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ACT Sign up & Preparation


The ACT and College Admissions:

Here in Kansas, the admissions requirements for a 4-year college or university state that the applying student needs to meet 2 of the 3 stipulations below:

  • Score a 21 or higher on the ACT
  • Rank in the top 1/3 of their graduating class
  • Earn a 2.0 GPA or higher on the Qualified Admissions curriculum while in high school


The ACT is an academic test made of 4 sections (Reading, English, Math, and Science) that is designed to determine whether or not a student can perform at the rigorous academic standards that colleges require. The student taking the ACT will receive 4 sub-test scores which are averaged into a composite score.  The ACT, together with colleges and universities, have determined benchmark scores for each section and for the composite score.  Benchmark scores mean that the student wishing to gain admission to a 4-year college or university must meet or exceed a certain score.  For general admission to Kansas colleges/universities, the benchmark score is the composite score.  For some scholarships or admission to certain specialized programs, benchmark sub-test scores may also be required. 

Most schools have scholarship money designated to certain levels of achievement on the ACT.  For example, here is the scholarship table from Fort Hays State University for ACT Scores of incoming freshman for the 2016-17 school year:

  • 21-22:  $1,000 Renewable 
  • 23-25:  $1,500 Renewable
  • 26-28:  $2,000 Renewable
  • 29+:     $3,500 Renewable


When and how many times should my student take the ACT?

The ACT can be taken up to 12 times.  If your student is trying for a high score, I recommend taking it in December, April/June, and September/October of Senior year.  The highest score needs to be achieved by October for most 4-year college/university scholarships.  If your student is not interested in a 4-year college or university, taking the ACT in April or June will be enough.  Community colleges and technical schools do not require ACT scores for admission, but they will use them for course placement.

Mrs. Blew visits with the Junior classroom before test day to go over the very same information with the class.


Know the Test BEFORE taking the test:

As always, first review the information at the official ACT website.  This is the same information that will be given to your student in book form before taking the test for the first time as a Junior.  Here you can find sample questions, practice tests, and other information regarding the ACT test

Check out this article from SparkNotes about ACT test taking strategy.  This will help you understand the setup of the test and what you should know to better handle it on test day.

IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU TAKE A PRACTICE TEST PRIOR TO TEST DAY.  Have a parent help you by keeping the time and reading the test directions as the test room proctor will do on test day.  This will help ease your anxiety about what to expect, how much time you will have to answer questions, etc. 


Accommodations for test day:

If your student has an IEP or SIT plan, your student may qualify for test day accommodations such as extended time.  See Ms. Johnston or Mrs. Blew for more information.  More information can be found here.


Sign-up for the ACT:

Here at Minneola, we pay for 11th graders to take the ACT one time.  Juniors will take the ACT in April during the school day.  Any other time you wish to take the test, you will need to register online and pay for the test yourself.

Go to to register.  You will need your Social Security Number.

Be prepared with a debit/credit card to pay the test fee.  We typically take the ACT No Writing test, which is $39.50 this year.  See section titled ACT FEES for more information.

Be prepared to spend 30-45 minutes registering for the test.  You will need to answer several questions related to your college plans, major, current high school activities and grades, your interests and hobbies, etc.  This is so that the ACT can help match you with colleges that meet your needs, skills, and interests.

Registration must be completed about one month prior to the test date.  See the ACT website for more information. 

A current photo of the student is required at the time of registration.  If registering on a computer, you can submit a photo using your webcam or any other head and shoulder photo with plain background found on your computer.

If your student does not have a photo ID, see Mrs. Blew immediately.  Photo ID in the form of a driver's license or state-issued ID card is mandatory on test day.  There are other options that the school can help with if one of these ID cards is not available. 


What you need to know about Test Day:

YOU WILL NEED TO BRING:  A photo ID, 2 #2 pencils, and a calculator. 

LEAVE IN YOUR CAR:  Your cell phone, drinks/snacks, anything else not listed above.  A break will be given between test Sections 2 and 3 so you can use the restroom and water fountains.

7:30 - 7:45 AM: Check-in for the test will begin

8:00 AM - Check-in for testing will end.  Students not present when answer sheets are passed out in test rooms will NOT be allowed totest.  BE ON TIME!

8:05 AM - Testers should be seated in their testing rooms ready to begin filling out their answer sheet.  Once your name, address, and other information are completed the test will begin.

Test will be over around Noon.


ACT Fee Waiver:

For information on ACT Fee Waivers, see Am I eligible for a fee waiver?


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