Exams Know-how

ACT- FAQs

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Q. What is the cost for the ACT?
A.
Cost is USD 150 without Writing and USD 166.5 with Writing. Most colleges ask for the Writing Section as well so that part is not really ‘optional’.

Q. How do I register for these tests?
A. The ACT is an independent organization. So to register for ACT (test), applicants must create a free ACT Web account on www.actstudent.org and register for the tests

Q. How much does ACT syllabus match my school curriculum?
A. If you are in the ISC, CBSE or any similar board:

  1. The Math is of 11th grade level but without Calculus.
  2. The Physics is 12th grade level and about 60% is covered by school syllabus.
  3. The Chemistry is 12th grade level with very basic Organic Chemistry only. About 75% is covered by school syllabus.
  4. The Biology is 10th grade level. About 65% is covered by school syllabus.

Q. How many times can I take the ACT test?
A. On average, applicants take the ACT twice, once around the end of their 11th grade and once again if necessary in the middle of the 12th grade.

Q. Do I still have to take SAT Subject Tests if I take the ACT?
A. There are exactly 29 colleges that require subject tests, and all of them require only two.

18 of those accept the ACT in lieu of both the SAT and SAT subject tests:

11 require two subject tests regardless of whether you submit SAT or ACT:

  1. Amherst

  2. Barnard

  3. Boston College

  4. Brown

  5. Bryn Mawr

  6. Columbia

  7. Duke

  8. Haverford

  9. McGill

  10. Pomona

  11. Rice

  12. Swarthmore

  13. Tufts

  14. UPenn

  15. Vassar

  16. Wellesley

  17. Wesleyan (and writing in ACT not required)

  18. Yale

 

  1. Caltech

  2. Carnegie Mellon

  3. Cornell

  4. Dartmouth

  5. Franklin Olin College of Engineering

  6. Harvard

  7. Harvey Mudd

  8. MIT

  9. Princeton

  10. Webb Institute

  11. Williams

Note that a number of other colleges recommend SAT Subject Tests so you can choose to do the SAT Subject Tests accordingly.

Q. If I take ACT more than once, which score will be considered by the universities?
A. Some Universities ask you to report your better overall score. i.e you can only report the ACT test with a better composite score.

Other Universities ask for all your tests and “super-score” it themselves where they add up the best scores of each to give you the best composite score.

Q. What is the validity of the ACT exams?
A. Most Universities should accept ACT scores for up to 5 years.

Q. Does admission to US universities depend only on ACT scores?
A. For undergraduate admissions, the ACT is but a small aspect of a multitude of angles that admissions officers explore when admitting someone. Your school academics, extra-curriculars, social-service, projects, essays, applications all play roles in your admissions. Yet it has been seen that top universities generally have high median ACT scores among their acceptances

Q. How do I pass on my ACT score to the colleges where I want to apply to?
A. You must pass on the score through the ACT’s score sending service. Once your scores are in, ACT has a delivery system where they send your verified scores to Universities. With every Registration of an ACT exam, you get 4 free reports of the exam to be sent to 4 universities. On top of that, it costs $11.50 for each additional university.

Q. What is an ideal ACT score?
A. Anything above 30 is considered a good score. Above 33 is what most people consider a score that most universities will find admirable.

Q. How important are extracurricular activities?
A. Most Universities say they are looking for well-rounded students. What they mean by this is usually students that exhibit interests and follow them. So yes, extra-curriculars are important for an applicant. Just remember to not do an activity just for college admissions. Admissions Officers are trained to see through this.