ACT/SAT Admission Exams
Are admission exams important?
ACT/SAT test scores are important because they help determine many factors for college: Where a student can enroll, scholarship eligibility, which classes you may need to take and even which majors you can pursue.
Are the SAT/ACT exams required?
Some colleges require applicants to take either the ACT or SAT and submit their scores before admission, but some are now test-optional. Be sure to check with your college’s admission office to determine their requirements.
Which test is better, the SAT or ACT?
Neither test is better than the other and most colleges will accept either. In North Dakota and most of the Midwest, the ACT is the preferred test.
Where do you take admission exams? Can they be done online?
Typically, admission exams are taken at a high school, college or other approved testing site on the national test dates. However, starting in September 2020, the ACT exam can be taken online on a national test date at an approved testing site. Find out more about ACT online testing on the ACT website.
How can students prepare for the ACT?
Test Prep information for the ACT test can be found on the ACT Website. The site provides free test prep materials, as well as additional materials/resources that can be purchased.
What is the SAT/ACT Essay? Is it required?
A writing portion is available for the ACT and SAT exams. Check with your college’s admissions office to see if it is required for you. The writing portion is required for the state-paid junior test and is needed for determining the ELA score. If a student retests on a national test date, it will be up to them if they want to take the writing portion.
How do the admission exam scores work?
The composite score on the ACT exam is simply the average of your four area scores, rounded up to the nearest whole number (half a point or more is rounded up, less than half a point is rounded down). The writing section, which is optional, is not included in this score. For example, say you scored a 24 on the Math section, a 23 on Science, a 26 on Reading and a 25 on English. Your composite score would be: (24 + 23 + 26 + 25) / 4 = 24.5. This would then be rounded up to a 25 as your composite score.
When are admission exam scores available and where can you find them?
Scores may be available as little as 10 days, typically the 2nd Tuesday after your test date. Occasionally, it may take longer.
What ACT scores are needed for specific program/admission requirements?
The ND University System (NDUS) determines this. For more detailed information, check out NDUS’s general placement information.
Community or Technical colleges in North Dakota will not have a minimum ACT requirement but will use these scores for placement in to English and Math, as well as their technical programs.
Is the SAT/ACT curved?
The ACT score is “scaled” to ensure that different test versions remain consistent across test dates. “Scaling” means that the average scores are analyzed to ensure that no test date is easier or harder than another.
What happens in college admission programs if the student does not achieve the desired score?
This is determined by the individual postsecondary institution. Some students may be denied or asked to retest. Some institutions have their own in-house assessment the students can take while others require students to take remedial courses.
Why do students retake the ACT?
It’s up to the student, but some choose to retest the summer after their junior test or the following fall of their senior year. This allows time for scores to be sent to postsecondary institutions for admissions, as well as it allows time to use these scores for the state scholarship. The longer the student waits to retest, presumably the more knowledge they would have gained. Students would retest if their scores are not high enough for postsecondary admissions or to qualify for scholarships, whether the state scholarship or scholarships through the postsecondary institution or from outside organizations.
How does one get the ACT score to the NCAA or NAIA for academic eligibility?
When a student completes the demographic or pretest information on the ACT, they are able to choose which college or institutions they want their scores sent to. NCAA is an option for the students to choose to have their scores sent to.
ACT® WorkKeys® Assessment
What is the ACT WorkKeys assessment?
The WorkKeys assessment is used to determine workforce readiness. The ACT tests English, Reading, Writing, Math, and Science. The WorkKeys tests include Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents. Scores on the WorkKeys assessment can qualify students for a National Career Readiness Certificate.
Why do students take the WorkKeys assessment on the state testing date and not the ACT?
Students planning on going straight into the workforce after graduating, will occasionally choose to do the WorkKeys assessment instead of the ACT. The WorkKeys assessment is more specific to the skills needed for the workforce, although students taking the WorkKeys will find it to be quite rigorous. The WorkKeys assessment can also be used for qualification of the CTE scholarship.