Click on each question below, and you will be taken to the official ACT website‘s answers. My more informal and not-as-comprehensive answers follow. 🙂

What is the ACT?

It is a standardized test required for admission to most U.S. colleges and universities. The test content covers English, Math, Reading, and Science. It is generally known as a more straightforward test than the SAT, and in my opinion the ACT does not require as much “language smarts” as the SAT. View my SAT/ACT comparison here.

Who can take the ACT?

Anyone! Doesn’t matter how old or young you are. The main requirement is that you have a valid identification card with your photo on it.

Where can I take the ACT?

High schools are the standard testing place. Use the ACT search to locate the school closest to you!

Why should I take the ACT?

Because most colleges and universities require an ACT or SAT score for admittance, and you can earn scholarships! Check out my College Admission Requirements page for more information.

When should I take the ACT?

Because a good score on the ACT can open up scholarship opportunities, I encourage students to take the test several times before high school graduation. Even if you are a gifted student and are at the top of your class, I recommend planning to take the test 2-3 times–which means taking the test the spring or fall of your junior year. My reasoning behind this is that the ACT is an intense test. Official test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes, not including breaks and pre-test instructions. So, I encourage students to look at the first time as an opportunity to get accustomed to the feel of the test. Yes, you want to try your best, but don’t put loads of pressure on yourself to earn an amazing score the first time.

And of course, if you earn a 30 or higher the first time, congratulations! 🙂 But if you score lower than a 21 (which most colleges require for automatic admittance and is an average score according to the ACT National Ranking), then you will still have time to study for and retake the test. And if you score a 21 or higher your first time, you still have plenty of time to work toward a scholarship-earning score.

How do I prepare for the ACT?

I didn’t want to bog down this page with my suggestions, so visit my ACT Preparation page here!

If you are interested in tutoring, please e-mail me at or call me at 816-738-5685. I offer in-person and online tutoring for both the ACT and SAT tests. I’ve tutored a student living in Nevada from my home in Missouri via video chat and it works very well! Contact me to set up a free consultation!

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