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The ACT ... Easy as 1 2 3

This pages was written by Ari H. from Michigan

In high schools across the nation, three simple letters can make any student planning on attending college shudder with fear or tremble with anticipation: A-C-T. The ACT is one of the standardized tests that colleges can use to evaluate a student's application. As daunting as this test may seem, with the right preparation and discipline, you can maximize your potential to achieve the best score possible. By acing this test, you can be one step closer to attending your dream school!

Here is a break down of what to expect on the ACT:

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If you’re taking the ACT, you also have the option to take the ACT writing section. This portion of the test is 40 minutes long, giving students time to plan, draft, and edit their answers to one essay question. To determine if you should take the writing section of the ACT, check the requirements of the colleges you are interested in.

*It is important to note that you cannot complete the writing portion of the ACT by itself. If you realize after taking the test that you actually needed to take the ACT Writing section; you will have to retake the other 4 sections of the test as well. 

After taking the ACT, you will receive your composite score that ranges from 1-36; with a score of 1 being the lowest and a 36 being the highest. For each section of the ACT, you will receive a raw score which is based on how many answers you get correct. The raw score is then converted to a scaled score, ranging from 1-36. All 4 of your scaled scores are averaged to get your composite score on the ACT. 


Here’s an example of what your ACT Student Report could look like:

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To learn more about the ACT, visit

We also suggest that you compare the ACT to the SAT to decide which of the two tests fit your strengths best. Check out The SAT and Me to learn more about the SAT.  Also visit this site to find out more about which test is best for you.

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