SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Complete Official ACT Practice Tests, Free Links

Posted by Allen Cheng | Jul 26, 2020 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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ACT Computer-Based Testing: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jul 13, 2020 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Have you been told you need to take a computer-based ACT or heard that some people take the ACT on a computer and want to know if it's an option for you? Who is allowed to take ACT computer-based testing, and who is stuck still making sure they have a #2 pencil on test day? We answer all your questions about computer-based ACTs in this guide, including if taking a computer-based ACT will give you a higher or lower score than a paper test, why computer-based ACT is being offered, and how you can prepare for this new version of the test. 

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My ACT/SAT Test Cancelled Due to Coronavirus. Now What?

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Jul 12, 2020 3:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, SAT General Info

ACT and SAT dates in March, April, May, and June 2020 have been canceled due to COVID-19. Some (but not all!) testing sites have also been closed in July, which means some students may be unable to take their July ACT exam, either.

If you've been caught in these cancellations, you're probably feeling pretty stressed out. When will you get to retake your test? And is there a special process for registering for the SAT after cancellation?

If these unknowns have left you feeling confused about how to handle ACT/SAT score requirements for your college applications, let us help you out. In this article, we'll walk you through what to do after your SAT or ACT test has canceled. We'll explain:

  • How to transfer your registration for a canceled exam
  • How to cancel your registration if you don't want to move your exam date
  • If there are special accommodations for certain groups of students
  • How to choose the right option for you

We'll also go over the available next steps for students who haven't taken the ACT/SAT yet but want to enroll in college in Fall 2020.

We know there can be a lot of anxiety surrounding test scores, but rest assured — you have options!


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Important: Read This Before Sending ACT Scores to Colleges

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Jul 11, 2020 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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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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Free Older Official ACT Practice Tests

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Jun 4, 2020 12:30:00 PM

ACT General Info

There's one thing that every student studying for the ACT definitely needs: practice tests that are almost identical to what you will face on test day. No matter how you study, we've found that most students really benefit from taking a full ACT practice test several times in as close to official test-taking conditions as possible. This is the best way to get comfortable with the pace, timing, and format of the exam, and to work on both your endurance and stress-management techniques.

So how do you get your hands on enough ACT tests to put yourself in the hot seat for practice? In this article, we'll link to all the official tests and question sets released by ACT, Inc. and give you suggestions on where to find others so that you have more than enough practice materials to get ready for this important college admissions test.

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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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PreACT Practice Tests: Where to Find Them and How to Prep

Posted by Hannah Muniz | May 24, 2020 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, Other High School

Getting ready to take the PreACT? Then you might be wondering whether you should prep for it—and what resources you can use. Is there a PreACT practice test you can take? What kinds of PreACT resources does ACT, Inc. offer?

Keep reading to learn why it's a good idea to lightly prep for the PreACT, and get a comprehensive list of the best PreACT practice tests and materials you can use in your studying.

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21 Delightful ACT Memes

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Apr 17, 2020 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

The ACT can be a slog. First you have to do all that studying, then spend a bunch of hours taking the test, then wait weeks for your scores to get back. Do you know what makes it better? Memes. This guide contains 21 of the most relatable ACT 2020 memes out there, from the frustration at not being able to use a mechanical pencil to finding out your scores have been delayed. And yes, there is a baby Yoda ACT meme too.

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ACT Standard Deviation: What It Means for You

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Apr 8, 2020 4:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

If you've ever come across a table listing all the ACT score percentiles, you may have seen the ACT standard deviation listed at the bottom for composite and section scores. Sadly, there is no explanation for what the standard deviation being that value means; instead, the tables just throw the data out there and move on.

So how does knowing the mean and standard deviation of ACT help you? We'll discuss what standard deviation is and what it means for you and your ACT score in this article.

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What Is a Good ACT Score for Nursing School?

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Mar 19, 2020 11:00:00 AM

ACT General Info, College Admissions

Getting into nursing school can be pretty competitive, so you might be wondering how your ACT score will affect your chances of getting accepted into your dream school. The answer to this question can vary depending on what kind of nursing program you choose, what schools you apply to, and how your other application materials look. 

Different nursing programs handle ACT scores differently, so it’s important to find out as much information as possible about the significance of ACT scores in nursing school admissions. 

In this article, we’ll help you understand how ACT scores affect your nursing school admissions chances by covering the following

  • The different types of nursing programs you can apply to 
  • The general application process for four-year bachelors of nursing programs 
  • How your ACT score factors into your nursing school application, and what a "good" ACT score is for nursing school admission
  • Explaining how ACT scores fit into the admissions process at six of the best nursing programs in the United States 
  • Giving you five expert tips for achieving an ACT score that will help you stand out in the nursing school admissions process

So keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the ACT score needed for nursing school! 


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Historical ACT Percentiles for 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Mar 16, 2020 4:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Whether you're currently studying to take the ACT or took it in 2015-2019, 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 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 so you can see how your score compares to historical ACT scores.

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

Posted by Halle Edwards | Feb 3, 2020 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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ACT Score Chart: Raw Score Conversion to Scaled Score

Posted by Anna Aldric | Jan 29, 2020 2:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

If you've taken an ACT practice test, you've probably wondered how the questions you answer on each test section translate to a final score out of 36 points. What is a raw ACT score? What about a scale score? How does one score affect the other?

In this article, we explain what the equating process for the ACT is and give you info on how your raw scores translate to scale scores for each section of the test.

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What's Actually Tested on the ACT Reading Section? Skills You Need

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 26, 2020 5:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Reading

Just like the ACT has four different sections, the ACT Reading section has four different types of passages for you to read. This article breaks down exactly what's on this section of the ACT so you can plan your best approach.

First, let's consider how the ACT Reading section is formatted.

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