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The ACT Test: Fast Facts


The ACT is offered seven times per year at locations across the country. Many students take the ACT for the first time in junior year and take the test more than once.


You’ll find four Tests on the ACT (plus an optional Writing Test): English, Math, Reading, and Science. Kaplan offers ways to customize your ACT prep around the sections where you need to focus most.


The most important ACT score is your Composite Score, along with your Math Score, Science Score, English Score, and Reading Score. Your Composite Score ranges 1–36, which is an average of your 4 test scores. You will also receive a STEM Score, ELA Score, Reporting Categories and Subcategories, Readiness Benchmarks, State and US Rank, and a Writing Test score if you take the essay.


The ACT lasts 2 hours and 55 minutes without the essay or 3 hours and 35 minutes with the essay. In addition to the actual test timing, your Test Day experience will include time for check-in, verbal instructions, and short breaks. Our ACT prep options help you practice your timing and pacing for the actual test and provide tips for conquering Test Day as a whole.


Both the SAT and ACT are accepted at all major colleges across the country, so you can select which test to take or take both exams. Some students do better on one test or another, so you should take practice tests for both exams and consider which one will do a better job of highlighting your strengths.


You’ll usually receive your scores back within 2 weeks of your test date, but sometimes it can take up to 8 weeks. If you take the Writing Test, your Writing Test scores will be available about two weeks after your multiple choice scores. Score reports are delivered to colleges based on the college and when the score report was ordered.


We recommend prepping for 2–3 months or more for the ACT, depending on individual factors like how many times a week you can study and how much of an increase you are looking to achieve.

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Study Plans based on your strengths and weaknesses.

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