Information about the ACT

Every year, more than 2 million students take the ACT, which has become the United States' most popular test for university admission at the undergraduate level. The ACT acronym originally stood for "American College Testing," but ACT is now the preferred term for both the test itself and its developing/administrating organization. ACT is a "mission-driven, non-profit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success." As an introduction to important topics on the ACT, please have a look at the following pages:

  • ACT Basics
    This page is a great place to start learning about the ACT. We offer a concise summary of test content, timing, structure, and availability; an overview of ACT acceptance; a brief discussion of research on the connection between ACT scores and college grades; and a list of the available methods of preparing for the exam.
  • ACT Format
    On this page, test-takers can receive a focused description of the ACT's structure, emphasizing only the most relevant information. We discuss the types of questions and exercises featured on each of the test's five sections, the total timing of each ACT assessment, the categories reported in each content area, and the primary purpose of each section.
  • Recent Changes to the ACT
    Beginning in 2014, the ACT was revised in several ways. Visit this page for a comprehensive discussion of changes to the content of the ACT Reading, Science, and Writing sections, a summary of the current practices with respect to scoring and score reporting, and advice on how to avoid any confusion the revisions may cause with respect to preparation.
  • ACT Administration
    ACT administration topics are covered on this page. We'll help you learn everything you need to know about the administration of the ACT, from registration and testing policies to identification requirements and score reporting procedures. Special instructions for disabled test-takers and students in need of English language supports are also included.
  • ACT Registration
    Learn how to register for the ACT by reviewing this page. Students may register for the ACT either online or by standard mail, and if they have already registered, they may re-register by phone. We also discuss ACT fees and services, registration for testing under special circumstances, and how to find out if you're eligible for a waiver of registration fees.
  • Computer Test versus Paper Test
    See this page for information on the new ACT computer test. Learn about ACT computer test availability, distinctive features, advantages, and factors that affect student choices. We also discuss the future of ACT computer and paper testing, both in the United States and around the world.
  • ACT Test-Taking Strategies
    On this page, we offer a number of strategies to use while taking the ACT. The discussion includes specific tips for the ACT English, Reading, Math, Science, and Writing sections and focuses on important issues such as time management, approaches to the individual exercises, and using test center policies (such as note-taking and calculators) to your advantage.
  • ACT Scores
    An extensive discussion of ACT scoring is featured on this page. Test-takers and parents can learn all about the many different types of scores included on ACT score reports, such as sectional and composite scores, reporting categories, percentile rankings, and College Readiness Benchmarks. We also provide a timeline for ACT score reporting.
  • ACT History
    The ACT was first offered to students in 1959. See this page for an overview of standardized testing before the ACT, the development of the ACT, revisions to the exam over the years, and the organization that administers the test. The ACT has been more popular than the SAT for several years, and this is a trend that is likely to continue.
  • ACT vs SAT
    This page can help you decide if you should take the ACT or the SAT. Topics covered include ACT and SAT structure, timing, question types, scoring systems, scoring comparisons, and typical fees. We recommend that students try practice versions of both tests, and choose the examination that best fits with their academic strengths.