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The ACT exam is an important part of your college application process. Your scores will help determine acceptance to colleges based on your scope of knowledge. This test gives college admissions boards a way to judge your readiness for college work and your ability to think logically.

The Parameters of the ACT Exam

The ACT consists of four multiple-choice sections. The sections cover English, Math, Reading, and Science. The test includes an optional writing section in the form of an essay. Including the writing test, the total test time is 3 hours and 35 minutes. Each section of the test is broken down into a number of questions that need to be answered in a certain time limit.

ACT Exam Cost and Registration

Students can register for the ACT exam online or through the mail. Registering online is efficient and allows you to choose from a variety of test dates. The test without the writing portion costs $36.50 and with the writing portion $52.50.

When Should You Take the Test?

The earlier you plan to take the ACT exam the better. By registering and taking the test early, you will feel less pressure to succeed and achieve better test scores. Taking the test early gives you the opportunity to see your weak areas and you will be better prepared to take them again. It is recommended that you take the test at least one year before your college admission deadlines, and that you plan to take the test at least twice. Enroll in some ACT prep courses and prepare yourself for the test before your exam date.

How Does the ACT Exam Affect Your College Admission?

Your ACT scores are going to give college admission boards a better understanding of where you are academically. It is important to take these tests seriously because they can help make or break an acceptance decision. If your transcripts are not stellar, a good test score can help get you a positive decision. Here are some things admissions boards will be looking for when reviewing your test scores.

  • Do you have a consistent testing pattern?
  • Do your score and academics match up?
  • Are your results showing strengths in some areas and not others?

Take Time to Prepare

In order to succeed on this test, take time to prepare. You can choose to enroll in prep courses or tack practice exams online. An exam like the ACT can be mentally exhausting, taking practice exams can help build up your test taking stamina and give you an idea of what to expect the day of your test.