The ACT test is a nationally recognized college admissions test, just like the SAT exam. And like the SAT, it is accepted by all four-year colleges and universities in the US. The ACT is good value because, in addition to being a college admissions test, it also can count for college course placement, increase your chances of getting scholarships, and even includes a career planning section. Furthermore, while the SAT has undergone significant changes over the last few years, the ACT has remained the same. The ACT is the nation's most-taken college entrance test, and is based on what you already learned in school.
In terms of the tests themselves, the ACT and SAT are similar in difficulty. But in terms of what score you need to get into good schools, the ACT has less competition. You need an ACT score in the top 3% to have a good shot of being admitted to Harvard or Yale, but that's actually more generous than the SAT, where you need a top 2% score for the same universities.
The vast majority of colleges accept scores from either test. If they accept scores from both tests, they must evaluate them equally - this is required by law.
The ACT is a medium-difficulty exam, meant to be challenging for everyone but approachable to anyone - including people that do not have a traditional public school education. It has five sections: English, Math, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing section. Be sure to check whether the colleges you're applying for require or recommend the writing section.
It is expected that experienced students can study for about 100 hours and achieve a top score, while those who are just learning the material for the first time should expect to spend 150+ hours to be suitably prepared.
The ACT tests five major skills:
You will be expected to use logic and the evidence presented to deduce the correct answer from multiple choices. This isn't too different from what you've already done in school – the difference is the subject matter and remembering which rules or calculations apply.
The ACT has math – there's no way around it. Fortunately, the math in the ACT is straightforward and more a matter of how you apply it rather than doing complex calculations. It's the standard PEDMAS: parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.
The English language
You need a strong mastery of the English language in order to score well on the ACT. This includes grammar, vocabulary, and writing. However, you don't have to know every grammatical rule, and the rules you do need to know are easy to memorize.
The ACT Science test quizzes students on their ability to interpret scientific data. Throughout the test, students must scan tables, charts, and short research summaries and answer questions based on the data presented.
It's maybe not everyone's favorite part of the test, but you will need to memorize some key formulas. Achievable has adaptive, memory-tracked quizzes built into our course to ensure you'll remember all the material you've learned on test day.
The ACT is a standardized test used for undergraduate college admissions in the United States. It is created and administered by American College Testing (ACT), a nonprofit organization of the same name.
The ACT exam is hosted by ACT and costs $63 (+$15 for writing) to register. Participants have 3 hours 35 minutes to answer 215 multiple-choice questions and 1 essay.
The ACT english test asks you to edit English language texts. You will need to be able to assess passages on a wide variety of topics and rhetorical situations.
The ACT mathematics test gauges your ability to do math typically taken by American students through grade 11. This includes geometry, statistics & probability, modeling, algebra, functions, number & quantity, integration of essential skills, and a small number of trigonometry questions. It assumes you have knowledge of basic formulas and basic computational skills.
The ACT reading test evaluates your ability to make logical decisions about long texts using the information they contain. You must be able to determine main ideas, identify significant details, make comparisons, find and interpret significant details, determine the meaning of context-dependent words, evaluate claims and evidence in arguments, and bring together information from up to four passages.
The ACT science test measures the core skills required by the natural sciences: interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem solving. The science test includes content related to biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, and meteorology. You are asked to digest the information provided, critically evaluate that information relative to the hypotheses provided, and draw conclusions or make predictions.
The ACT writing test is an optional essay test that measures the writing skills typically taught to American students through grade 11. You are given one writing prompt that describes a complex issue, and then given three different perspectives on that issue. You must read the prompt and perspectives before developing your own perspective. You must relate your perspective to one or more of the provided perspectives. Your perspective may support one of the perspectives provided, or it can introduce a new perspective that is completely different.
You will need a mastery of all math typically taught in American high schools through grade 11 in order to score well on the ACT. We cover each of the core topics in detail: pre-algebra; elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, geometry, coordinate geometry, and trigonometry.
You must show mastery of the English language to get a great ACT score. This doesn't just mean knowing English at a high school level - it also means correctly following all of the technical rules of English writing. We cover all of these rules and structures in detail: punctuation; conventions of usage; knowledge of language; organization, unity, and cohesion; sentence structure; and topic development.
To succeed in the ACT Reading section, mastering high-level reading comprehension is crucial. Key skills such as identifying main ideas, understanding the author's intent, and making predictions will be honed. Emphasis will be placed on learning effective annotation techniques, managing time efficiently, understanding various question types, and avoiding common test pitfalls.
Scoring well in the ACT Science section involves prioritizing the interpretation and analysis of scientific data over rote memorization. Focus on refining your reading and data interpretation skills. You'll also familiarize yourself with effective science focused test-taking strategies and learn to navigate various types of science passages and questions on the ACT Science Section.