• College admissions test, timed, 3 1/2 hours
  • Measures skills in English, Reading, Math, Science Reasoning, and Writing (optional)
  • Achievement test (measures what you know)
  • Accepted at all colleges in the nation
  • Required at most four-year colleges   
  • Two-year community and technical colleges use for course placement and to determine if remedial courses are needed
  • NPHS offers state-administered ACT, includes Writing, no cost:  Tuesday, March 24, 2020 
  • Juniors register during Advisory
  • Do not create a new account if registering for national test after March 24, 2020.  Use identical information (complete name, same email, etc.) so state and national ACT accounts merge.
  • National test dates have registration deadlines. You may select up to 3 test sites (in case your first choice is full)
  • NPHS is a national test site annually in October, December and June
  • At registration, students may request scores to be sent to up to four colleges for free. (Colleges will not hold lower scores against a student if higher scores are eventually obtained.)  
  • Students may register for future national test dates on ACT's website
    2019-2020 Test Dates (National)
    Test DateRegistration Deadline(Late Fee Required)
    September 14, 2019August 16, 2019August 17-30, 2019
    October 26, 2019September 27, 2019September 28-October 8, 2019
    December 14, 2019November 8, 2019November 9-22, 2019
    February 8, 2020January 10, 2020January 11-17, 2020
    April 4, 2020February 28, 2020February 29-March 13, 2020
    June 13, 2020May 8, 2020May 9-22, 2020
    July 18, 2020*June 19, 2020June 20-26, 2020

Preparing for the ACT

  • Work hard in core courses (English, reading, math through algebra II, science through chemistry)  
  • Familiarize yourself with what to expect on test day:
    • "Preparing for ACT" pamphlet available in Counseling Office (full length practice test, strategies)
    • ACT's website (ACT Academy -- new, free option; other free webinars, study tools, various fee-based resources)
  • NPHS offers two online prep courses at no charge: 
    • OnToCollege (formerly John Baylor), MCIS
    • Juniors will use OnToCollege online prep in Advisory
      • only part of the available online tutorial is used during class sessions
      • students may access more OnToCollege online tutorial activities on their own 
    • MCIS offers customized online tutorials based on strengths & weaknesses shown on pre-tests
    • All require username and password (see counselor for login info) 
  • New Prague Community Education offers fee-based prep courses, prior to April and June tests
    • Prep courses are not required: school coursework is the primary preparation for the ACT; multiple free prep resources available
    • Those who take prep courses consistently report satisfaction with the course
  • ACT's official prep advice here 


Understanding Test Scores

  • When are scores released? Click here.
  • To understand and use your ACT results, click here


Retaking the ACT

  • Talk this over with your counselor
  • ACT has suggestions about this here 
  • ACT statistics show that, of the students who took the ACT again:
    • 57% increased their Composite score by about 1 point
    • 21% had no change in their Composite score 
    • 22% decreased their Composite score


Optional Writing Test

  • The Writing portion is given during the state-administered ACT at NPHS
  • Most students will not need to register for it on future national test dates
  • It is not required for admission to many colleges (only about 15% of colleges require it) 
  • To see if a college requires the Writing test, click here
  • In Minnesota, only the U of M Rochester Campus requires it; some others recommend it
  • See your counselor with questions