The ACT test (American College Test), like the SAT2 test, is a national college admissions test for students interested in pursuing education beyond high school. Most colleges accept both ACT and SAT scores, so it is up to you whether you want to take one or both tests.
The ACT test covers the following subject areas:
- Writing (optional)
Most test questions are multiple choice, although the optional writing test is an essay. Expect to spend more than 4 hours at the testing center.
Check for ACT study materials at your local library or bookstore. You can also access many resources online:
- Download the free information booklet "Preparing for the ACT."
- Review practice test questions.
- Answer the ACT Question of the Day on the ACT website.
Think you're ready for the real thing?
Scores to Aim For
Your composite ACT score can range from 0 to 36 (it's the average of your subject area scores, which also range from 0 to 36). Your score report will show you where you rank in comparison with others who took the test.
What if you want a higher score?
You may take the ACT test up to 12 times (restrictions apply). Taking the test again is a good idea if you didn't feel well on test day or ran out of time. Research shows that more than 50% of those who take the ACT test a second time improve their scores.
If you take the test more than once, you can choose to submit to your prospective colleges only your best scores from each section (although some schools may want to see all of your scores).
Want to Know More?
- Visit the ACT website for full details.
- Can't decide whether to take the ACT test or the SAT test? Understand the differences between the two tests.
- Don't get stressed on test day. Follow these test-taking tips.
- Study for the ACT test using these online flashcards from Dictionary.com.
1ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc.
2SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.