The ACT is a college entrance exam that can help demonstrate your college readiness when applying to schools. Most schools will accept either the ACT or SAT. So what does the ACT include and should you be afraid of it?
An Overview of the ACT
The ACT consists of four sections, Math, English, Writing and Science. It also has an optional essay component. Each section is timed. The English section consists of 75 questions with 45 minutes to answer them. The math section has 60 questions with 60 minutes allowed to complete them. The reading and science sections each allow 35 minutes to complete 40 questions. The essay portion gives 40 minutes to answer a single prompt. Each section, except the essay, is scored out of 36. The composite score is an average of the four sections. The essay is scored out of 12.
Speed and Knowledge
As you can see from the number of questions and the time allowed, the ACT is a rapid fire test. To complete each section you must answer quickly and confidently. Many students fear this element of the ACT. The ACT is also a curriculum based test and it is often assumed that you need to memorize more facts and formulas to perform well on this test than the SAT.
The truth is that both the SAT and ACT attempt to reflect the curriculum you have already learned in high school. If you have kept up with your course work, a little supplementary study should be all you need to excel on the ACT.
Nothing to Fear
You don’t need to be afraid of the ACT. The ACT may be the best test for you. The key is to take practice tests, be familiar with how the questions are stated and what types of problems are presented. The more confident you are with the exam, the better you will perform. Familiarize yourself with the differences between the ACT and SAT, take practice exams and then decide which test is best for you.
It can be easy to feel intimidated by an exam that can influence your future, but with preparation and confidence you don’t have to feel afraid. Don’t rule out the ACT as the best option for you just because it is unfamiliar.
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