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ACT is a subject-based test with multiple-choice questions covering five areas: English, mathematics, reading, scientific reasoning and writing. Some students prefer to take de ACT because they are more comfortable answering questions knowledge-based.

The writing section isnít mandatory and consists of one essay question. You must declare your position about an issue and support it with good reasons and many details.

  ACT Structure

English 75 multiple-choice questions
Usage & Mechanics 40
Rhetotical Skills 25
Mathematics 60 multiple-choice questions
Pre-Algebra 14
Elementary Algebra 10
Intermediate Algebra 9
Coordinate Geometry 9
Plane Geometry 14
Trigonometry 4
Reading 40 multiple-choice questions
    Analysis of four Reading Passages
Prose Fiction 10
Humanities 10
Social Studies 10
Natural Sciences 10
Science 40 multiple-choice questions
   Content areas for Science are Biology, Earth/Space Sciences, Chemistry,
   and Physics
Data Representation 15
Research Summary 18
Conflicting Viewpoint 7

  ACT registration and information

You can register for the ACT online at will be given a test date, time and location. The registration fee includes the cost of having score reports sent to four colleges of your choice. If you want to pay by check or money order, you must use a registration packet. (URL:

You can also request arranged testing if you are a homebound or confined student or if there is not a near test center of your home (within 50 miles) or you have strong religious beliefs which prohibit Saturday testing.

  Calendar Dates

For ACT students have six testing days to choose from. High school seniors, to get applications completed on time, take the ACT in September or October. If you are a high school junior and want to see your perform in ACT, take the test in winter or spring. The summer test date is for who are unhappy with his scores and want to retake the exam.

Colleges usually prefer that students take the ACT test in their junior year, because in this year students will have completed most of the coursework covered in the ACT.

  ACT Scores

Each section is scored on a range of 1-36. There is also a composite score that is the average of the four scores.
The ACT reports three additional scores to students who take the Writing Test:

  -  Writing Test score (2Ė12)
  -  English/Writing score (1Ė36)
  -  Comments about your writing

The chart bellow shows the range of ACT scores of the middle 50% of admitted students. But you must know that the 25% of admitted students obtained lower numbers listed here.

College ACT Composite
Auburn 22-27
Carleton 28-32
Carleton 25
Duke 29-34
Harvard 31-35
Middlebury 29-33
Pomona 29-34
Stanford 29-33
UCLA 24-30

  Tips to prepare for the ACT

- A good way to begin your preparation for the ACT is with the practice tests, in this way you will learn your strengths and weakness.
- Rest appropriately the night before the test, so you will be fresh and relax in the morning ready for a good performance.
- Follow the instructions of the testing booklet; if you donít pay attention your score could be affected.
- Time is important and you must be aware of it. For each section there will be announcements that five minutes are remaining, it will help you to take your time and mark the rest of the answer sheet or review some questions.
- Donít stay stuck in one question, skip it and come back to it later.
- As in the SAT, try to answer everything because you donít lose points for incorrect answers.
- If you have time, try to review your answers and make sure some points.

  Difference between ACT and SAT

Nowadays, most colleges accept both ACT and SAT giving applicants a better chance to get into a good college.

The ACT is a content-based test; meanwhile the SAT measures applicantís skills on solving problems. You may perform better on one test than the other depending of your strengths and weaknesses. It is advisable to check with each of your target colleges before taking the tests.

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