National ACT

What is the ACT?

The ACT is a national college admission examination that consists of subject area tests in English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science.

Why should I take the ACT?

The ACT is accepted by virtually all colleges and universities in the U.S., including all the Ivy League schools.

What is the difference between ACT and SAT?

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.

Do I need to take the optional Writing Test?

You should decide whether to take the Writing Test based on the requirements of the institutions to which you are applying. Check directly with the institutions you are considering to find out their requirements, or ask your high school counselor which test option you should take. For information on the writing portion of the ACT click here.

How much does the ACT cost?

Please refer to the ACT website for basic test cost and Plus Writing cost.

How do I register for the ACT?

Registration through the test company, or ACT, is required. Online registration is available at

What should I bring with me to the test center?

  • Acceptable identification.
  • Sharpened soft lead No. 2 pencils with good erasers (no mechanical pencils or ink pens). Do not bring highlight pens or any other kinds of writing instruments; you will not be allowed to use them.
  • A watch, to pace yourself
  • A permitted calculator, if you wish to use one on the Mathematics Test. Not all models are permitted.

Where can I find more information about ACT testing?