Seniors and parents! If you have questions about the ACT Test, now is the time to do your research and preparation. Here are a few thoughts about the importance of the ACT:

What is the ACT?

The ACT is a multiple-choice, paper and pencil test that covers the subject areas of math, English, reading, and science (and an optional writing section). The test will measure your skill levels as you prepare for entry into college. The composite score is one of the main things that colleges will look at. A perfect composite score is 36.

If you’re a high school student in Nebraska, chances are you already took (or will take) the ACT Test during the spring of 11th Grade. You should consider taking the test again as a high school senior, especially if you’re planning on attending a four-year college or university.

Why is the ACT important?

Many four-year colleges and universities require a certain ACT score so that they can admit you. For specific admission requirements, reach out to the college(s) that interest you and have a conversation about the ACT test with an admissions representative. Generally, a 20 composite score or above gets you admitted into many Nebraska colleges/universities.  However, the higher your test score, the more potential scholarship money the college might offer you. Therein lies the importance of taking the test again: if you are able to raise your score even a few points, that might translate into more scholarship dollars!

Also, the colleges will always use your highest test score!

NOTE: While the ACT test score is an important part of your admission process, it isn’t the only part of your application. Your cumulative G.P.A., the classes you’ve taken (core classes, AP, Honors, Dual-Credit) will also play a part in your admissions decision. If you’re concerned about your ACT Test score, talk to your college admissions representative(s).

Is the ACT the only test I can take for college?

No. There are other testing options, depending on what your plans are after high school:

  • You can take the SAT Test, which has a different structure than the ACT, and is used for admission to a four-year college. Neither the SAT nor the ACT are necessarily “easier” than the other. Many colleges will accept certain scores from the SAT in place of the ACT. Check with your college to see which test they prefer!
  • For admission to a Community College, you can do an ACCUPLACER This is a computer test that will gauge your Math and English Reading/Writing skills.
  • If you’re interested in joining the military, look into the ASVAB Test. This will help you identify which jobs in the Armed Forces may be best suited for you.

How and when do I sign up?

You can register at ACT.org . Students, you will need to create an online account that is unique to this website. Make sure you place a valid email address; if you ever need to reset your account, you will need to use your email to do so.

Remember, to be able to take the test, you need to sign up and register for a test date. There are registration deadlines you need to stay on top of; check out ACT TEST DATES for more information.

Where can I find resources to help me prepare to take the ACT?

Start with your school counselor; they can assist you with registering for the next ACT, and your school might have test-prep resources to help you get ready. Sometimes, your high school might even offer a test-prep course after school, depending on the time of year.

You can also find additional test prep resources on the ACT website, including online videos and sample questions.

NOTE: there are paid resources out there as well. Consult your school counselor or contact EducationQuest to discuss whether you should pursue paying for a test preparation course or resource.

For additional questions, contact the EducationQuest office nearest you.

Best of luck, scholars!