SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Printable ACT Practice Tests PDFs: 6 FREE Official Tests

Posted by Allen Cheng | Jan 8, 2021 2:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

No matter how you prep for the ACT—whether you have a tutor, take a class, or study by yourself—you must get access to official, printable ACT tests. These tests are released by ACT, Inc., and contain real questions given to actual students on previous test dates. Although all of these questions have been removed from circulation (meaning you won't ever see them on the real ACT), their quality is second to none when it comes to realistic ACT practice.

In this post, I'll tell you where you can find all official, printable ACT practice tests with answer keys. I'll also give you key strategies to help you make big improvements on each practice test.

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The 5 Best ACT Apps (and How to Use Them in Your Prep)

Posted by Justin Berkman | Jan 5, 2021 9:00:00 AM

ACT General Info, ACT Strategies

You can use apps to order food, watch sports, keep up with friends, and even study for the ACT. ACT apps are a somewhat recent phenomenon, but they're pretty appealing. After all, studying on your phone sounds like way more fun than studying from a book.

Even though apps are not enough to prepare you for the test on their own, they can be a helpful resource. In this article, I'll explain what ACT prep apps are, list the best ACT apps (most of which are free!), and offer tips on how to use them effectively.

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How Long Does It Take to Get ACT Scores Back?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 2, 2021 5:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

After you take the ACT, the anticipation isn't over! Now, you have to wait to get your scores. While the scores aren't available immediately, you don't actually have to wait too long to see your scores or have them sent to colleges.

This guide will go over when you can expect to see your ACT scores for each test date, as well as the differences in score release dates for students who took the ACT with Writing.

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Historical ACT Percentiles for 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Jan 1, 2021 4:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Whether you're currently studying to take the ACT or took it in 2016-2020, you might be curious about how your ACT percentile compares to students who took the ACT in past years.

In this article, we'll go over what percentiles are, how percentiles work on the ACT, and why ACT percentiles matter. We also lay out ACT percentile charts for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 so you can see how your score compares to historical ACT scores.

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SAT and ACT Test Dates: Find Your Best 2021 Testing Schedule

You know that you'll have to take the SAT or ACT and do well on it—but figuring out exactly when to take your exam can sometimes feel like the hardest part of the whole testing process. In this guide, we introduce all upcoming SAT and ACT dates for the 2020-2021 testing year and explain what factors you must consider before committing to a test date.

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Historical ACT Percentiles for 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011

Posted by Dora Seigel | Dec 31, 2020 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

For those currently taking the ACT or who took it in 2011-2015, you might wonder: how does your percentile compare with students who got the same score in other years? In this guide, I'll explain what percentiles are, how they work for the ACT, and why they matter. I'll also give you ACT percentile charts for 2011-2015 so you can see how your scores stack up against historical ones.

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Duke TIP ACT Score Requirements

Maybe you’ve read our article about Duke’s Talent Identification Program (TIP), maybe you’ve heard about it from other students, or maybe you did your own research. You've heard vague hints of "score requirements," but don't know exactly what that means—do you have to take the ACT in order to take part in TIP? How well do you have to do on the ACT in order to become a TIPster? (I refuse to believe that students who participate in TIP do not go by this name.)

There are ACT (or SAT) score requirements for the Duke TIP: specifically, there are score requirements for Summer Studies programs and eStudies courses. I'm going to cover this complicated topic in exhaustive detail, explaining what the programs are, what the ACT score requirements are, and giving you some tips on how to meet these requirements. These requirements all refer to the regular ACT, not the ACT Aspire or ACT EXPLORE.

Feature image credit: Ilyse Whitney/Flickr

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University of California Drops SAT/ACT Scores: What It Means for You

Yep, you read that correctly: in May 2020, the University of California Board of Regents voted unanimously to stop requiring the ACT and SAT as part of admissions applications. In other words, if you're applying to a UC school, you won't have to submit your ACT or SAT scores.

Before you get super excited, there are some caveats you should know about. That's why we're breaking down the changes — and answer your FAQs! — below.

 

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ACT Test Dates: Full Guide to Choosing (2020, 2021)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Nov 16, 2020 2:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Looking for info on 2020-2021 ACT test dates? Knowing the most accurate ACT test dates is crucial for a solid test-taking plan. Though you might be tempted to go ahead and register for the next possible test date, what you should really be doing is finding a date that works well for you and your schedule.

In this guide, we offer an overview of upcoming ACT test dates, registration deadlines, and score release dates. We also give you tips on how to choose an ACT test date and go over which test dates work best for juniors, seniors, and more.

NOTE: Because of COVID-19, many ACT test dates have been postponed or cancelled in 2020. If you're looking for more information on how COVID-19 is impacting ACT test dates, check out our complete guide.

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ACT Score Percentiles and Ranks (High-Precision 2021)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Nov 5, 2020 7:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Do you want to know your exact ACT score up to six digits of precision? Every digit can help when you want to know your exact performance. I've used real ACT data, newly-released in 2020, to calculate these ultra-high-precision percentiles.

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How Many People Get a 34, 35, 36 on the ACT? Score Breakdown

Posted by Halle Edwards | Oct 25, 2020 11:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

We know that 36 is the best possible score on the ACT and that any score in the 30s is considered very good. But how good is a top score of 34, 35, or 36? And how many students earn these scores every year?

In this post, we break down just how rare those top scores are and how many students get them each year. Learn how you can stand out in the application process with a top score—and how to raise your ACT score to get there.

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ACT Percentiles and Score Rankings

Posted by Halle Edwards | Oct 25, 2020 5:30:00 PM

ACT General Info

What's the difference between a good ACT score and a great ACT score? One way colleges make that distinction is by looking at ACT score percentiles.

ACT score percentiles help colleges compare students with one another, rather than just looking at everyone's individual score. Learn more about your ACT score percentile so you can maximize both your study time and admission chances. Then, find out your current score percentile using our detailed charts.

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Average ACT Scores by State (Most Recent)

Posted by Halle Edwards | Oct 25, 2020 11:30:00 AM

ACT General Info

Did you recently get your ACT scores back and are now wondering how your score compares with those of other test takers in your state? Or perhaps you're curious as to how your state's average ACT score stacks up against other state averages.

For this article, we compiled the average ACT scores by state, as well as the average in each subject area, using the latest data from ACT, Inc. Read on to learn how your state's SAT data—and your ACT score—compares with the averages in the rest of the country.

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Best ACT Prep Books 2021

Posted by Allen Cheng | Oct 22, 2020 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Strategies

There are numerous "Best ACT Books" lists out there. But we think most of them aren't very good or thorough, so I've tried to write a much better guide here.

In this article, you'll learn which books are absolutely critical for your ACT prep, which focus on improving individual sections, and which you'll need if you're aiming for a top score. Most importantly, you'll learn how to use these top-notch ACT prep books for effective studying.

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ACT Expert Guide: What's the Highest Possible ACT Score?

Posted by Halle Edwards | Oct 19, 2020 4:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

What is the highest possible score on the ACT, and how rare is it to get one? Whether you're just now diving into your ACT prep or have been at it for a while, you're probably wondering what the best score is. In this guide, we'll explore the odds of earning the maximum ACT score and give you tips and advice for reaching it.

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