ACT

ACT registration, test dates and information
www.act.org

Concordance Data to examine relationship between ACT and SAT scores
www.act.org/aap/concordance

Facts About the ACT

The ACT is a national college admission and placement examination.

What was the national average ACT composite score for 2007? 21.2
Is that an increase or decrease from 2006? It is an increase from 21.1 in 2006.
What is the source of the 2007 ACT national average? The scores of all ACT-tested 2007 high school graduates (more than 1.3 million students)
What is the highest possible ACT score? 36
What proportion of 2007 graduates who took the ACT scored 36? About 1 in 4,000
What subject areas do the ACT questions cover? English, math, reading, science, and writing (optional)
How many questions are asked? English: 75, Math: 60, Reading: 40, Science: 40, Total: 215
When was the ACT first administered? Fall 1959
In how many states is the ACT administered? 50
Since when has the ACT been a 50-state exam? 1960
In how many states do more than 50 percent of high school graduates take the ACT? 25
In how many states do more than 50 percent of high school graduates take another college entrance exam? 23
What are the top five states in numbers of ACT-tested high school graduates? Illinois, Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Texas;
Which college entrance exam is required by more four-year colleges than any other? The ACT
Which college entrance exam is preferredby more four-year public universities than any other? The ACT
Which Ivy League schools accept ACT scores for admission purposes? All of them
How many ACTs were administered during 2005-2006? Over 2.1 million
Can students with disabilities take the ACT? Yes
Can students take the ACT outside the 50 United States? Yes

Other Frequently Asked Questions about the ACT

How much does it cost to take the ACT?
The 2007-2008 basic registration fee is $30.00, which includes sending score reports to up to four college choices. The basic registration fee for the ACT Plus Writing is $44.50.

How long does the test take?
Just over 4 hours for the ACT without the Writing Test, including administration instructions and breaks. Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes, broken down as follows:

English: 45 minutes
Math: 60 minutes
Reading: 35 minutes
Science: 35 minutes
The ACT Writing Test adds 30 minutes to the testing time.

When are the test dates?
In the 50 United States, the ACT is administered on five national test dates: in October, December, February, April, and June. In selected states, the ACT is also offered in late September.

How do students benefit from taking the ACT? 

  • The ACT is universally accepted for college admission. 
  • The ACT is curriculum-based. The ACT is not an aptitude or an IQ test. Instead, the questions on the ACT are directly related to what students have learned in high school courses in English, mathematics, and science. Because the ACT tests are based on what is taught in the high school curriculum, students are generally more comfortable with the ACT than they are with traditional aptitude tests or tests with narrower content.
  • The ACT is more than a test. The ACT also provides test takers with a unique interest inventory that provides valuable information for career and educational planning and a student profile section that provides a comprehensive profile of a student’s work in high school and his or her future plans.
  • The ACT is a good value. As a private, not-for-profit organization governed by educators, ACT is committed to providing services at the lowest possible cost. Accordingly, the ACT provides a comprehensive package of educational assessment and career planning services for college-bound students at a fee that is lower than the fee for the competing admission test.

How often can students take the ACT?
Students may take the ACT as often as they wish but only once per national test date. Many students take the test twice, once as a junior and again as a senior.

Does it help to take the ACT more than once?
ACT research shows that of the students who took the ACT more than once:

55% increased their composite score on the retest
22% had no change in their composite score on the retest
23% decreased their composite score on the retest

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