What is the ACT?

ACT TestWhat is the ACT is a question commonly asked by high school students and those interested in attending college. Most colleges now require that students take the ACT or the SAT and submit their scores as part of the application process. The ACT is an in-depth examination that tests your skills and knowledge in three key areas. You typically take the test at a testing center in your area, but there are more things you need to know about the test before you take it.

How to Take the Test

If you want to know the answer to the question of what is the ACT, you probably want to know how to take the test too. You must first pay a fee to the administrative body associated with the test. Once you submit your payment, you can sign up for a time to take it. Unlike the SAT, which requires that large group of students take the test together, you’re typically the only one in the room. There are testing centers located across the country, in every state and in most major cities. You’ll need to arrive prior to the start of the test to complete any additional paperwork required.

Parts of the Test

According to the ACT itself, the test consists of four parts with an optional fifth part. The first section covers your understanding of the English language. You’ll answer questions about writing, grammar and other similar topics. The second section is a mathematics section that asks for your responses to basic and more complicated math questions, including algebra and geometry. Reading science is the third section and asks you to read several small stories and answer questions about what you read. There is also a science section that includes questions you covered in your science courses. If you opt for the fifth section, you’ll have the chance to write a complex essay on a prompt given to you on the day of the test.

Submitting Your Scores

Submitting your scores is part of the application process associated with applying to college. You can request that your scores go directly to the colleges of your choice. You’ll typically receive your scores around the same time that the colleges do. You also have the option of requesting the scores sent only to you. This lets you see if you scored high enough to meet the requirements of each college. You can later ask that your scores go to each college you list.

Preparing for the ACT

After learning what is the ACT, you need to give some thought to how you can prepare for that in-depth test. Bookstores offer a wide range of test prep books and software that lets you practice the test at home. You can also take ACT test prep classes either at school or in a local tutoring center. Many centers only hire tutors who scored exceptionally well on the ACT, and you can find out how they prepared for the test and the tips they used.

Related Resource: College Prep Course

The ACT is one of the most important tests you will ever take. A high score can help you get scholarships and financial aid and get acceptance from a good college. Those who ask the question of what is the ACT find that it’s an examination that tests how well they understand different topics, including math and reading.