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ACT Test Information

Q & A for the ACT


  1. Will my college accept the ACT as an enrollment requirement?

    The ACT is required and preferred by more four-year colleges than any other exam, according to their own research. All Ivy League schools accept ACT scores. If you're not sure, call your college admissions office and ask.

  2. Some kids say the ACT is easier than the SAT. Is that true?

    It depends on the student. The ACT is a curriculum-based test, which means it covers the information that was offered in high school. It's not an IQ test or aptitude test with questions that concern problem-solving or reasoning skills.

  3. What is the scoring system?

    The score you receive will be a composite score ranging from 1 to 36.

    The test actually consists of four categories: English, Math, Science, and Reading. Each test category has an individual score that ranges from 1-36. Your ultimate score will be a composite, or an average, of the category scores.

  4. How many kids score a 36?

    About 1 in 6000.

  5. What's the average score?

    The average for 2005 was 20.9.

  6. How many times can I take the test?

    You can take the test as often as it's offered (one test per session). Don't get carried away, though. Colleges will notice if you take the test 5 or 6 times, and it might look strange. It's a good idea to take the test once as a junior and once or twice as a senior.

  7. Should I take the SAT and the ACT?

    That is entirely up to you. It might be a good idea, since some students do fare better at one or the other. Again, don't get carried away and over-test. If you have the time and opportunity, go ahead and try each in your junior year to see which format you prefer.

  8. Does it really help to take a test again?

    Sometimes it does. According to ACT, 55% of students improved their scores in a re-test.

  9. How long is the test?

    The basic test is 4 hours long, but you might want to add on the optional Writing Test, which is an additional 30 minutes.

  10. What is the time breakdown?

    The English portion is 45 minutes; the Math is 60 minutes; Reading is 35 minutes; Science is 35 minutes. The optional Writing section is 30 minutes.

  11. What if I have more questions?

    You can find the answers to your questions and sign-up information at the ACT FAQ site.

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