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The ACT Assessment, or "A-C-T" as it is commonly called, is a national college admission exam designed to assess high-school students' general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. The ACT tests cover four skill areas: English, Reading, Math and Science Reasoning. The tests include 215 multiple-choice questions and take just over 4 hours to complete, with breaks in-between. (Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes.) The Writing Test, which is optional, measures skill in planning and writing a short essay and lasts an additional 30 minutes.

Reasons to Take the ACT
Why should you take the ACT? Among the reasons are:
  • The ACT tests are curriculum based. It is not an aptitude test or an IQ test. Instead, the questions on the ACT are directly related to what you have learned in high school English, math and science courses. Because the ACT tests are based on what you actually learned, many students find that they are more comfortable with the ACT than with traditional aptitude tests or tests with narrower content.

  • The ACT tests are accepted for college admission by virtually all colleges and universities - including the Ivy League schools.

  • The ACT is more than a test. It provides test takers with lots of details on the college planning process, online college registration, a financial-aid calculator, and a unique interest inventory that provides valuable information for both career and educational planning. The ACT also has a student profile section that provides a comprehensive profile of your work in high school and your future plans.
Test Dates
The ACT is given on five test dates, in October, December, February, April and June. In some states, the ACT is also offered in late September. Many students take the test twice, once as a junior and again as a senior.

Should You Retest?
You may take the ACT as often as you wish. The ACT suggests that your should definitely consider retesting if you had any problems during the test, such as not feeling well, misunderstanding the directions, or forgetting your calculator (which can be used on the math portion of the test). Since not all calculator models are permitted, check this out beforehand.

You should consider retesting if you are unsatisfied that your scores accurately represent your abilities, if you see a discrepancy between your ACT scores and your high-school grades, or if you subsequently complete course-work or an intensive review in the areas tested by the ACT.

For More Info
For complete information on registering for the ACT, including online registration; tips for taking the test; what you should take with you to the test center; the availability of testing for homebound students; test dates; score information and frequently asked questions; visit the ACT at their Web site,


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