ACT preparation can seem like an intimidating and overwhelming process. The ACT is a big test, and there is just so much information out there that it can be difficult to sort through it all.

We are here to help!

To help save you time and stress, we have put in one place all the best and most important information you need to know for the ACT preparation process. This section of our ACT preparation articles is focused on helping you understand the basics of the ACT: what it is, what the test actually looks like, when you can take it, what ACT scores mean, and more.

The List of Our Introductory ACT Preparation Articles

What is the ACT Test: An Overview of the ACT

As you begin to prepare for the ACT, you might be wondering, “Just what is the ACT test?” Start here to find out everything you need to know about the ACT test.
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ACT Testing Dates 2013-2014

When are the ACT testing dates for 2013-2014? Find the testing dates here, as well as the special dates that provide the Testing Information Release (TIR) form.

ACT Format: The Sections and Timing of the ACT Test

The ACT format stays the same year after year. Learn what to expect from each section of the ACT. The more you know about the ACT, the better you will do on it.

How Long is the ACT Test: Total Time of the Test

Find the answer to, “How long is the ACT Test?” here. How long is each section? How long will the entire test take? If I take the writing section, how much more time will this add?

What is a Good ACT Score: Average ACT Scores for Colleges

Just what is a good ACT score? The ACT score that you aim for will depend on the college(s) you apply to. The national average ACT score is 21, but certain colleges will allow lower scores, while other colleges will require higher scores.

ACT Score Chart: Raw Score, Scale Score, and Percentile

This ACT score chart shows the relationship between raw score, scale score, and percentile. Use this chart to find out how to convert your raw scores into an ACT composite score and what percentile this score corresponds to.

How to Study for the ACT Test

Learn how to study for the ACT. Studying the wrong way can actually hurt your score, and studying the right way can significantly boost your score. Start here to learn how to study the right way for the ACT.

Suggested Reading List for the ACT – Articles, Websites, and Books


The best way to prepare for the ACT is a read A LOT. Here is a list of great articles and books to read to help you get your reading ability to ACT level. The websites here contain articles that are at a college reading level, and everything listed here is non-fiction, which is the kind of reading you will see most often on the ACT.

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Next Steps in the ACT Preparation Process

This section of our articles is meant to be a starting place. After you gain a better understanding of the ACT, check out the other major sections of Best ACT Prep:

ACT Study Guide: Content and Concepts to Know for the ACT

Go here for information about how to prepare for each individual section of the ACT.

ACT Strategies: Tricks to Master the ACT

Go here for the best test taking strategies to use for each individual section of the ACT, as well as some general tips for the ACT.

ACT Practice Test Page: Links to ACT Practice Tests

Go here for the largest collection of free ACT practice tests, as well as suggestions for how to effective use each practice test.