SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Average ACT Score for 2018, 2017, 2016, and Earlier Years

Posted by Anna Aldric | Nov 4, 2018 9:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

In recent years, more and more students have been taking the ACT than ever before. But what does this change in participation rate mean for the average ACT score?

As you'll learn in this article, while ACT scores have been fairly stable in the last few years, there have been some dips and peaks in scores in the last 25 years. Let’s take a look at what’s happening.

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Best ACT Prep Books 2019

Posted by Allen Cheng | Nov 3, 2018 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. 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 Percentiles and Score Rankings

Posted by Halle Edwards | Oct 16, 2018 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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ACT Expert Guide: What's the Highest Possible ACT Score?

Posted by Halle Edwards | Oct 16, 2018 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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Should You Take the ACT With or Without Writing?

Posted by Alex Heimbach | Sep 12, 2018 5:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Writing

Because ACT Writing is optional, many students are unsure whether they need to add the extra 40 minutes to the test. However, there’s a simple answer to whether you should take the ACT with writing or without writing: it depends on whether the colleges you want to apply to require a writing score.

This guide will talk you through how the ACT writing got started, how to determine whether you should take the ACT with or without Writing, and some other considerations you may want to keep in mind.

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Which States Require the ACT? Full List and Advice

Posted by Alex Heimbach | Aug 29, 2018 8:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Over the past five years, the number of states that administer the ACT statewide has more than doubled: there are now 12 states that require every junior to take the test and eight 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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What Are the Score Choice Policies at Ivy Leagues?

Posted by Halle Edwards | Aug 18, 2018 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, SAT General Info, College Admissions

 

Many students assume colleges will see every score they’ve earned on the SAT and ACT when they apply.

However, while some top-tier schools do require your full testing histories, many don’t. Some even allow score choice for the SAT, which allows you to send only the scores you want them to see, or they allow you to pick your best ACT test date.

If you’re aiming for a top-tier school like an Ivy League, Stanford, or MIT, read this guide to learn how they evaluate standardized tests to help you best prepare.

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Expert Review: The Official ACT Prep Guide

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Aug 15, 2018 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Strategies

Looking for official ACT practice? The Official ACT Prep Guide (or The Real ACT Prep Guide) is a great resource.

In this article, I'll provide a review of the current Official ACT Prep Guide, including positives and negatives of the new guide, how it differs from The Real ACT Prep Guide (3rd Edition), and whether or not you should buy it to help you through the study process. 

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When Is the April ACT? Should You Take It?

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Aug 10, 2018 3:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

If you're planning to take the ACT in the spring, you might be wondering: should you take the April ACT? Or will you be better off taking the ACT on a different test date?

In this article, we cover everything you need to know about the April ACT, including when the exam is, whether your scores will get to your schools in time, and the pros and cons of taking the ACT in April.

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Complete Official ACT Practice Tests, Free Links

Posted by Allen Cheng | Aug 9, 2018 12:00:00 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 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. Most are free and offer a good way to get your feet wet with ACT prep. We'll also discuss how to use these tests to improve your ACT score.

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Colleges That Superscore ACT: Complete List

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 9, 2018 11:00:00 AM

ACT General Info, College Admissions

Are you taking the ACT? Before registering, you should know how admissions officers look at your scores. Do they consider Math, Science, Reading, and English individually, or do they care more about the composite score?

You might be relieved to hear that many colleges “superscore” your ACT scores by taking the best subscores across all your test dates and creating the strongest possible composite score. Read on for the full list of colleges that superscore the ACT, followed by some tips on how you can use this policy to your advantage. 

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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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Complete List: Which Colleges Require ACT Writing? 100+ Schools

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Jul 19, 2018 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Writing

You’ve just signed up for the ACT. But did you know that there is an optional writing test for the ACT? Do you know if your dream schools require it or recommend it?

Check out our regularly updated list of schools to find out if the Writing ACT is worth your time and money. Then learn how you're going to ace the ACT Writing section.

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What is the Minimum ACT Score for College?

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Jul 12, 2018 6:44:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target, ACT General Info

There are a lot of numbers and scores associated with your college applications: GPA. Class rank. Maybe some AP Tests. Standardized test scores. It can be a lot to take in. 

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2018 & 2019 Full Review of Every ACT Test Date

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Jun 15, 2018 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Figuring out the best ACT test date for you isn’t always easy, especially if you’re stuck debating between two or more upcoming ACTs. Before you choose a date, ask yourself: which date will work best with your schedule? Will you have any obligations or extracurriculars around that time? When are your college application deadlines?

This guide introduces all upcoming ACT test dates for the 2018-19 testing year and also offers specific advice on the best possible dates for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

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