According to the ACT Handbook for Educators, each year millions of high school students use ACT programs and services to develop postsecondary educational and career plans. The number of students continues to increase, and educators need to know what the test does and how the results can be used to help their students.
The ACT test is made up of four curriculum-based, multiple-choice tests in English, mathematics, reading, and science, and an optional 40-minute writing test that measures essay composition skills. The ACT tests are based on the major areas of high school and postsecondary instructional programs. A student’s performance on the tests has a direct relationship to his or her educational achievement. The meaning of that performance, as indicated by test scores, reporting categories, and skill statements based on the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards, can be readily understood and interpreted by educators and students.