Getting admission in a good college in the United States is tough. There are standard examinations conducted across the United States for students to assess their academic abilities. One such test is ACT, also known as American College Testing. It is a multiple-choice questionnaire that covers subject areas whose basic knowledge is important to qualify for college.
Details about ACT
ACT is a standardized test conducted in the United States to gauge students for admission to colleges. This test is conducted by a non-profit organization in the US. The concept of ACT originated in 1929 when Lindquist created the tests used to select Iowa’s top high school scholars. This idea was formally introduced in a conference conducted by the Educational Testing Service. The first ACT exam was taken by 75,406 students on 7th November 1959.
The questions in the examinations are in a multiple-choice format. Subjects covered in the exam are English, math, science, and reading. The scoring is done on a 1-36 scale. The score is reported as a whole number which is the average score from all the four subject areas. The ACT scorecard also contains a STEM score, an English language Arts score, and a Progress Toward Career Readiness measure. ACT test’s fee was $67.00 for the year 2018-201, which includes the writing section.
There would be a question in your mind, ‘Why is the ACT important?’. There are quite a few reasons that highlight its importance in a student’s academic curriculum. Let’s have a look at some critical reasons:
1) College requirement:
Most of the colleges in the United States use your ACT score to assess your academic performance and compare it with others. ACT score is a filtering criterion for colleges so that they can select the brightest of all students. It tells the college admission officer if your transcripts and GPAs are a correct representation of your academic performance. The cut-offs of different colleges vary based on their rankings. A high score on the ACT can make up for low GPAs. Good colleges generally have a high ACT score cut-off. Thus, you might want to plan your studies upfront to crack the ACT.
Many colleges offer scholarships, stipends, or research assistance to students who secure a good score in the ACT. The scholarship or the stipend amount varies based on the college that you are applying for. There are cases where colleges have gone all the way and waived the entire admission fee for students scoring a high ACT score. If you are getting a research assistant offer, then you would be working closely with a faculty. This will help you learn a lot more than college curriculum.
Some companies prefer to see the ACT score of candidates whom they are planning to hire. Based on an article by the Wall Street Journal, even non-technical industries like consulting, finance, etc. are also seeing a rise in demand for ACT scores. Thus, it would be good to take this test in your high school, so that you are done with it. This will not only get you a good college but also a good job.
4) Science section:
ACT examination has a dedicated science section that contains physics, chemistry, and biology related questions. This section is missing in the SAT. So, if you are a science enthusiast and plan to become a scientist, then you should take the ACT to showcase your capabilities.
5) Mandatory in some states:
In some states in the United States, the ACT has been made mandatory. This means that all the students in high school are required to take this test either with or without writing. You are not left with any choice but to take the test.
6) No grid-ins:
In some tests, response questions or grid-ins are given for students to fill in the answers. Such questions are not included in the ACT. Only multiple-choice questions are asked, wherein at least one option would be the correct answer.
Reasons like good college options, scholarships, employment, etc. are good enough to showcase the importance of the ACT. If you are planning to take the test, then get started on making a study schedule. We wish you all the best for the ACT exam.