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Why every point on the ACT test matters

Did you know that increasing your ACT® Composite score by a single test point can expand your access to financial aid and increase your chances at being admitted to university? Here are some reasons why: ACT scores are a huge factor in how universities decide which students to admit (along with students’ performance in school and the quality of their university application). Universities are looking for high-achieving students to admit, and a high ACT score is a key indicator of academic achievement. ACT scores also play a big role in merit-based scholarships—awards that are based on achievement. Many financial awards set a certain ACT score level as a requirement, so achieving a specific ACT score could affect the amount of award for which you qualify. Every point matters. This is w...

Should I retest?

Many students choose to take a university admissions exam more than once to achieve their desired scores. One report by ACT showed by more than half of students increased their ACT Composite score by taking the test a second time. Here are some reasons to consider taking a university admissions test again after your first time: If you had any problems during the test. Just like any other day, things can go wrong during test day. Maybe you arrived at the test center later than planned. Maybe you didn’t fully understand test directions before the test started. If test day didn’t go as planned, you probably didn’t perform the best on your test. You weren’t feeling your best on test day. Besides being uncomfortable, maybe you were battling illness and it became a distra...

When is the best time to take a university admissions test?

Taking an admissions test is a huge step toward getting accepted at the university of your choice. Your scores affect your eligibility for admission and can also open doors to scholarships and other financial aid. One key to opening up those opportunities is knowing when to take the test and making a plan to use your scores in the most efficient way. Many factors can influence when you should take the test, including whether your chosen university has an application or scholarship deadline, or perhaps an academic program or major you are persuing that requires a test score. This is why waiting until grade 12 to take the test for the first time might be too late. Many students choose to take the test a second time during grade 12 to achieve a higher score. Testing the first time during grad...

How Students Can Make the Most of End-of-Term Break

End-of-term break gives you a well-earned respite from the classroom. But getting a break from school doesn’t mean you can’t use the time wisely. It can give you time to put things in order before taking the leap to university, get advice and help from family and friends, and even keep your brain active before returning to school. Challenge yourself to tackle the following tasks during break: Complete university applications (Grade 12). You can finalize your university choices and complete applications in time for regular submission deadlines, most of which are in January and February. Dig into that college essay (Grade 12). It’s an important part of the college application process and requires a lot of thought and planning, so why not spend time away from the classroom to write a draft or...

Report: Does Test Anxiety Bias ACT Scores?

Test anxiety raises concerns about assessment validity and fairness. Keeping Your Cool: Does Test Anxiety Bias Performance on the ACT?, a new study from ACT, investigated possible measurement bias due to anxiety on the ACT test. The study revealed several insights about test anxiety: Many examinees reported test anxiety, but anxiety did not have significant negative effects on ACT scores—in general, for males and females, and for ethnic groups. Test anxiety was most strongly related to feeling unprepared for the ACT. Test takers should minimize anxiety by following practical recommendations supported by this study, even if is not expected to affect ACT scores. Read the report at this link. Click here to learn more about how students can reduce test anxiety.

Infographic: How to request accommodations on the ACT test

ACT is committed to serving examinees with documented disabilities by providing reasonable accommodations appropriate to the examinee’s diagnosis and needs. ACT has established policies regarding documentation of an examinee’s disability. To assist international students who currently receive accommodations in school due to a professionally diagnosed and documented disability, see this checklist to guide you through the process of requesting test accommodations on the ACT® test.

Infographic: How to register for the ACT and access your score reports (including previous ACT scores)

If you want to take the ACT® test during the 7-8 December test dates or beyond, the first step you will take is to register for the test. You can use MyACT.org to register for the test, find a test center, select a test session (Friday or Saturday in the morning or the afternoon, depending on availability), request accommodations, and request additional score reports. Once you have taken the test, you can also use MyACT.org to access your test scores. However, if you are interested in the results of ACT tests you took prior to September 2018, when the computer-based ACT test was first offered, you will need to use a different route to access your scores. You can find a link to those score reports by searching your email. We have created an infographic to help you register and access your s...

UPDATED: How do I find my ACT test center?

Are you registered for the ACT test but unsure of how to find your test center? No problem! There are two ways to find your test center’s address. Option 1: Sign in to your ACT account. Go to myact.org and sign in. If you have registered for a non-US ACT test but have not yet taken it, you will see your test center address on your dashboard (click here to see screenshot).   Option 2: Check your email.  The confirmation email you received will have the test center address (click here to see screenshot).   If you need more information before test day, contact ACT Customer Care at act-reg@act.org.

What students are saying about ACT computer-based testing

Students around the world participated in the first computer-based ACT® test in September. ACT has received plenty of feedback, and fortunately, students found a lot to like about the new format. Here are some student reactions, as taken from a recent ACT survey: Getting scores quicker! Saves time not having to bubble answer sheets Easier to type essays than to handwrite Liked the answer eliminator tool Liked having my own on-screen timer Liked that the passage and items were all on the same screen for the reading test—no flipping back and forth Liked the highlighting in the English and reading passages that pointed students to the relevant section of text to answer the question Liked the ability to flag items and return to them Students also want to see improvements in the process. Some s...

What to bring (and not bring) to the test center

You can feel calm and prepared for the ACT® test by knowing what you can and cannot bring into your ACT test center! Remember these tips: You MUST bring: Acceptable photo identification (find out more) You CAN bring: A traditional watch (no smart watches and no alarms set) An ACT-approved calculator (Is my calculator approved?) NOTE: Test centers are NOT administering admission tickets at this time. You CANNOT bring: Electronic devices (other than an approved calculator) Textbooks, dictionaries, scratch paper, notes, or other aids (whiteboards will be provided) Highlight pens, colored pens or pencils, or correction fluid/tape Reading material Tobacco or e-cigarettes Food or beverages Prohibited devices To find your test center location, log on to myact.org and navigate to your registration...

Simple steps to register for the ACT test

When you are ready to take the ACT test, the first step is registering for your chosen test date. To complete the registration process, you will need: About 30 minutes A credit card, voucher, or fee waiver A functional email address A list of grades and courses you have taken To get started, you will need to create a MyACT account. The video below will take you through the process of setting up a MyACT account. Once your MyACT account is created, it’s time to register for the test! The video below gives you step-by-step instructions on how to register. NOTE: If you have taken the ACT before September 2018 and want to retake the test, you cannot use your old ACT account to retake the test (you can use it to access your scores from tests taken before September 2018, however). Be sure to crea...

ACT Test Accommodations: What Remains and What’s Changing

Some educators, parents, and students have shared concerns about how the switch to computer-based ACT® testing (CBT) at non-US test centers will affect students who request test accommodations. Here are some things to keep in mind. What’s remaining the same ACT will continue to provide accommodations for students who qualify. Students will continue to work with school officials to request accommodations from ACT. Students will still take the ACT at test centers unless requested accommodations require Special Testing at their home school. Paper testing is still available for students who require accommodations not available on the computer-based test. What’s changing Students who qualify for extended testing time now can receive that accommodation on each section of the test—a 50% time exte...