The ACT is a standardized test that has been around for decades, and nearly every college goer has taken it multiple times. However Most people remain clueless as to what it actually is. This article is designed to help clear up that mystery. It will explain how the test is structured, scored, and administered as well as some nice facts that will help prepare you to take the test.
The American College Testing exam, or better known as the ACT, is a standardized exam used to gauge a student’s aptitude with entering college. It was first administered in November of 1959 to act as a competitor to the more common SAT test. The ACT originally tested four core subjects consisting on Math, English, Social Studies, and Natural Science and it stayed that way until 1989 when the Social Studies portion was changed to Reading with a subsection on Social studies and Natural Science was renamed Science Reasoning. Currently the test covers the same four core topics plus an optional writing portion that was added in 2005. This was done to keep up with changes in the SAT.
This bring us to how the ACT is graded. In each core subject you are given assessed an integer score between 1-36 with a 36 being a perfect score, and if you take the writing portion it will have a similar score between 2-12. However your writing score does not affect your composite score, which is the average of you four core scores. So for example say you scored a 22 in Reading, 24 in English, 27 in Science, 31 in Math and a 7 in Writing your overall composite score will be a 26, the average of 22, 24, 27, 31. Do keep in mind, even though the writing portion doesn’t affect your composite score some colleges require you to have taken it. According to Princetonreview.com the national average ACT score is a 21.
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Finally armed with all this information about the ACT you are left with one last, and very important, question. Where/When do I take it? Most students take the test in their Junior/Senior years of high school. This gives them more flexibility when it comes to needed to take the test again or whether or not they need to take the SAT vs. ACT etc. The test is offer every year in the months of September, October, December, February, April and June at a designated tested center. This could be a local High School, Career Technology Center, or College. Registration must be done 5 weeks prior to the test date and can easily be done at ACT.org or with your school guidance counselor. Here are some of the upcoming test dates:
If you still have questions concerning the ACT or any standardized testing feel free to contact Mathnasium (click here) for more information.