The ACT is a standardized test that admissions officers use to compare applicants from different schools and different states. Here’s a brief overview of the test.
|3 hours 35 minutes including writing test
|English, Math, Reading, Science, Writing
|$62.50 ($46.00 without Writing)
Created by ACT, Inc., the ACT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The idea (in theory, at least) is to provide colleges with one common criterion that can be used to compare all applicants. The weight placed on ACT scores varies from school to school. Other important factors that schools consider in their admissions decisions are your high school GPA, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, interviews and personal essays. For more specific information on the importance of ACT scores at the schools you’re interested in, contact the admissions offices directly.
The ACT is offered nationally 7 times per year. For 2021, it is scheduled to be offered in February, April, June, July, September, October, and December.
The ACT has four sections: English, Reading, Math and Science, as well as an optional 40-minute writing test. Some schools may require the writing test, so we recommend that your prepare for it.
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You’ll earn one ACT score (1 to 36) on each test (English, Math, Reading and Science) and a composite ACT score, which is an average of these four tests. Usually, when people ask about your score, they’re referring to your composite ACT score. The composite score falls between 1 and 36. The national average is about 21. If, for example, you scored 31 on the English, 30 on the Math, 29 on the Reading and 30 on the Science, your composite ACT score would be 30.
The ACT includes an optional essay, known as the writing test. If you take the writing test, you will receive a writing test sub-score of 2-12 and a combined English/writing score. Visit www.ACT.org for detailed information about how your ACT writing test will be scored.
Students have traditionally taken the ACT in the spring of their junior year and, if necessary, again in the fall of their senior year. However, more and more students are choosing to take their first ACT earlier, such as during the fall of their junior year. This gives them more flexibility to retake the ACT test one or more times, or to take the SAT or SAT Subject Tests.
Registration deadlines fall approximately five weeks before each ACT test date. You can get registration materials from your school’s guidance counselor, or call ACT, Inc. at 319–337–1270 and they’ll send you a registration packet. You can also register online on the ACT website.
We can help. We have ACT prep courses for every student and every budget.