American College Testing publishes the ACT as an examination to measure a student’s ability in math, verbal comprehension and problem solving. The ACT is a college-entrance test that was introduced in 1959 as a competitor to the College Board’s Scholastic Aptitude Test (now SAT). Students who perform poorly on the SAT often find that they do better on the ACT. This is due to a difference in how questions are presented on ACT. Nationally recognized, the ACT is a college admission and placement examination.The
ACT is commonly accepted for college admission. This test is curriculum based and has questions that are directly related to what students have learned in their high school classes. Students are often more comfortable with the ACT as it is based on material that they have been taught already. The ACT furthermore provides test takers with an interest inventory that provides important information for career and educational planning. There is also a student profile section that provides a complete outline of a student’s work in high school and his or her plans for the future.
The test covers questions about English, math, science, reading, and an optional writing section. The highest possible score for the ACT is 36. The test takes approximately 3 hours – add an additional 30 minutes for the optional writing section. In 2005 the average composite score for the ACT was 20.9, nationally. And, 2.1 million ACT tests were administered in the 2004-2005 year. In all 50 states, the ACT is administered 5 times throughout the year: in October, December, February, April, and June. The ACT is also offered in September in several states.
The ACT is also a better value than the other college admissions exam. The ACT is a not for profit organization that is governed by educators. Unlike other tests, the ACT offers a comprehensive package that provides an educational assessment and career planning for college bound students at a lower fee. The 2005-2006 basic registration fee is $29.00, which includes sending score reports to up to four colleges. The registration fee for the ACT Plus Writing is $43.00.
Students may take the ACT as often as they wish but only once per national test date. Many students take the test twice, but only 55% of students saw an increase of test scores on the second time around. Of those who took a retest, 22% had no change in their score, and 23% even came up with a lower score.