Many homeschooling students take the ACT test. The ACT has four compulsory sections: Science, Reading, English, and Mathematics. There is also an optional Writing test required by some schools. The Science test is composed of 40 multiple-choice questions which must be completed within 35 minutes. The questions in this section are drawn from the following academic areas: biology, physics, chemistry, Earth science, and space science. There are three specific types of questions: Data Representation, in which you interpret the information found in tables and charts; Research Summaries, in which you critique the design of an experiment and analyze the results; and Conflicting Viewpoints, in which you compare and attempt to reconcile divergent hypotheses.
The English test is composed of 75 multiple-choice questions, which must be answered within 45 minutes. These questions will cover punctuation, grammar and usage, sentence structure, rhetorical strategy, organization of text, and style. Your score in the English section will be the combination of your subscores on the Usage/Mechanics section (including punctuation, grammar and usage, and sentence structure questions) and the Rhetorical Skills section (including strategy, organization, and style questions).
The Mathematics test is composed of 60 multiple-choice questions, which must be answered within 60 minutes. The questions on this test are drawn from the following academic content areas: pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. You will be allowed to use a calculator, and you will not be required to remember complicated formulae. The Reading test is composed of 40 questions, which must be completed within 35 minutes. The questions in this section are based on four prose passages of the following types: social studies, natural sciences, humanities, and fiction. The questions will require either recall of specific information from the text or interpretation of the ideas in the text. Finally, those students who take the ACT Plus Writing must complete one writing exercise within 30 minutes. The prompt will outline a controversial issue and give two conflicting opinions on it. You will then be asked to articulate your own position on the subject.
Many homeschool students take the ACT test. The process of registering for the ACT is quick and easy. First, determine whether you need to take the regular ACT or the ACT Plus Writing. Consult with the admission departments of the colleges and universities to which you are applying to make this determination. It costs more to take The ACT Plus Writing. For international students, it is important to note that the ACT Plus Writing is offered less often than the regular ACT, so scheduling a test date may be more difficult. You can select a test date for either version of the ACT at the test website. In the United States, both versions of the test are administered year-round. It usually takes between three and eight weeks for ACT test scores to be mailed, so if you have any impending admissions deadlines, you should be sure to give the testing organization plenty of time to make your scores available to the relevant admission departments. This is one reason why many high school students elect to take the ACT during their junior year of high school, usually during the spring. Not only does this allow plenty of time to make the scores known to schools, it also gives the student time to retake the test if he or she feels that the score can be improved.
Here are some tips for homeschooling who will be taking the ACT test .
On the day of your ACT, you need to arrive at the testing center at least fifteen minutes before the scheduled start time. If you registered online, you will need to present your printed admission ticket along with proper identification in order to gain admittance to the testing center. You are allowed to use a calculator during the Mathematics portion of the exam, but it must be a brand and model approved by the test administrator. A list of approved calculators can be found at the testing website. You will not be allowed to bring in any food or drink, papers, books, or communication devices of any kind (including cell phones, PDAs, and beepers). As soon as all of the test takers are seated and ready, the exam proctor will read the directions and indicate the start time for the first portion of the exam. There will be a time to ask questions. During the test, you are not allowed to communicate with any of the other test takers in any way. If you have a question or a problem, raise your hand and keep your eyes directed toward the proctor; in other words, do not look around the room for help.
The ACT test administrators have a very strict policy regarding cheating and will not hesitate to confiscate your test if they have any suspicion. If you finish any portion of the test before the end of the time allotted, you may look back over your work for that section only. You are not allowed to look ahead in your test booklet under any circumstances. After the first two sections of the ACT, you will be given a short break. You will not be allowed to leave the testing facility during the break, but you will be given access to a restroom and a water fountain.
Here is more information about the ACT exam for homeschool students.
The ACT tries to make scores available as soon as possible after the test is taken. Students can view their scores online approximately two and a half weeks after their testing date. An official score report will be mailed to the student between three and eight weeks after the testing date. The scoring of the Writing test takes a little bit longer, so scores are usually mailed between five and eight weeks after the testing date. Unlike other testing organizations, the ACT does not average successive test scores. In other words, if you take the test more than once, the only score that is made available to admissions departments is the one you prefer. The scoring of the multiple-choice sections is straightforward. Your score is based on the number of questions answered correctly. This means that there is no distinction made between unanswered questions and questions answered incorrectly, and so you should answer even when you are unsure. The number of questions answered correctly (referred to as the raw score) is then converted into a scaled score using an algorithm that takes into account the relative difficulty of the test version.
Some versions of the ACT are determined to be more difficult; you will not be penalized for taking a more difficult version of the exam. You will receive a scaled score for each of the four sections (English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science) as well as for the test in total. The scaled scores are placed on a range between 1 and 36, with 36 being the highest possible score. The total test score is an average of the four scaled scores. In addition, the ACT computes seven subscores for the following content areas: Usage/Mechanics, Rhetorical Skills, Pre-Algebra/Elementary Algebra, Intermediate Algebra/Coordinate Geometry, Plane Geometry/Trigonometry, Social Studies/Natural Sciences Reading Skills, and Arts/Literature Reading Skills. These subscores are placed on a scale from 1 to 18.
Last Updated: 05/24/2014