The ACT is a standardized entrance exam comprised of several sections of multiple-choice questions that college admissions departments will use as a benchmark for determining a student’s readiness for a university level curriculum. A student’s ACT score is often looked at in conjunction with other factors, including a student’s overall GPA, letters of recommendation, personal essays, extracurricular activities, and much more.
English, Math, Reading, and Science are all of the mandatory sections of the ACT. There is also an optional Writing test that may be required by some colleges for admissions. This can be confirmed via the college or university’s admission website. Students are given a total of 2 hours and 55 minutes to complete the ACT, unless they opted to complete the writing portion as well, in which case, they have 3 hours and 35 minutes to complete the test.
The ACT is available to take every year from September to December, then again in February, April, June, and July. Deadlines for registration are usually 5 weeks before the ACT test date. Students are able to register online or obtain the forms from the ACT website or from their school counselor.