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Testing: State and College Entrance

THE 411 on the ACT and other similar tests...

If you plan to attend college then taking a College Entrance exam, such as the ACT or SAT, is part of the process.

Q:  Why should I take the ACT test?

College bound students will need to take the ACT or SAT in order to be accepted into school.  This is true for 4-year and 2-year schools, as well as a few programs through technology centers.  

Q:  How are these scores used by colleges?

Schools use these scores as part of the admissions process.  Many schools consider the score in conjunction with other factors, such as grades, leadership, extra curriculars, special talents, etc.   Schools often use these scores to help make decisions about scholarships, and if a student might need extra help  There are some schools that prefer a certain score, especially if grades are not as high.  Most all 2 and 4 year colleges require an ACT (or SAT) score for admission.  

Q:  How many times should I take the ACT?

There is no one right answer, but most students will want to take the ACT (or SAT) several times, in order to get their best score.  Keep in mind that the first time you take the test you may not feel as comfortable as you will once you have some experience.  Knowing what to expect on the test is one thing that can help you strategize ways to improve your scores.

Q:  When should I start taking the ACT?

It is great if you can start taking the exam in your junior year, that way you have time to do retakes before your senior year.  Some may want to start sooner if they have set specific goals on the score they are hoping to eventually obtain.  If you are a college bound senior and you haven’t taken the ACT yet, sign up to see your counselor so you can get started as soon as possible.

Q:  What areas are tested on the ACT?

There are four sub categories for the ACT.  You will get 4 subscores, related to each category, and overall composite score.

The four areas are English, Mathematics, Reading and Science.  Writing can be added for an additional cost, but is not required by most Oklahoma schools.

Q:  What is the advantage of trying to improve my ACT score if I am already admitted to the college of my choice.

Many schools give scholarships for students who have an above average ACT score.  If you have a low score, or subscore, some schools may want you to recieve extra help, or take a remedial class.  It’s ideal to avoid remedial classes when possible.