The ACT is a curriculum-based test testing students in English, Mathematics, Reading and Science Reasoning. The test is 2 hours, 55 minutes with an optional 30 minute Writing section as the final section. The more competitive US universities will require students to take the Writing section (which is not available on the February testing date in 2011-12).
Since the ACT has a Science Reasoning section and its Math section measures at a higher level (trigonometry) than the SAT Reasoning Test (geometry), students strong in these fields may benefit by taking the ACT. Additionally, some students applying to the most competitive universities will prefer the option to complete their admissions test requirement in one testing date (ACT with Writing), rather than two (SAT Reasoning Test on one testing date, SAT Subject Tests on a second date).
You may register for the ACT on the ACT website
$34 test registration fee + $27 international processing fee: Add $15.50 for the Writing section: Add $42 for standby testing: $10 for additional score reports (beyond the 4 free score reports at registration).
The test dates for 2011-2013 are as follows:
22 October 2011 (registration deadline 16 September 2011)
10 December 2011 (registration deadline 4 November 2011)
11 February 2012 (registration deadline 13 January 2012) - writing section not available
14 April 2012 (registration deadline 9 March 2012)
9 June 2012 (registration deadline 4 May 2012)
27 October 2012
8 December 2012
9 February 2013
13 April 2013
8 June 2013
Dates for subsequent academic years are online
The tests are offered at the following locations in the UK:
Middlesex (ACS Hillingdon International School)
Thorpe, Surrey (TASIS, The American School)
Surrey (Marymount International School)
Aberdeen (The International School of Aberdeen)
Students who missed the registration deadline may take the ACT via standby testing.
To take the test standby, you will go to a testing centre with your completed form. A list of centres is online.
If students who registered for the test do not turn up, their places are given out on a first-come, first-served basis. For that reason, we recommend arriving before 7 am to queue.
There are four sections on the ACT and scores range from 1 to 36, with 36 being the highest possible score. Students taking the test will be scored on each question and for each correct answer will be given one point (there is no penalty for guessing), after the points are added up, they will generate a raw score. This raw score is then compared to other students taking the test on the same day and historically. This comparison assigns a scale score to each test taker so they may evaluate their performance against other test takers. When students receive their score report, they will only see their scale score and not the raw score.
The four sections in the ACT marked with scores from 1 to 36 and the overall composite is the average whole number score between the four sections. For example, a student could get a 28 in English, 26 in Maths, 32 in Science and 30 in Reading to have a composite score of 29 from all four sections. For further information on ACT scoring please see the ACT website.
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