SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

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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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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Official ACT to SAT (New 1600 and Old 2400) Conversion Charts

Posted by Halle Edwards | Jul 29, 2018 3:00:00 PM

SAT versus ACT, ACT General Info, SAT General Info

One of the first thoughts you might have after getting back your ACT or SAT score is how well you would have done on the other test. Luckily, SAT to ACT conversion (and ACT to SAT conversion) is possible!

In this post, we provide conversion charts from the test makers themselves to help you with score conversions between both the current and old versions of the SAT and the ACT. We also look at whether certain colleges go easier on the SAT or ACT—and what you can do about it.

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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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Important: Read This Before Sending ACT Scores to Colleges

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Jun 13, 2018 5:30:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Logistics


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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What Is ACT Standby? How Do You Get It?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | May 23, 2018 3:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Need to take the ACT on the next test date but missed the late registration deadline? Luckily, even if it's already past the late registration deadline for an ACT test date, you might still be able to take the test by signing up for standby testing. But what exactly is standby testing? How do you sign up for it? Read on to learn how to request standby testing for the ACT and why you might do it.

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Should You Send the 4 Free ACT Score Reports?

Posted by Halle Edwards | May 1, 2018 9:00:00 AM

ACT General Info, ACT Logistics

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Or is there?

When you register for the ACT, you have the option to send your score reports to four colleges for free. So doesn’t it make sense to send them? Especially since the rest of the college admissions process can be so costly, shouldn’t you save money where you can?

Maybe, but it could actually hurt your applications if you're not careful. We will examine this issue in-depth and help you make a smart decision in regard to whether to use the four free ACT score reports or not.

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When Is the PreACT? 2018 PreACT Test Dates

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Apr 30, 2018 11:00:00 AM

ACT General Info

If you’re planning to take the ACT, it’s a good idea to take the PreACT, too. This test is essentially a practice ACT for high school sophomores. But exactly when is the PreACT? Are there multiple PreACT test dates you can choose from? We answer these questions and more in this guide. In addition, we give you a few key tips on how to prep for the PreACT.

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How to Cheat on the ACT

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Apr 13, 2018 2:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Disclaimer: we are not going to tell you how to cheat on the ACT. What we will tell you about are things you can get in trouble for, along with high-profile cheating scandals that have happened recently and in past years. We do not advocate cheating by any means!

Let's take a look at some of these scandals, as well as make sure you're aware of all the rules and regulations of test day so you don't inadvertently jeopardize your scores or chance of college admissions.

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ACT Exact Start Time and End Time

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Apr 4, 2018 8:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

In addition to all your ACT studying, you need to prepare for test day. When exactly does the ACT start? What time will you hand in your scantron sheet, gather your arsenal of No. 2 pencils, and leave the test center? Is timing the same for all students, or does it vary by location?

This guide will go over the exact start and end time of the ACT so you can plan your Saturday morning. Assuming you haven't arranged an alternative testing date or other accommodations, what time do you need to arrive?

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