ACTing Smarter Online

Frequently Asked Questions About the ACT

What is the ACT?  What is it for?
The ACT is one of the tests used by colleges in admissions decisions.  In addition, it is now part of the Michigan Merit Exam (MME), which all students take in the spring of their junior year of high school.

Where and when can I take the ACT?

The test is also offered for a small fee several times throughout the year at a number of different local testing sites.  For information on testing dates, locations, or registration, go to

Should I take the ACT or the SAT?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to that.  In general, colleges in Michigan lean toward the ACT, but several do require or prefer that you also take the SAT.  Out-of-state schools are more likely to require the SAT, but the ACT is gaining ground nationally.  The only way to be sure is to call up the admissions offices of the schools you are thinking about attending and ask them what they require.  If you are not sure where you want to go yet, take them both in order to keep all of your options open.

Can I re-take the ACT?
Yes.  You can take the test as many times as you want.  Schools will take your best scores.

When should I take the ACT?
You will all take the test in the spring of your junior year at school as part of the MME.  It is generally a good idea to take the test once before that, either in the fall or winter of your junior year.  That way, if you get your scores back and feel you could or should do better, you have time to prepare and then re-take in the spring.  If you wait until the spring of your junior year to take it for the first time and then are not happy with your scores, you have to rush to re-take at the beginning of your senior year when you should ideally already have your scores into schools.  This could affect early admissions decisions, and it is sure to add to the general level of stress at this important time.  Get it taken care of early.