ACT CourSe Descriptions
The questions are designed to measure your mathematical achievement-the knowledge, skills, and reasoning techniques that are taught in high school mathematics courses and needed for college mathematics courses. Naturally, some questions will require computation, but you are allowed to use a calculator on the Mathematics Test. You’ll need to understand basic mathematical terminology and to recall some basic mathematical principles and formulas. However, the questions on the test are designed to emphasize your ability to reason mathematically, not to focus on your computation ability or your ability to recall definitions, theorems, or formulas.
The ACT English Test is designed to measure your ability to accomplish the wide variety of decisions involved in revising and editing a given piece of writing. An important part of revision and editing decisions is a good understanding of the conventions of standard written English.
The Reading Test evaluates your ability to understand the passages that appear in the test. It does not test your ability to remember relevant facts from outside the passage. The passages may deal with subjects you’re familiar with, or you may know almost nothing about the subjects of the passages. It doesn’t matter, though: the passages contain all the information you need to answer the questions.
You do not need advanced knowledge in these subjects, but you will need some knowledge-scientific terms or concepts-to answer some of the questions. The use of calculators is not permitted on the Science Test. The passages of the Science Test are concise and clear; you should have no trouble understanding them. The test emphasizes application of scientific reasoning skills rather than recall of scientific content, skill in mathematics, or reading ability.