The ACT is the leading US college admissions test, measuring what you learn in high school to determine your academic readiness for college. The ACT test contains four multiple-choice tests: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The ACT with writing includes the four multiple-choice tests and a writing test.

Getting Started with the ACT Test:

  • Getting Ready: Information about test dates, fees, locations, and more.
  • Test Prep: Hone your skills with in-depth preparation guides and practice questions.
    • ACT Online Prep: An online resource to help students prepare to take the ACT test, featuring real questions from previous tests.
    • The Official ACT Prep Guide: The only test prep book from the makers of the ACT test.
    • Download a Free Study Guide: This free 2016/2017 preparation booklet has access to test information, complete practice tests with scoring keys, and a writing prompt.
  • Your Scores: Explore more information about viewing, sending, and understanding your test scores. This page also contains sample reports as examples to help you in understanding your score.
    • Most scores are available for online viewing within 2 weeks after each national or international test date. Score reports are normally released within 3 to 8 weeks after each test date. If you took the writing test, your score reports will be released only after all your scores are available, including writing, within 5 to 8 weeks after the test date.
  • Help: Discover answers to the most frequently asked questions about the ACT, access detailed contact information, and more.
  • Register:
    • Information regarding what you’ll need to register for the ACT
    • Create your web account and get registered for the ACT test.
    • NCA’s School Code: 441-648

General Test Tips:

  • Carefully read the instructions on the cover of the test booklet.
  • Read the directions for each test carefully.
  • Read each question carefully.
  • Pace yourself – don’t spend too much time on a single passage or question.
  • Pay attention to the announcement of five minutes remaining on each test.
  • Use a soft-lead No. 2 pencil with a good eraser. Do not use a mechanical pencil or ink pen; you do, your answer document cannot be scored accurately.
  • Answer the easy questions first, and then go back and answer the more difficult ones if you have time remaining on that test.
  • On difficult questions, eliminate as many incorrect answers as you can, then make an educated guess among those remaining.
  • Answer every question. Your scores on the multiple-choice tests are based on the number of questions you answer correctly. There is no penalty for guessing.
  • If you complete a test before time is called, recheck your work on that test.
  • Mark your answers properly. Erase any mark completely and cleanly without smudging.
  • Do not mark or alter any ovals on a test or continue writing the essay after time has been called. If you do, you will be dismissed and your answer document will not be scored.

Test Descriptions: Getting to know the test

English 75 Questions 45 Minutes Measures standard written English and rhetorical skills.
Mathematics 60 Questions 60 Minutes Measures mathematical skills students have typically acquired in courses taken up to the beginning of grade 12.
Reading 40 Questions 35 Minutes Measures reading comprehension.
Science 40 Questions 35 Minutes Measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills required in the natural sciences.
Optional Writing Test 1 Prompt 40 Minutes Measures writing skills emphasized in high school English classes and in entry-level college composition courses.

Sending Scores:

When registering for the ACT, you will be given the opportunity to send your test scores to various colleges for admissions purposes. If you intend on playing sports at the collegiate level, you will need to send your scores to the NCAA or NAIA as well.