ACT Prep

About the ACT
Most colleges require either the SAT or the ACT as part of their admissions process. The ACT is a standardized exam that was introduced as an alternative to the SAT. Some students who do poorly on the SAT may find that they may do better on the ACT.

There are many similarities between the SAT and the ACT. The core differences that set the ACT apart from the SAT are the inclusion of a Science section, the score calculation, the test taking time (the ACT exam is shorter), and the Writing portion of the ACT is considered optional.

What’s on the ACT?
The ACT consists of four sections: English, Reading, Math, and Science. There is also an optional Writing portion of the exam, which consists of a 30 minute essay. Some schools may require the writing portion of the ACT, so check with your high school counselor or the colleges themselves to be certain.

The English section is timed at 45 minutes and consists of 75 multiple choice questions. It is designed to test a student’s rhetorical skills and grammar usage.

The Reading section is 35 minutes long and contains 40 multiple choice questions. Students will read four passages and answer questions about what they have read. Passages will include prose fiction (short story/novel passages), social science, humanities, and natural science.

The Math section is 60 minutes and 60 multiple choice questions. There is an emphasis on geometry, with algebra and trigonometry questions also included. Calculators are permitted, but the ACT does have strict requirements on what kind of calculating devices are allowed during test time. Check the ACT Official Website to determine if your calculator is permitted.

The Science section is also multiple choice. It is 35 minutes with 40 questions. Students will read scientific passages and answer questions based on the data and findings they have read.

When to take the ACT?
The ACT is offered 6 times annually in September, October, December, February, April, and June. It is always given on a Saturday. Students with credible religious obligations on a test date can request an alternate testing date (Visit for more details).

If a student is unhappy with their ACT score, we recommend retaking the test. Since most schools require only one ACT score, instead of multiple SAT scores, there is a distinct advantage to retaking the test to get the best possible score. For this reason, many students take the test at the beginning of their junior year and either retake the test one or more times, or switch to taking the SAT.

ACT Scoring
The ACT scores each of the four main sections from a scale of 1 to 36. Students will receive their main composite score on a scale of 1 to 36 as the average of the 4 section scores. When colleges look at your ACT score, they are looking at the composite score. The national average composite score is 21.

There are also subscores given for the English, Math, and Reading sections, on a scale from 1 to 18. These scores are not used by colleges or universities. They simply provide you with more details of your performance in each section.

If you take the optional Writing test, two readers will grade your essay separately on a scale from 2 to 12. Your ACT will then receive a combined English/Writing score (from 1 to 36). Like the English, Math, and Reading subscores, your Writing subscore does not affect your overall ACT composite score.

Need more information on how the ACT is scored? Click here.

What We Offer
Private Tutoring: No matter what your test-taking abilities happen to be, everyone can benefit from one-on-one personal tutoring, especially for a test as important as the ACT. Our ACT tutors offer years of experience in helping students get better and better ACT composite scores, and that means admission into better schools. We spend time with our students. We listen to them and answer all their questions. We guide each and every student on their way to becoming passionate learners since being motivated and knowing what to expect makes taking the ACT a much easier and comfortable experience.

Small Group Tutoring: Do you work better in groups? Maybe you prefer studying with friends. Or perhaps you want to share the cost of a private tutor. Whatever the reason, small group tutoring may be right for you. Create your own group of SAT study buddies and get the personal, individualized attention you deserve. Or, contact us for available ACT tutoring groups near you. Every student in a small group is given the attention and feedback they deserve from their tutor, so everyone in the group has an opportunity to improve their ACT composite scores.

Are you ready to improve your ACT score and get a better chance of admission into the nation’s top schools? Click the Contact Us box to get in touch with us right now!

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