The English Test
The English Test focuses on the student's understanding of the conventions of standard written English (punctuation, usage, and sentence structure) and of rhetorical skills (writing strategy, organization, and style). Spelling, vocabulary, and rote recall of rules of grammar are not tested. Students are asked to make a variety of decisions about revising or editing short essays, which are written especially for the test in order to reflect the interests and experiences of students. Opportunities for item writers consist of work in writing original essays, writing test items based on such essays, or a combination of the two.
The Reading Test
The Reading Test measures the student's reading comprehension as a product of referring and reasoning skills. The test questions require students to derive meaning from texts by (1) referring to what is explicitly stated and (2) reasoning to determine implicit meanings, draw conclusions, and make comparisons and generalizations. The tests consist of copyrighted passages drawn from appropriate published sources and cover the areas of prose fiction, the humanities, the social sciences, and (in the ACT only) the natural sciences. Opportunities are available for finding usable copyrighted passages, writing test items based on ACT-approved passages, or a combination of the two.
The Mathematics Test
Emphasizing quantitative reasoning and the ability to solve practical quantitative problems, the Mathematics Test focuses on reasoning rather than memorization of formulas and computational skills. Opportunities for writing test items are available.
The Science Test
The Science Test measures interpretation, analysis, and evaluation skills required in the science content areas of biology, chemistry, physics, and Earth/space science. Opportunities are available for writing passages and the accompanying test items.