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Demystifying the ACT for Students in Online High School Courses

Written by James Madison High School on Thursday, 05 November 2015. Posted in College Bound

Demystifying the ACT for Students in Online High School Courses

The ACT is national college admissions examination that assesses students' knowledge of English, mathematics, reading, and science. Students can take the ACT with or without the additional 40-minute writing test. The ACT tests students on what they are learning and is not an aptitude test. It's also one way for students to make themselves visible to colleges and scholarship agencies.

Testing Dates

The ACT is administers six times a year in the U.S. and either five or six years everywhere else, so students have plenty of time to fit in while taking online high school courses.

2015-2016 Academic Year Testing Dates
US, US territories, Puerto Rico and Canada

Date Registration Deadline
September 12, 2015 August 7, 2015
October 24, 2015 September 18, 2015
December 15, 2015 November 6, 2015
February 6, 2016 January 8, 2016
April 9, 2016 March 6, 2016
June 11, 2016 May 6, 2016

How to Register

Students can register for the ACT by mail or online. They can also print their admission ticket directly from the website.

Fees: There are a variety of fees associated with the ACT. The ACT with no writing option costs $39.50 and includes a report for the test-taker, test-taker's high school, and up to four colleges. Students can add the writing test for an additional $17.50 (or a total of $56.50) and receive the same benefits. . It's important to register before the deadline or a $25.00 late fee will be charged.

Note: The only part of the test that is refundable is the writing section ($17.50) and that is only if the request is made in writing

The Test

Students should expect to take approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete the ACT, or 4 hours to take the ACT with writing. The estimated time include a 40-minute break.

Topic # of Questions Time Skills Tested
English 75 45 min. Usage/Mechanics (punctuation, grammar and usage, sentence structure); Rhetorical skills (strategy, organization, style)
Mathematics 60 60 min. Reasoning skills, basic formulas, computational skills *may use calculator
Reading 40 35 min. Reading comprehension
Science 40 35 min. Interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, problem-solving skills in natural sciences
Writing (optional) Essay 40 min. Writing skills emphasized in high school English and entry-level composition courses.

After the Test

All colleges and universities accept the ACT. Students have the opportunity to provide school codes at registration so scores can be mailed to up to four schools automatically. Additional score reports are available for $12.00 each. Test scores are also available for viewing online for free.

Taking the ACT while enrolled in online high school courses helps students prepare for the college application process. Making the effort allows students to discover how prepared they are for future studies. If unhappy with their scores, they can retake the exam later on.

About the Author

James Madison High School

James Madison High School

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