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The Scoop on the ACT Test
ACT is a college admissions test students take in order for post-secondary institutions to make admissions and/or scholarship decisions. The areas tested include English (Usage/Mechanics, Rhetorical Skills), Mathematics (Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry), Reading (Social Studies, Sciences, Art, Literature), and Science . New several years ago, the Writing portion was added to the ACT. I recommend students to take it because each schools requirements are different. Many schools recommend the writing portion, including all Private schools, while the schools in Minnesota requiring it to be taken include: University of Minnesota (Duluth, Twin Cities, Morris campuses), Carleton College, Crossroads College, and McNally Smith College of Music.
Scores : It is scored on a 1-36 scale: National average in 2010 was a 21.0, Minnesota’s average was a 22.9. As a general rule for college admissions, the score of 18 is sufficient for some 2 and 4-year schools, 21 is sufficient for most 4-year schools. For scholarships, scores of 24 create good opportunities, and of course higher scores can capture even more. Remember, students’ GPA’s, participation and achievements in activities also play a role in these decisions. Students can retest as many times as they’d like (although they need to pay the $34 fee each time), and colleges only look at the highest score.
2020-21 ACT Test Dates
Register at www.actstudent.org
Cost: $ standard, $ with writing option
Also, students who want to take the ACT test will be required to upload a recognizable photo of themselves to complete the registration process. The photo will be printed on the student’s ACT ticket, which is required for admission on test day, and on the roster that testing staff use to check students in. This change has been made to increase test security measures and ensure a level and fair playing field for all students who take the ACT.
Register : Register online at www.actstudent.org or mail in a paper application from the counseling office. Osakis High School’s Code is 241-920. Alexandria test site is the closest, except in April when the test will be administered at Osakis High School.
NCAA and SAT/ACT Scores : Use code 9999 to send SAT or ACT scores directly to the NCAA if participating in Division I or II athletics.
Test Help : Many helpful tools are on the website listed above. Students can purchase online ACT Prep for about $20 as well as some test guides. See Mrs. Bergquist in the counseling office for more ideas and the free practice test booklet.
College and Career Readiness Resources
ACT Student Web Account - Set up an ACT Student Web Account to register for the ACT. Your account also allows you to make changes to your test option, test date, or test center; add, change, or delete college choices; receive email updates from ACT about your registration; view your scores; and request additional score reports. www.actstudent.org
Preparing for the ACT - This booklet includes descriptions of the skills measured by the ACT, test-taking strategies, general information about the test day, and complete practice tests including a writing prompt. A sample answer document, scoring key, and scoring instructions are also included. Ask your counselor for your FREE copy today! www.act.org/aap/pdf/preparing.pdf and www.act.org/aap/pdf/preparing_es.pdf (Spanish version)
ACT Question of the Day - Visit www.actstudent.org where a new ACT test practice question is posted each day-FREE! www.actstudent.org/qotd/
ACT Online Prep - ACT Online Prep offers practice tests with real ACT test questions, a diagnostic test and personalized Study Path, and comprehensive content review for each of the ACT's four multiple-choice tests-English, mathematics, reading, and science. The program also includes practice essays with real-time scoring for the optional Writing Test. $19.95. www.actstudent.org/onlineprep/index.html
Family Firsts Student Edition - By starting now to think about and plan for college, you can make your own future happen. This booklet is a good place to start. It includes advice on why you should go to college, what it takes to get there, who can help you, how to choose a college and succeed once you're there, and where the money will come from. www.act.org/path/secondary/pdf/FamilyFirstsStudent.pdf
Family Firsts Parent Edition - College may provide opportunities and experiences to your child that you didn't have. How do you advise them? This brochure can help. It will tell you why your child should go to college, what you can do to support your child, and where the money will come from. www.act.org/path/secondary/pdf/FamilyFirstsParents.pdf and www.act.org/path/secondary/pdf/FamilyFirstsParentsSpanish.pdf
Get Set For College A Guide For Students - This guide can help you make some important decisions about your future education. Included are six steps to simplify college planning, ACT test preparation information, suggested activities and planning resources, college selection strategies, and financial aid facts. www.act.org/path/secondary/pdf/GetSetforCollege.pdf
Get Set for College A Guide for Parents - Sending a child to college is a big step. You and your child need to research colleges, discuss the information, and work together to decide which college is the right choice. This brochure is meant to help you and your child prepare for the opportunities and challenges ahead and make planning for college a little easier. www.act.org/path/secondary/pdf/GetSetforCollegeParent.pdf
ACT Parent Newsletter - A monthly newsletter to help parents guide students from middle school and high school toward college and careers. Subscribe for FREE! www.act.org/path/parent/news