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How to Prepare for the ACT


The ACT (American College Testing), one of the two most popular college admissions tests alongside the SAT, is used by high schools and some states to determine which students will gain admission into their schools, course placement decisions and scholarship awards. More than 3,00 colleges, universities and scholarship agencies utilize ACT scores. Furthermore, testing centers located throughout North America administer this examination each year.

The ACT measures your knowledge in English, math, reading and science – with an optional writing section as a fifth test area – along with multiple multiple-choice sections covering English, math, reading and science. While shorter than its SAT counterpart, the ACT covers more content. Furthermore, its scoring method differs; your composite score (comprised of four multiple-choice sections) ranges between 1-36; its writing score can range between 2-12. Your writing section typically provides you with three perspectives on a social issue to write about; you then write about your own perspective about that issue before sharing this essay prompt with three other writers who all share different viewpoints!

An ACT exam may seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Here are a few tips that can help you excel on it: rehearsing reading and writing as much as possible before sitting the exam; being aware that there are timed sections means developing an efficient pacing strategy – in English you should complete all easy questions before moving onto harder ones; the same applies for math and reading sections. Moreover, becoming acquainted with calculator policy on the exam would also prove useful.

Keep in mind that early registration for the ACT is key; regular registration closes approximately one month before test date and if you miss this deadline you must pay a late registration fee to take the exam. Furthermore, having a list of colleges you are interested in helps when inquiring about their test-taking policies.

Cost-cutting strategies exist when taking the ACT. Register without writing section registration will cost $52, or register with writing section registration will set you back $68; both options come with score reports for you, your high school and up to four colleges (additional reports are also available at $14 each).

The ACT test is an important component of college admissions, and it’s crucial that applicants understand its scoring system. Watch these videos on this page to gain more understanding about ACT – from understanding each test section’s purpose to how overall scores are compiled – or read this article about interpreting your ACT score!

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