How to Use the ACT Website in Your ACT Prep

ACT Website Resources

It’s pretty nuts how many students don’t take full advantage of the free resources on the official ACT website. Granted there’s some stuff on there you are probably not totally interested in, but there’s some gold as well. Lucky ducks, we’ve made you this complete guide to the sections of the ACT Student website you absolutely MUST check out before your ACT test.
 

ACT Student Registration

First of all, we are going to assume you have already visited the site to register for the test (unless your parents did if for you). But if you have no recollection of ever doing so, or you aren’t yet ready to register for the test, you should make sure you are signed up for an account. Even if you don’t have a test date yet, you can sign up for reminders about upcoming ACT test dates. This is also where you will access your ACT scores when they come out.

You’ll find the sign-up screen on the main page: actstudent.org.
 

ACT website homepage screenshot-magoosh
 

Official ACT Practice Questions

The most important page on the official ACT website is where you can access official retired ACT questions for practice. You can find these by going under the “Test Prep” tab at the top of the main page and clicking “Sample questions” or by clicking here. There’s a handful of practice questions for each section of the test along with answers and explanations.
 

ACT website screenshot-magoosh
 

ACT Writing Test Sample Student Essays

This is gold. Nothing can help you figure out where your writing stands according to the standards of the ACT like looking at sample student essays and the scores they received. You can find the sample student essays by linking from the “Sample Questions” page listed above or directly by clicking here.
 

ACT website screenshot-magoosh
 

ACT Test Descriptions

If you are brand new to the ACT, these brief test descriptions can quickly clue you into what you are in for on the test. The overview chart will give you your timing for each section. Then click on each subject name for the basics on what that section entails.
 

ACT website screenshot-magoosh
 

ACT Calculator Information

Did you know using a TI-89 is the most common reason why students are dismissed from the test center? You would if you had checked out the ACT’s page on calculator policies. Do yourself a favor and make sure yours is allowed. While you’re at it, check out the ACT’s test day checklist to make sure you are set with everything you need for test day, but we’ve got a more comprehensive one for you here.
 

ACT website screenshot-magoosh
 

A Free Full-Length ACT Practice Test

The holy grail. Do not miss the Preparing for the ACT guide, which includes a downloadable PDF practice test. It’s on the middle of the Test Prep page.
 

College Planning Checklist

Although you may have gone to the ACT website with the goal of gaining very specific information on the ACT, the ACT website also has some decent, albeit general, college planning resources.

The College Planning Checklist is my favorite resource on the page. It breaks down the college planning process year by year from freshmen to senior year.
 

ACT website screenshot-magoosh
 

Career Planning

The career planning resources on the ACT’s website are a little sparse, but a pretty cool resource is the World-of-Work graphic. Your ACT score report will suggest areas to explore based on your test results, but I say, to heck with that, follow your dreams and click around to potential fields that interest you. You’ll see tons of different jobs with descriptions and information on salary and projected growth in the field along with the education level they require. Pretty nifty.
 

ACT website screenshot-magoosh
 

The vast majority of students only head to the ACT student website for the logistics: registering, checking scores, and finding out what to bring. But there’s some great free resources here too that go a long way in your ACT test prep, so don’t miss out on the good stuff!
 

Author

  • Kristin Fracchia

    Dr. Kristin Fracchia has over fifteen years of expertise in college and graduate school admissions and with a variety of standardized tests, including the ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, and LSAT, with several 99% scores. She had a PhD from the University of California, Irvine, an MA degree from The Catholic University, and BA degrees in Secondary Education and English Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park. She was the recipient of the 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award and the Chancellor’s Club Fellowship from the University of California, Irvine. She’s worked as a high school teacher and university professor, as an independent college and graduate school admissions counselor, and as an expert tutor for standardized tests, helping hundreds of students gain acceptance into premier national and international institutions. She now develops accessible and effective edtech products for Magoosh. Her free online content and YouTube videos providing test prep and college admissions advice have received over 6 million views in over 125 countries. Kristin is an advocate for improving access to education: you can check out her TEDx talk on the topic. Follow Kristin on LinkedIn!

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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2 Responses to How to Use the ACT Website in Your ACT Prep

  1. Melissa March 12, 2016 at 10:54 am #

    Thank you so much for this thorough investigation of the act website for student preparation. I didn’t know that the “holy grail,” a full free ACT student prep guide, existed! I will definitely use it to study!

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 13, 2016 at 9:11 pm #

      As always, Melissa, we’re happy to help! And the official ACT website really is fantastic, isn’t it? 🙂


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