Want to study in the USA? You will have to take the ACT!
The ACT (American College Testing) is one of the standardized tests that is used for admission in American universities. The universities use this score to evaluate applicants’ aptitude. It provides them insights of the applicants, based on which – along with other factors – they decide whether to go ahead with the application or reject it. (It’s worth noting that ACT score is also used by some universities even outside the USA. Do check the requirements and guidelines of the university you’re applying to.)
The higher you score in your ACT, the higher the chances of getting admission to top universities. But, of course, scoring high in this entrance exam is easier said than done.
ACT is scored on a scale of 1-36. It covers four sections: English, Mathematics, Reading and Scientific Reasoning. Each section is individually scored on this 1-36 scale. The average of these four sections are made and you’re provided with a composite ACT score.
ACT has an optional writing section where students are given a prompt and they are to write an essay. The total duration of the test is 2 hours and 55 minutes; 3 hours with breaks. Additional 40 minutes are provided if you’ve opted for the writing section.
For those taking the ACT in the USA, the fee is $55.00 with no writing and $70.00 with writing. If you’re taking the test outside the USA, ACT cost is $150.00 with no writing and $166.50 with writing. There’s also a late registration charge of $35.00. And in case if you want to change the date of the test, you’ll have to pay an extra $35.00.
ACT and SAT are very similar. They fulfill the same purpose. In fact, ACT was introduced in 1959 as a competitor to the SAT. One isn’t better than the other. The colleges in the USA do not prefer one over the other, unless they have mentioned otherwise.
But that said, there are a few differences between the two. For one, ACT includes a separate science section, while the SAT doesn’t cover science specifically. As mentioned, ACT is scored on a scale of 1-36, while the SAT is scored on a scale of 400-1600. Similarly, with writing, the ACT is 3 hours and 35 minutes long, while the SAT is 3 hours and 50 minutes long with the essay. There’s also a marginal difference in the cost of the two. SAT, with essay, is $52 and $68 without essay.
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