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What is the ACT?

The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of the following subject area tests:
English          Mathematics           Reading               Science

The ACT Plus Writing includes the four subject area tests plus an optional yet recommended Writing Test.
ACT results are accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the U.S.
The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete, including a short break (or just over four hours if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing). Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes (plus 30 minutes if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing).
The ACT is administered on six test dates within the United States, U.S. territories, Puerto Rico, and Canada—September, October, December, February, April, and June. In other locations, the ACT is administered on all of the above dates except September, and the ACT Plus Writing is not available on the February test date.
The basic registration fee includes score reports for up to four college choices, if you list valid codes when you register.

What is the difference between the ACT and SAT?

The ACT is an achievement test, measuring what a student has learned in school. The SAT is more of an aptitude test, testing reasoning and verbal abilities.

The ACT has up to 5 components: English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing Test. The SAT has only 3 components: Critical Reasoning, Mathematics, and a required Writing Test.


When should I test?

Pick a test date that is at least two months ahead of the application deadlines of all the colleges and scholarship agencies you might want to apply to. Scores for the ACT (No Writing) are normally reported within 3–8 weeks after the test date. If you take the ACT Plus Writing, scores will be reported only after all of your scores are available, including Writing, normally within 5–8 weeks after the test date. Advantages to testing in your junior year: You've probably completed the coursework corresponding to the test material.You'll have your test scores and other information in time to help you plan your senior year. (For example, you may decide to take an additional class in an area in which your test score was low.) Colleges will know of your interests and have your scores in time to contact you during the summer before your senior year, when many of them are sending information about admissions, course placement, scholarships, and special programs to prospective students.


You'll have information about yourself and the schools you're considering prior to your campus visits, making your visits more focused.


You'll have the opportunity to retest if you feel your scores don't accurately reflect your abilities in the areas tested.


Why take the ACT?
The ACT is accepted by all 4-year colleges and universities in the United States.
The ACT multiple-choice tests are based on what you're learning.

The ACT is not an aptitude or an IQ test. The test questions on the ACT are directly related to what you have learned in your high school courses in English, mathematics, reading, and science. Every day you attend class you are preparing for the ACT. The harder you work in school, the more prepared you will be for the test.


ACT scores have four sections.  Students receive an overall composite score in addition to individual section scores.


Composite scores range from 1-36.

ACT is becoming a more popular option for many students applying to competitive colleges.

Would you like to further understand the differences between ACT and SAT or like help in deciding which option is best for you child? We offer a free diagnostic for those interested in exploring this test option.

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