About the ACT
The ACT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. It is a multiple-choice, pencil-and-paper test administered by ACT, Inc.
The purpose of the ACT test is to measure a high school student's readiness for college and provide colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. College admissions officers will review standardized test scores alongside your high school GPA, the classes you took in high school, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays. How important ACT scores are in the college application process varies from school to school.
Overall, the higher you score on the ACT and/or SAT, the more options for attending and paying for college will be available to you.
When should I take the ACT?
Most high school students take the ACT, SAT, or both during the spring of their junior year or fall of their senior year. It's important to leave time to re-take the test if you need to raise your score before you apply to college. The ACT exam is offered nationally every year in September, October, December, February*, April, June, and July*.
*No test centers are scheduled in New York for the February or July test dates. No test centers are scheduled in California for the July test date.
What is on the ACT?
There are four ACT sections:
The ACT also includes an optional 40-minute Writing Test. Some colleges may require that you complete the ACT Writing Test.