The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject area tests in English, Mathematics, Reading and Science. The ACT Plus Writing includes the four subject area tests plus a 30 minute Writing Test. ACT results are accepted by all four year colleges and universities in the U.S. The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete, including a short break (or just over four hours if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing). Actual testing time is 2 hours and 55 minutes (plus 30 minutes if you are taking the ACT Plus Writing). The ACT is administered on six test dates within the 50 United States and District of Columbia—in September, October, December, February, April, and June.
The ACT is an achievement test, measuring what a student has learned in school. The SAT is more of an aptitude test, testing reasoning and verbal abilities. The ACT has up to 5 components: English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing Test. The SAT has only 3 components: Critical Reasoning, Mathematics, and a required Writing Test. You take the ACT Writing Test only if required by the college(s) you’re applying to. The SAT has a correction for guessing. That is, they take off for wrong answers. The ACT is scored based on the number of correct answers with no penalty for guessing. The ACT has an Interest Inventory that allows students to evaluate their interests in various career options.
College-bound juniors need to determine if colleges that interest them require ACT scores. Students may register at www.actstudent.org. A limited number of fee waivers are available for students with free or reduced lunch. The Lynn English High School College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) code is 221265. Make sure that you take advantage of the free score reports that you can send to a limited number of colleges/universities.