SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

What Do Ivy League Schools Think of the ACT?

author image
Posted by Alex Heimbach | Mar 15, 2021 7:30:00 PM

SAT versus ACT, ACT General Info

As an ACT tutor, I often fielded questions about whether the test would be looked down on by admissions officers, especially those at Ivy League schools. Because the SAT was the dominant college admissions test for so long, many students and parents worry that—at least in the Northeast—schools still prefer the SAT over the ACT. However, that time has definitely passed, and schools will now accept either test equally.

Read on for a more in-depth explanation of how Ivy League schools view the ACT today, and learn the differences in testing policies that might affect your decision to take the ACT or SAT.

Read More

 

ACT Test Dates: Full Guide to Choosing (2021, 2022)

author image
Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Mar 15, 2021 2:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Looking for info on 2021-2022 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.

Read More

 

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

author image
Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Mar 5, 2021 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? 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.

Read More

 

Printable ACT Practice Tests PDFs: 6 FREE Official Tests

author image
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.

Read More

 

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

author image
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.

Read More

 

How Long Does It Take to Get ACT Scores Back?

author image
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.

Read More

 

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

author image
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.

Read More

 

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

author image
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.

Read More

 

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.

 

Read More

 

ACT Score Percentiles and Ranks (High-Precision 2021)

author image
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.

Read More

 

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

author image
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.

Read More

 

ACT Percentiles and Score Rankings

author image
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.

Read More

 

Average ACT Scores by State (Most Recent)

author image
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.

Read More

 

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

author image
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.

Read More

 

Average ACT Scores: What They Mean For You

author image
Posted by Alex Heimbach | Oct 18, 2020 7:00:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target, ACT General Info

The average ACT score for US students is a 20.6. The middle 50% of students score between a 16 and a 25. The following chart breaks down the nationwide average by section:

English

Math

Reading

Science

19.2

20.2

21.2

20.6

 

However, when you’re thinking about college admissions the nationwide average isn’t important: what really matters is the average score of the students you’re being compared with.

If you’re a high achieving student applying to very selective schools you’ll need a score much higher than the national average. If, on the other hand, you’re applying to certain state schools, a 20 is a totally acceptable score.

Read More

 

Student and Parent Forum

Our new student and parent forum, at ExpertHub.PrepScholar.com, allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. See how other students and parents are navigating high school, college, and the college admissions process. Ask questions; get answers.

Join the Conversation

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!