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The ACT Expose'

Presented by ACT, Inc.

There's a little-known secret about the ACT test that you ought to know: You've already been prepping for it.

You've already been prepping, that is, if you've been attending school and taking the college prep classes recommended or required by your high school -- advanced classes in English, social studies, science, and math. If you've been skipping school and avoiding advanced classes in high school, your test scores will show it, and you'll have work ahead to get prepared for college.

The 215 multiple-choice question exam covers information you should learn during high school. In fact, many students say they're comfortable taking it because it covers what they've studied and the test is like others they've taken during school.

The ACT's tests in English, reading, mathematics, and science reasoning measure your ability to complete college-level work. So take challenging classes in the subjects tested, and get familiar with the test by taking some sample tests. ACT offers lots of free or affordable aids at www.act.org.

Here are a few more facts:

Who accepts the ACT?

The ACT is accepted by virtually all U.S. colleges and universities, including the Ivy League universities. A number of colleges, in fact, will accept the ACT in place of other college entrance exams plus subject matter exams. With the ACT, you'll spend fewer hours testing and pay only one test fee.

Pick your best score

You can choose not to report your test scores until you're happy with the results. Only the scores from the test date you select will be shared with the college.

The ACT Assessment is more than a test

An important part of the ACT is the interest inventory-- 90 questions asking if you like to do certain things, like write a story or lead a meeting. The information you get back with your test scores can guide you toward career ideas you hadn't even thought of, or it can confirm career goals you've already set. It's important to choose a career that involves something you're really interested in, rather than something that sounds good. Many people end up disliking their jobs because they didn't put enough thought and research into what will really match their interests.

Are you a broad learner?

The ACT shows a different measure of your abilities than other college entrance exams. Since the ACT measures your skills in four academic areas, you can show what you've learned in a broader range of skill areas. If your skills are stronger in some of these areas, you might get a higher score on the ACT than other tests and increase your chances for admission to the college you want to attend.

Use your scores

Don't just let the colleges use your scores. You can do a lot with your test information to prepare for your future. A high ACT composite score may tell you that you're ready for a college with a challenging curriculum. But if you get a low score in math, don't think you're sunk. See a tutor or take a summer class to help you develop the academic skills needed to raise your score.