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What Is NOT Changing About the ACT® Test

Student Stretching

Moving the ACT university admissions test to computer format means more testing opportunities and much faster ACT scores (delivered in days instead of weeks), giving you more time to plan your path to university.

But keep this in mind: there is also a lot that’s NOT changing on the ACT test. This is good news for all students, but especially students who have already either taken the ACT test and wish to take it again, or those who have begun preparation.

In short, the only big thing that’s changing is the delivery of the test. That’s it—instead of filling in ovals on paper score sheets using a No. 2 pencil, you will take the ACT test on a computer. So, if you have been preparing to take the test for a long time only to hear about changes coming, you can breathe easy. Your preparation is getting you ready for the computer-based test.

Now, let’s talk about what is NOT changing on the ACT:

The test’s content. The ACT will still contain the same four multiple-choice subject tests (English, reading, math, and science) and the optional writing test.

Scoring and reporting. You will still get a score for each subject area of the test, along with a Composite score of 1–36. And your score report will still come with lots of useful information to help you plan your future: major choices, career paths, and more.

University acceptance. The same US and international universities that accept ACT scores from the paper test will accept your computer-based test scores.

Test timing. It still takes 2 hours and 55 minutes to take the ACT multiple-choice tests and 3 hours, 35 minutes to take the ACT with the optional writing test. There will still be a break after the second subject, and then another short break before the writing portion, if you elect to take the ACT test with writing.

Test preparation. Have you been taking challenging classes in school? Are you studying hard? Those remain the top ways to prepare for the test, because the ACT is an achievement test based on what students learn in school. Also, have you been using The Official ACT Prep Guide, free practice test questions, and other free or paid test prep available from ACT? Remember: all the learning and test prep you have done applies to both modes of the test—paper or computer based.

Computer-based delivery of the ACT test starts in September for all non-US students! Subscribe to ACT Club to get updates on test dates, locations, and other tips you can use in preparing for your future.

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