The ACT is a curriculum-based achievement test, accepted by most U.S. colleges and universities and aims to evaluate student's reading, writing, mathematical and science abilities. High school juniors and seniors take this test as an integral part of the college admissions process.
Yes, it is an essential piece of the application process to gain admission to most American colleges and 4-year educational institutions.
Along with your ACT score other pieces of the admission procedure include your GPA, academic transcript, personal essays, recommendations and information on extracurricular activities.

Your ACT score is very important as it is used to compare how good you are in relation to thousands of other applicants who apply for admission every year. The importance placed on the ACT scores varies from school to school.

Anyone can get a score from a ACT, but getting a score that is high enough to get you into your preferred school is another thing. If you want a competitive college application, you need high test score results. If you want high test scores, you need to take the right test for you.

English: 75 questions – 45 minutes
Mathematics: 60 questions – 60 minutes
Reading: 40 questions – 35 minutes
Science: 40 questions – 35 minutes
Total: 215 questions
Writing: 1 prompt – 40 minutes
You should be at the test center by 07:45. The test will begin promptly at 08:00 after all examinees are present, checked in and seated.
The ACT is 2 hours, 55 minutes (without essay) and 3 hours, 40 minutes (with essay)
After the first two tests there will be a short break. If you are taking the ACT with writing, there will also be a short break before the writing test.

Aside from the differences listed in the table below, the tests are very similar now that the SAT has been redesigned. The main differences come down to timing and how you like to solve problems. The material tested is very similar. They both take 3-4 hours to complete, and getting a good score on either will get you past the admissions officer to the next part of the admissions process.

ACT Exam SAT Exam
5 answer choices 4 answer choices
Scores range from 1 – 36 per section Scores range from 200 – 800 per section
3 hours + 50 minute essay (optional) 2 hours 55 minutes + 40 minute essay (optional)
Subjects Covered
  • Reading
  • English
  • Math
  • Writing section - Optional
  • Science
Subjects Covered
  • Reading
  • Writing & Language
  • Math
  • Writing section - Optional
No science section
Science section rewards good reasoning skills, not specific science knowledge Places an emphasis on vocabulary.
Under the writing section (which is optional) you evaluate an argument that someone else has already written for you. Under the writing section (which is optional) you have the option to write your own argument / essay.
Can use a calculator on all its math problems. Has a “with calculator” and “without calculator” section.
More time per problem, so it’s a more intense testing experience. More time per problem, so it’s a less intense testing experience.

Based on the above information you should decide which test will give you the biggest advantage based on your own preferences and test taking style. Once you have done that, focus solely on that one test.

Because the New SAT lacks a science section and is less time intensive, it might seem like an easier option but this is not the case. Decisions need to be made on an individual basis based on your personal way of thinking and problem solving.

Visual thinkers who work well with and without a calculator may gravitate to the many charts, tables, and graphs on the SAT. Strong readers who work well under time pressure may do better with the dense reading passages on the ACT. You can do well on either test, but it is a good idea to explore both. Keeping your options open means less stress and more choices about which scores to send to colleges.

We believe in the adage of “Fail to Prepare and Prepare to Fail”. You need time to effectively prepare for this test so it can be a positive experience and not the horrendous test it is reported to be.


Create a Web Account with and register for the test and the location online. From this account you may view your scores and score reports, make changes to your registration, print your admission ticket and receive updates about registration
It takes about 40 minutes to register, so set aside enough time. You will need an ID, your high school code, high school courses taken, type of school attended, extra-curricular activities, a headshot photo, valid credit card and a host of other information. Check out the information required before you start to fill in the application.
You can make changes to your registration by logging into your ACT web account.
Log into your ACT Web Account and print it there. Remember to bring your Admission Ticket on test day as you will not be allowed into the testing center without it.
ACT registration deadlines fall approximately 5 weeks before each test date.
Yes. It is approximately 20 days before the test date.


In Marbella area there are no test centers for the ACT. There are schools, however, that offer the test throughout Spain. Make sure to check your preferred test date as not all schools offer all test dates. Check out the schools to see if your test date is available.

Benjamin Franklin Intl School

Center Code: 872270

Carmarma De Esteruelas

Evangelical Christian Academy
Center Code: 873620

Los Realejos, Tenerife

British School Of Tenerife
Center Code: 872940


St Louis Univ, Madrid Campus
Center Code: 874240


American School of Valencia
Center Code: 873160


School Year Abroad
Center Code: 871500
1. Printed ACT admission ticket with your photo on it
2. Official, valid, original ID with photo containing your first and last names issued by a government institution or your school (The name on your admission ticket must match your ID.)
1. Admission ticket 2. Photo ID 3. Pencils – Nº 2 soft lead (No mechanical pencils, pens or highlighters) 4. Watch so you keep track of time 5. Approved calculator 6. Food or drink for a break
Most four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator are permitted (and can be modified if needed) but not required. If the calculator you bring cannot hold programs and documents, then you can use it. TI-89 or a TI-92 are not permitted. Check the website to see if your calculator is permitted. Remember, it is your responsibility to know whether your calculator is permitted.
No, you will not be provided with a calculator nor can you share a calculator. If you are unsure if your batteries are strong enough to last the test session, you are permitted to bring a spare calculator and extra batteries.


Your multiple choice scores will be available about 2 weeks after the test date. If you took the writing section they will be available about 2 weeks after the multiple choice scores. ACT will notify you through your Web Account when they are available.
ACT will notify you through your Web Account that they are available.
ACT will only send scores for the entire test date and will not allow you to pick and choose sections from different test dates to send to colleges. Therefore, if you took the writing test, it will be sent along with the multiple choice scores.
Yes, as students own their own score you can delete a test record. Upon submitting a written request for a form, and sending to the address below, they will permanently remove the test from your record.

ACT Institutional Services
P.O. Box 168
Iowa City, IA 52243-0168

ACT retains separate records for each test date. If you ask them to send a report to colleges on your behalf, they will only send the records from the test date you request. If you want they will send scores for more than one test date. In this way, you direct what happens to your scores.
Yes, as most colleges require your scores to be sent directly from the testing body, use your online Web Account to have them sent to the colleges of your choice. You make your college choices when you sign up for your Web Account. Once you have submitted your answer folder to the test administrator you cannot make any changes.
No, you cannot cancel the reporting once you have seen your scores. You have to cancel it by the Thursday noon (central time) immediately after the Saturday you sat the test.