English, Mathematics, Reading and Science. You can also take the Writing section, but it’s optional. 

The exam is for 2 hours and 55 minutes. The exam's total duration is 3 hours and 35 minutes with the writing section. Each section has a different duration and question numbers. They also differ in question types.


ACT Syllabus


Most of the ACT syllabus usually covers concepts in high school. Here’s what each section contains.


Section Syllabus
  • Punctuation and gram
  • mar rules
  • Sentence structure and organisation
  • Rhetorical skills and strategy
  • Pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry
  • Coordinate geometry and trigonometry
  • Basic arithmetic and number theory
  • Comprehension of fiction and non-fiction passages
  • Identifying main ideas and supporting details
  • Drawing inferences and analysing the author's tone
  • Data interpretation and analysis
  • Reasoning based on scientific information
  • Understanding experimental design and results
Writing section (optional)
  • Crafting a well-structured essay
  • Drawing inferences and supporting opinions with evidence


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What level of math is required for ACT?

A. The math section in the ACT exam consists of the following topics: 

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

Most of the questions are high school level. 

Q. What topics are included in the science section of the ACT exam? 

A. The science section includes basic concepts from 

  • Biology
  • Chemistry 
  • Earth/space sciences
  • Physics


Q. How many questions does the writing section of the ACT exam contain? 

A. There is only one question in the ACT writing section. You have 40 minutes to complete the section. You will be given one prompt and must write a well-structured essay voicing your ideas and opinions. You will be assessed based on how well you support your arguments and your vocabulary and grammar. The writing section is optional


ACT Dates


Unlike English proficiency exams and other entrance tests, ACT is available only seven times yearly. 


The dates for 2023-24 have been announced. To book a slot for the ACT exam, you must ensure that you register early, well within the deadlines. Typically, the deadlines fall at least one month before the exam. 


There is a late registration fee if you register after the deadline.


ACT Exam Dates for 2023


Test DateRegular Registration DeadlineLate Registration Deadline
September 9, 2023August 4August 18
October 28, 2023September 22October 6
December 9, 2023November 3November 17


Click here to learn more about ACT Dates.


ACT Test Centres


ACT exam has to be taken at a designated test centre. ACT centres are spread across India and are available in various cities around the country, including major cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, and Kolkata.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. How many times is ACT held in a year?

A. Unlike most other entrance exams that can be scheduled every day, the ACT exam is held seven times a year. You must book the test well in advance as there is a late registration fee. Here are the dates for 2023.


Test DateRegular Registration DeadlineLate Registration Deadline
September 9, 2023August 4August 18
October 28, 2023September 22October 6
December 9, 2023November 3November 17


Q. Can I reschedule ACT dates after registering? 

A. Yes. You may reschedule ACT dates after registering, but additional fees exist for rescheduling dates or changing test centres. It costs ₹3,493 for these services. Since slots get filled quickly, you cannot guarantee you will get the desired date while rescheduling. You might also have to pay a late registration fee if you're late. 

Q. How many ACT centres are in India? 

A. There are over 15 cities in India, including one in most major cities. These cities have multiple ACT centres, making it highly convenient for test takers. The list of cities includes:




ACT Sample Paper


ACT sample papers are vital for exam preparation. You can use various materials to prepare for the test, including coaching classes, online videos, books and sample papers. 


Sample papers can be extremely useful in self-assessment. As you get closer to the ACT dates, measuring where you stand and continually improving your knowledge becomes important. 

You can find sample papers in books and on many platforms online. We recommend using sample papers at least once a week to track your progress.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Can practising sample papers improve my ACT score?

A. Yes. Practising ACT sample papers can improve your score as it helps you build time management skills and thoroughly understand question types and patterns. With time, it becomes easier to anticipate questions and refine your skills. Practising sample papers can build a lot of confidence. 

Q. What are some tips for scoring well on the ACT exam? 

A. You can use the following tips to score well in the ACT exam. 

  • Allocate time for each section strategically.
  • Practice regularly and use official sample papers to improve your skills
  • Emphasise areas needing improvement
  • Read the questions carefully


Q. How many sample papers should I practice before the ACT exam?

A. The number of sample papers you should practice depends on your level of preparation. Take a sample test before you start to understand where you stand. Based on your need for improvement, schedule tests every week. You can start with one test weekly to measure your progress and take more as you get closer to the test.

Frequently asked questions
Q. What is the ACT exam used for?

A. ACT exam indicates the candidate’s readiness for college-level education. Typically, ACT is taken by students preparing to apply for undergraduate courses at universities in USA and Canada. ACT is not widely accepted in other countries. The test is much similar to SAT exam.

Q. What sections are on the ACT exam?

A. ACT has four main sections: Reading, English, Math and Science. There is also an optional writing (essay) section. Each section comes with a different set of questions. Below is a breakdown of questions.


English 75 questions
Math60 questions
Reading40 questions
Science 40 questions
Writing (Optional)1 question
Q. Is ACT math harder than SAT?

A. SAT and ACT are two different tests with a few similarities. It’s hard to say which test is harder than the other. ACT exam does have more questions than the SAT exam’s math section. However, the level of complexity seems to be more or less identical. The general student opinion is that SAT math is more accessible than the ACT exam.

Q. How is the ACT different from the SAT?

A. The ACT and SAT are both tests for undergraduate admissions. But they have different formats and test content. The main difference is that the ACT exam has a Science section and greatly emphasises grammar and usage. On the other hand, SAT focuses more on reasoning and verbal skills.

Q. How long is the ACT exam?

A. ACT is 2 hours and 55 minutes without the optional writing test. If you opt for the writing section, the test lasts 3 hours and 35 minutes. Below is a breakdown.


English 45 minutes
Math60 minutes 
Reading35 minutes
Science 35 minutes
Writing (Optional)40 minutes
Q. What is a good ACT score?

A. A good ACT score depends on the university you’re applying to. The requirements differ from university to university and courses. ACT exam measures four skills on a scale of 1-36, and to get admission to a reputable college, you will need at least a 24 in ACT. It’s best to confirm the minimum requirements with universities before applying.

Q. Can I retake the ACT exam to improve my score?

A. Yes,  you can retake ACT to improve your scores. You can retake ACT as many as 12 times. You should write the test at least twice to get a good score. The test scores are valid for a lifetime, but it is advised to use them only for five years and retake the exam if your scores are older.

Q. Can I use a calculator in the ACT Math section?

A. Yes. You can use a calculator for the ACT math section. However, all the questions are designed to be solved without a calculator. Though a calculator is permitted, it is not mandatory to use it. ACT also strictly restricts sharing calculators with other test takers. In any case, you can carry one to the exam and decide whether to use it.

Q. Can I request a review of my ACT scores?

A. You may request a score review if unsatisfied with your act scores. You must do so within three months of your results. There is an additional charge for rescoring, which is shown below.


Rescore RequestFee in INR
Score Verification (MCQ Test or Writing Test) ₹4,575
Score Verification (MCQ test and Writing Test)₹9,150
Q. Can I cancel my ACT scores after taking the exam?

A. Yes, you can request a cancellation of your scores if you’re unhappy. Your scores will still be included in the report. However, if you cancel it in time, it won’t be sent to the universities you selected during registration. You can retake the test to get your desired score.

Q. Can I send both ACT and SAT scores to universities?

A. Yes, you may. However, it may not be required. Universities rarely request both exams, as they often act as an alternative to each other. Even then, if you have scores for both ACT and SAT, you can submit them during the application process. Submission of both scores can boost your chances of getting accepted. But, this is not guaranteed and may only apply to some courses.