Free Downloads for the ACT
Official ACT Preparation Materials Available for Free Download
The ACT website offers several resources for ACT preparation, some of which are available for download free of charge. Preparing for the ACT Test is a PDF that is published yearly by the ACT organization. The current version of this 64-page document includes an overview of the ACT, a guide to test center rules, a full-length practice test, and instructions for practice test scoring. The practice test uses questions taken from recently discontinued versions of the ACT. A 22-page preview of the ACT Official Guide is also provided as a free download. This PDF includes Chapter 1 (About the ACT) in its entirety, which summarizes test content, question types, and skills evaluated.
Other Free Official ACT Downloads
The ACT website also provides free downloads on other ACT topics. Test-takers may wish to examine the four-page Resources for Students and Their Families PDF. This document lists available ACT resources on college applications, choosing college majors, matching student interests with careers, and preparing for university life. Links to the relevant sections of the ACT website are included, allowing students to easily explore online ACT materials in each of these areas. Test-takers should also review the most recent edition of ACT's Terms and Conditions document, a PDF that outlines privacy policies, score reporting procedures, rules for registration and testing, and test security. For those interested in gaining a deep understanding of the ACT as an assessment, the ACT Technical Manual is worth reading. This document extensively covers ACT test development, test specifications, and issues related to test accessibility.
ACT Published Research Available for Free Download
Although some ACT publications are available only to member institutions, the organization offers much of its research (or summaries thereof) for free download. "Preparation Matters Most in STEM," for example, is an ACT "Issue Brief" that argues for policies to improve the quality of upper-secondary instruction in those disciplines. "Promoting Equity in Education," an "ACT Underserved Learner Initiatives Press Kit," outlines the steps the ACT organization has taken to accommodate underserved groups of test-takers. The Condition of College and Career Readiness is an annual report that features data on national attainment of ACT benchmarks, including statistics on benchmark achievement by race, underserved criteria, and intended college major.
Downloads of ACT Forms
The easiest way to acquire important ACT forms is via download from the ACT website. Common examples include the Additional Score Report Order Form (for students who wish to purchase score reports beyond those that come with the registration fee), the ACT Retest Exception Request Form (for students who are asking to be allowed test attempts beyond those normally permitted), the Student Identification Form (for test-takers who lack ACT-approved identification documents), and ACT policy documents for students requesting accommodated testing or English language supports. ACT forms are typically printed out, completed by hand, and postal mailed to the main ACT office in Iowa City, Iowa.
Online Review of ACT Prep Books
Online book repositories often have previews or full-text versions of official and unofficial ACT preparation volumes. These websites can help students learn more about official materials and evaluate the quality of unofficial titles. However, available full-text versions of ACT books are nearly always older editions that were written for now-discontinued iterations of the ACT assessments. Whether viewing these books in whole or in part, test-takers should verify the date of publication in the book itself and check this date against the most recent ACT changes. New editions of the Official Guide are published on a regular basis for this reason, and the publication of multiple editions of the same unofficial title can be (but isn't always) an indication of that title's quality.