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The ACT, America's most widely used undergraduate admissions test, will now be offered in Mumbai. Being in existence for over 47 years now, few Mumbai students are aware of this test. Easier and cheaper than the SAT, students may prefer abandoning the SAT for this test.

ACT web site states: 'Virtually all colleges and universities accept ACT scores. The test measures what students have learned in high school and many students find it more comfortable because there are no trick questions. Colleges only see the scores that the students want them to see. And it's not the kind of college admissions exam that requires expensive test preparation courses.'

"For the longest time, undergraduate students looked only at the SAT for their US college applications. When we realised that the ACT can be used as an alternative to the SAT, we agreed to the act as the ACT testing centre," states Kamal Gupta, Chairman of Lala Lajpat Rai Institute of Management, the ACT testing centre in Mumbai.

All about ACT

It has four sections -- English, Math, Reading and Science Reasoning. The English section has 74 questions on sentence correction, the Math section has 60 math problems on Class XI and Class XII topics, the Reading section has 40 questions on reading comprehension and the Science Reasoning section has 40 questions on logical science reasoning. And don't let the name "Science Reasoning" fool you. This section does not need prior scientific knowledge and can be answered using your logic and common sense. The ACT also has an optional writing section which is offered on some testing dates in India.


This brings us to the disadvantage of the ACT. Many colleges in the US need the writing test from applicants. And since the SAT II Writing test is not offered anymore, students will have to appear for the SAT exam to get a writing score.

Therefore, if your college needs the writing test, you will have to appear for the ACT as well as the SAT (unless you take the ACT with writing offered once a year). Many feel that this is not necessarily a disadvantage.