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Important ACT Dates

ACT prep classes begin on ACT exam

What is the ACT exam?

The ACT is a college admissions exam that in recent years has become just as readily accepted at colleges and universities as the SAT exam. It tests a similar set of skills as the SAT exam does. There are four different tests within the ACT:

-The English Test (comparable to the Writing and Language Test of the SAT)
-The Math Test (comparable to the Math Tests of the SAT)
-The Reading Test (comparable to the Reading Test of the SAT)
-The Science Test (unlike any section of the SAT)

Although a student will receive scores for each of the four tests, those scores are averaged into a single ACT composite score. This final number is what admissions officers take into consideration. For this reason, performing extremely well in one of the tests will help to bolster the other scores.

Who should take the ACT?

Many students who take the SAT should also take the ACT. After learning the reasoning skills that are crucial to both exams, some students perform comparatively higher on one of the two exams. This may be due to the slight difference in the wording of questions or the different time constraints. A student who is strong in science may benefit from the inclusion of the Science Test on the ACT Exam. Because reporting your ACT scores is optional, students essentially have everything to gain and nothing to lose from attempting this exam.

When can a student take the ACT?

In New York, the ACT is offered five times each year: April, June, September, October, and December. It is customary for students to take the ACT exam for the first time during their junior year (April, or June). After taking the exam once or twice as a junior, some students may take the ACT again in their senior year (September, October, or December). Each student’s individual circumstances determine whether and when it is appropriate to retake the test.