SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Which States Require the ACT? Full List and Advice

In recent years, the number of states that administer the ACT statewide has more than doubled. There are now 10 states that require every junior to take the test and five more that either require the test in some districts or offer it as a free option for students who wish to take it.

This post explains why these programs exist, which states have them, and how you can take advantage of them if you live in one of these states.

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Complete Official ACT Practice Tests, Free Links

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 ACT tests. These tests are released by ACT, Inc. and contain real questions given to actual students on previous test dates. These questions have been removed from circulation (so you won't ever see them on a real test), but their quality is second to none when it comes to ACT realism.

In this post, I'll tell you how to find all currently available official ACT practice tests. We'll also discuss how to use these tests to improve your ACT score.

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Important: Read This Before Sending ACT Scores to Colleges

No college application is complete without test scores. But sending scores to colleges doesn't have to be a confusing and frustrating process! Read this article to understand all the options for sending out your ACT scores, to get help with the many decisions you will have to make, and to know what to do if you run into problems.

I'll describe the basic process of how to send ACT scores, how to take full advantage of the ACT's individual score reporting, when to send scores, and how to make sure your scores don't get lost. At the same time, I'll go through the pros and cons of every option and suggest a recommended course of action.

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Can You Take the ACT Test Online?

The ACT is an important college admissions test that has traditionally been administered on paper. But according to a press release by ACT, Inc., more and more students will soon be able to take the ACT in an online, computer-based format. So can you take the ACT online, or not?

Below, we go over who can (and will soon be able to!) take the ACT test online, what this computer ACT looks like, and the pros and cons of both the computer and paper versions of the ACT.

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ACT Test Dates for 2023-2024

Are you planning to take the ACT this year? If so, your first order of business is to check out the testing dates and choose the one that works best for you. Whether you plan to take the ACT once or a few times, remember that standardized test scores are an important component of your college application. You’ll want to make sure you choose the dates that will help you be the most successful.

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The 4 Best ACT Apps (and How to Use Them in Your Prep)

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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Printable ACT Practice Tests PDFs: FREE and Official

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, online and printable ACT tests. The official ACT practice test provided below—released by ACT, Inc.—is the exact format you’ll see on test day.

In this post, I'll tell you where you can find the official, online or printable ACT practice test with the answer key. I'll also give you key strategies and resources to help you make big improvements while you prep for the ACT.

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Complete List: Which Colleges Require ACT Writing?

You've just signed up for the ACT. But did you know that there is an optional Writing test for the ACT? More importantly, do you know if your dream schools require or recommend this ACT section?

Check out our regularly updated list of schools to find out if the Writing ACT is worth your time and money. We'll then give you our top tips for acing the ACT Writing section.

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What's a Good ACT Score for 2024?

If you’re taking the ACT, you know waiting for scores can be stressful. Wondering how your scores compare to those of other students is common, but how do you know what’s considered a good ACT score? More importantly, how do you decide what ACT score to shoot for in order to get accepted to your top colleges? 

We’ll tell you how to determine whether your ACT scores would be considered “good.”(Spoiler alert: it’s tricker than you think!) From there, we’ll explain how to set a target ACT score that helps you achieve your college admissions dreams. As a bonus, we’ll help you put your ACT scores in context by looking at how what qualifies as a good ACT score has changed over time. 

Let’s get started. 

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ACT Percentiles and Score Rankings

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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Digital ACT December 2023: Everything You Need to Know

This fall, the ACT surprised us all by rolling out a digital exam option for December 2023. With just a few months till exam time, how do you decide if the digital ACT option is right for you?

In this article, we’ll tell you everything we know about the December digital ACT right now, including: 

  • Why the ACT is offering a last-minute digital exam option
  • The timeline of dates and deadlines to the December ACT digital test
  • What to expect from the digital ACT and how this change will affect you
  • How the digital ACT compares to the digital SAT

Let’s get started!

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Historical ACT Percentiles From 2016 to 2022

Whether you're currently studying to take the ACT or took it in 2016-2022, 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, 2020, 2021, and 2022 so you can see how your score compares to historical ACT scores.

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

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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ACT Test Dates: Full Guide to Choosing (2023, 2024)

Looking for info on 2022-2023 ACT test dates? Knowing the correct 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.

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

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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