The ACT is a college entrance exam that is an alternative to the SAT. Although once used exclusively in the Midwest, today the ACT is accepted by all American colleges. The ACT is a four part multiple-choice subject test with English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science sections as well as an optional Writing test. It is scored on a 1-36 scale with colleges receiving the average of the points received on the four subject tests. The national average score for the test in 2009 was 21.1.