The ACT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. It is a multiple-choice, pencil-and-paper test administered by ACT, Inc.
The purpose of the ACT test is to measure a high school student's readiness for college, and provide colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants. College admissions officers will review standardized test scores alongside your high school GPA, the classes you took in high school, letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors, extracurricular activities, admissions interviews, and personal essays. How important ACT scores are in the college application process varies from school to school.
Overall, the higher you score on the ACT and/or SAT, the more options for attending and paying for college will be available to you.
The ACT test is designed for the 10th, 11th, and/or 12th grade levels to provide schools and districts with the data necessary to position students for success after high school.
Did You Know?
- More than 1.78 million graduates—52 percent of the US high school graduating class—took the ACT test in 2019.
- ACT test scores are accepted by all four-year US colleges and universities, including highly selective institutions.
- The ACT is not an aptitude or an IQ test. Questions are directly related to what students have learned in high school courses.
- The ACT is administered on seven national and six international test dates each year, plus additional state and district testing dates.
- The ACT is approved for use in state models for federal and state accountability