Why take the ACT?
The ACT is accepted by all 4-year colleges and universities in the United States.
The ACT is not an aptitude or an IQ test. The test questions on the ACT are directly related to what you have learned in your high school courses in English, mathematics, reading, and science. Every day you attend class you are preparing for the ACT. The harder you work in school, the more prepared you will be for the test.
Taking challenging courses in high school is the best way to prepare, but ACT also offers a number of test preparation options including free online practice tests, testing tips for each subject area tested, and the free student booklet Preparing for the ACT. This booklet includes complete practice tests (with a sample writing prompt and example essays). ACT Online Prep™, the only online test preparation program developed by ACT, is another tool to help you be ready for test day.
In addition to the tests, the ACT also provides you with a unique Interest Inventory and a Student Profile Section. By responding to these sections, which ask about your interests, courses, and educational preferences, you provide a profile of your work in high school and your career choices to colleges.
By taking the ACT, you make yourself visible to colleges and scholarship agencies, so it's another way to help you get ready for life after high school.
The ACT is the only national college admission test based on the number of correct answers—you are not penalized for guessing.
When you register for the ACT, you can choose up to four colleges to which ACT will send your scores as part of the basic fee for your test option. If you take the test more than once, you choose which test date results the colleges will receive. ACT sends scores only for the test date you select.
Because not all colleges require a writing test for admission, ACT offers you the choice of whether or not you want to spend the extra time and money taking the writing test. Writing is an important skill for college and work, but schools use different methods to measure your writing skills. Find out what colleges have told us about their policies here.