The American College Testing (ACT) Program was introduced in 1959 as a competitor to the SAT. According to the test makers, the ACT measures high school students’ general education development and their capability to complete college level work. Offered seven times a year, the ACT is formally recognized by all four-year colleges. The ACT contains four required sections - English, reading, math, and science - that together are about 3 hours long. Each section receives a score of 1-36; the composite score is the average of the four required sections. The optional 40 minute writing section receives a separate score of 1-12.